Preview – Day 1 Of Wildeklawer Will Be Brutal, Fast And Tense


Paarl Boishaai's 35-13 win against Glenwood on Friday showed that no favourite will be a favourite at Wildeklawer. The score may create an illusion that it was easy for Paarl Boishaai, however, Glenwood did test Paarl Boishaai and if the ball bounce six or seven times differently the result could have been different.

09:10 Boland Landbou (11) vs Monnas (10)

Monnas is ranked 1 position higher on the 1stXV rankings coming into the Wildeklawer Rugby Festival, however, Monnas has lost already three times this year against opposition they should have not lost to while Boland Landbou only lost against Rondebosch a week ago, which was also a big surprise.

Both teams have big forwards with blistering speed and handling at the back, however, if I must predict the outcome I would go with Monnas as it is time that they play to their full potential and if they do play as they did against Outeniqua in the first half at the Noord/Suid festival Boland Landbou will be in for a very long day at the office.

10:20 Framesby (32) vs Welkom Gim (33)

Framesby is ranked one position higher than Welkom Gimnasium on the 1stXV rankings.

Welkom Gim has already played ten matches this season and only lost against three of the better teams in South Africa while Monnas will do their best to forget them. Framesbay's season up to now is what horror movies are made of losing five of their eight matches already in 2023.

Framesby's only hope to surprise will be if they keep it tight, physical and upfront for the full 60 minutes of play.

11:30 Stellenberg (20) vs Maritzburg College (16)

Stellenberg is ranked four positions below Maritzburg College with the hand of new Director of Rugby Hendre Marnitz clear to see in the new gameplan Maritzburg College is currently paying.

Maritzburg College is on a five matches unbeaten streak while Stellenberg has only won two from their seven matches in 2023.

However, if Stellenberg can replicate their performance against Garsfontein it could become extremely uncomfortable for Maritzburg College, who is strangely remembered for their loss against the mighty Grey College at the Noord/Suid festival.

With Stellenberg the majority of schoolboy rugby supporters I will rather not attempt an honest prediction.

12:40 Diamantveld (55) vs Drostdy HTS (31)

It should be an easy game for Drostdy HTS.

13:50 Paul Roos (5) vs Durban High School (18)

Paul Roos is supposed to be the overwhelming favourite against Durban High School who is ranked thirteen positions lower than Paul Roos.

However, since Peter Engledow took over at DHS they have grown in leaps and bounds, winning everything their KwaZulu-Natal opposition could throw at them. They are on a four-match winning streak. Engledow, 2022's coach of the year, has definitely analysed Paul Roos' strengths and weaknesses and expected those weaknesses to be exploited to the full.

Paul Roos' only loss was against Monnas and admittedly thereafter it was a different Paul Roos that displayed brilliant fifteen-man rugby.

This could be the match of the day.

15:00 Affies (7) vs Oakdale (12)

Affies will be looking to end a three-match losing streak, admittingly those three losses were against the top 1stXV teams of 2023, while Oakdale lost their first four matches before turning their season around with two wins in a row, one being their 20-17 win against Paarl Boishaai.

Affies, unfortunately, have shown their belly to South Africa with a game plan that is seen by their opposing coaches as exciting but predictable and easy to beat.

Affies will want to play an extremely fast game and have shown that their second-half comeback efforts are extremely dangerous and good enough to beat Oakdale.

However, Oakdale's coaching staff is no retards and will test Affies with a game plan that could result in another good win for Oakdale.

However, ..............

16:10 Outeniqua (6) vs EG Jansen (25)

Outeniqua has lost against Grey College in a match many believe they should have won while EG Jansen only lost two of their 10 matches this season.

Outeniqua should be ranked on current form at least third in the country, however, should they decide to "rest" some star players for their battle against Garsfontein on Monday, EG Jansen may just get to taste some blood which will make them extremely dangerous.

Unfortunately, I can not see EG Jansen pulling off the biggest upset of the 2023 1st XV season.

17:20 Paarl Gim (2) vs Helpmekaar (24)

Paarl Gim seemingly has forgotten the drubbing from Grey College at the Noord/Suid festival, winning their last three matches comfortably. Helpmekaar on the other hand won only three matches from eleven played.

Although Helpmekaar has a lot of speed out wide and a pack of forwards that play until five minutes after the old fat lady has sung, they will only threaten Paarl Gim if several players from Gim lose the plot.

18:30 Grey College vs Garsfontein

The big one. Once again a hopeful and credible threat to Grey College's 1stXV crown that will attempt to achieve the impossible.

Both teams are still unbeaten, both teams have massive packs and backs that will run any defence to pieces. However, Grey College up front will be out to dominate Garsfontein while Garsfontein will be looking to exploit Grey's "lack" of speed out wide.

Garsfontein should target this match to win which they are capable of, however, as Outeniqua experienced two weeks ago Grey College does not need to be the "best" team on the field to win. They just know how to win.