And the schoolboy ruggas season in full swing. Gone is the popcorn rugby and the festivals. And I must admit the biggest matches in the bleddy Cape again. The Beeld trophy will only start to supply us with similar contests when we reach the semi finals, and unfortunately we will have to wait for the second stretch of the season to see a school like Garstfontein competing at full strenght due to the u/19 rule in place in the Beeld.
The biggest match must be Paarl Gym hosting Boland Landbou with the home team unbeaten since 2009. BUT this year's Boland Landbou team have all the ingredients to make this year the season to be remembered. Their three victories this year was not against "top" teams but I have a feeling these opponents was picked for a reason. Having the pleasure to witness their efforts at the Noord Suid tournament at Garsies I must admit apart from one or two teams I do not think they will loose a lot of games. The maro pack of forwards, 814kg's for this match, have the ability to take the opposition and simply suffocate them, add to that the in form Deon Carstens to direct traffic from 9 with a backline consisting of the brilliant Boesman Steenkamp at ten, Henlo Marais and exciting newcomers Durin Nasson, Duren Hoffman and Luther McKay, it will take a special team to be victorius against them. Having said that Paarl Gym's have an equal impressive pack of forwards with a backline that can tear most defensive patterns apart with players like Zak Burger, Theo Boshoff, Wian van Niekerk, Muller du Plessis and Wian van Zyl on form. What is worrying to me was that Paarl Gym, at Noord Suid, did not use their forwards against a much smaller Garsfontein pack and tried to win the game with their backs. This backfired and to the surprise of all resulted in their only loss of the season. According to a well known rugby figure in the fair Cape, all teams visiting mr Kriel starts with a deficit of at least 10 points the question must be if Boland Landbou is better than Paarl Gym + 10 points. I think so. Boland landbou by 12. Paarl Gim 34 - 14 Boland Landbou. How wrong can one man be. Gym playing the perfect game with Landbou not taking their opportunities. Will discuss the madness in SA rugby to play an expansive game later. Boland your forward pack must be in top 5 in the country if not the best. USE THEM.
2) The Mutual and Federal Interschool's gets underway with a mouth-watering derby when old foes Grey High and Paul Roos meet on Saturday. The visitors from Port Elizabeth will be hoping to replicate their last performance at the Markotter Field this time round. In 2014 Grey were 26 points down but ended up winning the match. However, it's the home team who still dominate, but only narrowly. Paul Roos have won five of the nine encounters played in the last nine years. Having witnessed Paul Roos' excellent match against Affies at St Johns they must be the favourites BUT we have not seen the best of Grey PE this year either. Unbeaten with convincing victories at St Stithians and without the star of last year Curwin Bosch, question will always be asked. Some say this is going to be the upset of the weekend. I will give it to Paul Roos by 6 with the Markotter factor worth maybe 10 points. But I must make my prediction subject to Paul Roos containing the fearsome no. 8 Khwezi Mafu. If his performance of last year is only maintained he could be the deciding factor. Paul Roos 36 - 21 Grey PE. Paul Roos continuing their excellent form. Storming into an early lead of 15 points with Grey fighting back later on.
3) Boishaai is travelling the 400+ kilometres to George to meet an not so impressive Outeniqua. But that said Outeniqua at home is never a easy task but having to face the might of Salmaan Moerat, the experienced loosehead Reece Bezuidenhout and two provincial loose forward predators, Khanya Ncusane and Charl Serdyn their forwards will have a uphill battle, with no 8 Lance Lamprecht expected to provide the fire. The Quaggas’ backs will miss last year stars at the back bu they do have the centre JP Duvenage at his best with Darryle Kameel, Bradley Kiewitz and Damian Bonaparte returning. But as with the forwards will be outclassed by the stars studded back line consisting of Cameron Dorfling, Ryahann Lombard at ten, Manny Ras at 13, wings Urgene Johannes and Thakir Abrahams and Gianni Lombard. Boishaai with 20. Boishaai 29 - 27 Outeniqua. Boishaai on a 25 matches winning streak and it almost came to a sudden end if it was not for Lombaard's last minute try and conversion. Surely a monument of some kind will be erected for this young hero.
4) Affies vs Westville must be the biggest in KZN this weekend and I fear this will be another massacre. Can not see a "struggling" Westville have any impact against the Affies Boys. If it was not for the Grey/Maritzburg fixture I would have called this the mismatch of the weekend. The only Affies can gain from this weekend is injuries to players. Please I do understand and appreciate this bond between the all boys club but I do not think matches like this is good for any of the two teams. It is time that a national league system is put in place. This weekend we will witness a lot of mismatches even in the Beeld up in the Vaal. The gap between the rugby schools and the also runs is becoming too big. Enough said Affies by 35. Affies 62 - 0 Westville. Westville simply outplayed and outclassed.
Grey 60 vs 13 Maritzburg - Grey with 50
Rondebosch 29 vs 8 Wynberg - Bosch with 10
Oakdale 48 vs 8 HTS Daniel Pienaar - Oakdale with 15
EG Jansen 45 vs 3 MenloPark - EG Jansen with 30
Monnas 43 vs 16 Kempton Park - Monnas with 60
Nelspruit 45 vs 27 Pieterburg - Nelspruit by 10
Stellenberg 78 vs 3 DF Malan - Stellenberg with 40
SACS 45 vs 10 Durbanville - SACS with 35
DHS 39 vs 8 Northwood - DHS with 6
Glenwood 65 vs 9 Framesby - Glenwood with 25
Only one prediction wrong in 14 matches. Not bad. Do not think it is my knowledge of SBR but rather the predictability that crept in with the rugby schools widening the gap every day.