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Paul Roos return from Ireland undefeated

By Willem Louw , in Rugby | Featured Rugby | News , at 2023-12-17 Tags:

Paul Roos Gimnasium at Munster, 2023

Paul Roos Gimnasium have returned from an 11-day rugby tour of Ireland, with a clean record against their international opposition in preparation for the 2024 season.

While adding the likes of Munster to the list of names to have fallen to Paul Roos is a remarkable achievement in itself, the winning scorelines were a bonus and not the main objective of the tour.

“The boys chose ‘Growth’ and ‘Unity’ as our two objectives for the tour, and I think that is a fitting way to describe the tour,” said coach Corné Uys after they returned on Friday.

Upon their arrival in Ireland, they wasted no time before getting onto the field the very next day against Terenure College in their first match. Their hosts were up for the challenge and welcomed the travelling Maroon Machine to Ireland by putting up a massive fight in that opening fixture.

In a back-and-forth clash, Paul Roos scored a sensational winner in the dying moments to claim a hard-fought 29-24 victory.

That early run out did the Stellenbosch boys good, though, and they appeared to become more and more dominant as their tour progressed.

After their matches, the players also spent some time with their opponents to fully experience the rugby traditions in Ireland.

“It was an amazing opportunity for the boys to broaden their horizons and experience a completely different culture,” coach Uys said. They also had the chance to explore Ireland off of the pitch, spending time at the Dublin City Centre and the Galway Market during their visit, and going to see the Burren National Park, the Cliffs of Moher and Blarney Castle.

Of course, they also made the most of the rich rugby history in Ireland, with a guided tour of Munster’s Thomond Stadium, while also enjoying two European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) matches that coincided with their stay. The first was a clash between Connacht and Bordeaux, followed a day later by Munster against Bayonne.

Paul Roos’ two teams then took on teams from the north in their second games, tackling Wallace and Methody High respectively. By this time, the tourists had adjusted and found their rhythm as they trounced Wallace 27-3, while the 2nd XV downed Methody 12-5.

The third time out, the Stellenbosch boys took on the freshman team of the University College Cork and came away with a 17-point win.

Then, in their concluding match against Munster, Paul Roos started slowly, but an early score by the home side served as a wake-up call, which prompted the South Africans to seize control of the contest and assert their dominance over the Irish powerhouse.

The 2nd XV, too, were comfortable winners over the Munster 2nd XV.

“In general, though the circumstances were challenging, the people were all unbelievably friendly and welcoming. They love their rugby” said coach Uys.

“It is still early, and this is a very small sample size, but in challenging conditions (like the ones faced in Ireland) it is always important to have your basics in order. So, it was good to see how the players approached those areas and began getting the fundamentals in place.”

With some of their leading first-team players, like SA Schools’ loose-forward Riley Norton, not available for the tour, it was by no means a complete look at next year’s squad. It was, nonetheless, a very positive sign for the proud school from Stellenbosch, who will take the momentum of their successful tour into the forthcoming season, with a number of wins under their belt already.

RESULTS

Paul Roos 29, Terenure College 24 – Link to game
Paul Roos 27, Wallace High 3
Paul Roos 27, University College Cork Freshmen 10 – Link to game
Paul Roos 31, Munster 19 – Link to game

Paul Roos II 12, Methody High 5
Paul Roos II 34, Munster II 7

Paul Roos Gimnasium touring group: Jordan Africa, Sam Badenhorst, Adeeb Boraine, Hugo Coetzee, Joshua Dampies, Marquin de Klerk, Robert Doubell, Henry du Plessis, Malan Erasmus, Reece Heaton, Brent Heyens, Zac Hickman, Kaleb Holmes, Charl Holwill, Gert Kemp, Matthew Kleyn, Conrad Koegelenberg, Christian Kolbe, Luan Krige, Reuben Kruger, Derek Kuhn, Pierre Labuschagne, Divan Lambrecht, Jacques Loubser, Christiano Luizinho, Luchwayito Baliswana, Christiaan Moolman, Reinhardt Nel, Michael Potgieter, Altus Rabé, Oliver Reid, Truspe Schoeman, Ian Smith, Jordan Steenkamp, Jesse Stegehuis, Keenan Stoffels, Alec Toll, Dylan van Wyk, Dawid van Niekerk, Luke van Schoor, Gerrit van Vuuren, Luke Wilmot.

Willem Louw
error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.