In the Noord Vaal Region, some schools are already preparing their display cabinets in anticipation of the trophies they are all competing in during the first half of the season.
In the TUKS series, the participating schools will play in the quarterfinals with the semifinals scheduled for the 22nd of April at the LC de Villiers stadium, home of TUKS rugby. Nelspruit will be hosting two of the quarter-finals. In the first Nelspruit will face the dragon slayers of Pretoria, Eldoraigne. Eldoraigne ended as winners in group 2 after their surprising victory against Monnas Saturday at Ellispark. Eldoraigne possesses a macro pack and has the backs to put the points on the board. Nelspruit lost to Middelburg HTS at home but then turned around their season with two victories against Klerksdorp (49-14) and Florida (29-22). These two teams are not favourites to win the TUKS series but will definitely not go down without a fight. While Eldoraigne maybe displayed the better form of these two teams up to now, one can and will not ever forget the never say die attitude. of Nelspruit. In the other quarterfinal hosted at Nelspruit Middelburg HTS will meet an injured and motivated Monnas. Tjaart van der Walt will have no problem motivating his team after their loss against Eldoraigne. It must be also said that he will have all five players missing against Eldoraigne back this weekend. The missing players all attended the SA Schools training camp this weekend. Middelburg HTS season this far shows two victories against Nelspruit (25-22) and Florida (38-29) with an easy win against Klerksdorp (59-10) this past weekend. Monnas must be the favourite to win this one BUT again seen Middelburg HTS winning games as the fat lady is ending the last note.
Garsfontein Hoërskool will host the other quarter-finals on Saturday. The first fixture is between Garsfontein and Menlopark fighting for the crown of Pretoria. Menlopark beating Transvalia (40-36) and Kempton Park (18-11) is showing an upward curve this year and must be confident beating Garsfontein after Garsies "surprise:" lost against EG Jansen. Garsfontein will be hurt after the loss on Saturday against EG Jansen and will want to proof that they are still the best Pretoria team in this competition. Expect a very hard game with one or two heated moments. In the East Rand derby, EG Jansen will meet Kempton Park Hoërskool. EG Jansen is this year doing its own thing without the usual fanfare. Everybody expected them to fail as a lot of poaching was done. But typically of these East Rand boys, they are just playing every opponent, giving their best and most important WINNING. Kempton Park should not pose any real threat to EG Jansen and one can not be blamed to expect a comfortable win for EG Jansen.
In the NWU Interprovincial Series, the only two unbeaten teams Frikkie Meyer and Ben Vorster meets. Ben Vorster is the favourites but the boys from Frikkie Meyer knows how to win in close matches. Frikkie Meyer beating Oos Moot 8-6 and Centurion 8-3. While Ben Vorster beat Wonderboom 24-19 and Oos Moot 34-8. In the other match Oos Moot and Wonderboom, both still looking for their first victories will play fight it out not to take the wooden spoon home.
The second round of the PUK Prestige series will also produce some exciting rugby. The fixture everybody will follow is the one between Noordheuwel and Marais Viljoen with both teams winning comfortably in the first round. Oosterlig vs Lichtenburg should also produce some exciting rugby.
Pretoria Boys High is hosting KES who is playing their first match of the season. Boys High beating Oos Moot and losing against Noordheuwel 6-8 last week should be able to give a good account of themselves. KES is a popular choice as the best English 1stXV in the Noordvaal and will look to get their season going with a good win. In the other "English" derby Jeppe is playing St John's at st John's. Jeppe still unbeaten after 4 matches and their relatively young team is already impressing the pundits. St John's had a good start the season beating Parktown 27-19 on the 18th of March. Jeppe should have the ammunition to beat st John's in a very close encounter.