Preview Of The Week Ending 19 March 2017



In the Central Region games should go according to generally accepted views. The one exception could well be when Goudveld hosts Waterkloof. After the last week being manhandled in Bloemfontein, the boys from Pretoria will be very suspicious about any and everything from the States. A lot is said about a better than the normal Goudveld team but at the Bulls Prestige Day, they just managed to draw with a very average Kempton Park. Waterkloof will be a dangerous team to underestimate and may just get their season back on track in Welkom. Noord Kaap and Diamantveld should have easy wins with Witteberg expecting a big return from their newly developed rugby academy. They beat Ermelo last weekend comfortably BUT Jim Fouche showed with two narrow losses against Voortrekker Bethlehem and Welkom Gim that a win is imminent. This fixture may not be the most glamorous but expect all kitchen utensils to be used.

The Eastern Cape is hosting the Border Rugby Day and although some unknown teams participate some of the big dogs of the Eastern Cape is out for their first run of 2017. With most websites ranking Selborne in the top 10 in the country, one would expect an easy victory for them. Hudson Park is however steadily improving and could present some tough questions to Selborne. They have an experienced team with quite a few boys representing their school for the second year. Dale should win against Grens with the game between Stirling and Queens College a hard fought battle. Stirling unlucky to lose against Brandwag due to an unfortunate mistake at the end of the game. Queens did have an easy day against Cambridge winning 25 - 5 last weekend.

In the KZN Region, the fixture that is attracting the most attention is the one between the two up and coming teams in this Region. In is fitting that this fixture will be played at Kingspark as the main curtain-raiser for the Sharks vs Kings. Hilton was recently in the news after schools accused them of "poaching" a lot of boys. DHS is also frequently in the news with them improving their rugby at the school. Back to the game if information is correct the three boys selected for the Bokkies training weekend withdrew from the camp and will be available for DHS. Pepsi Buthelezi, Sanele Nohamba and Celimpilo Gumede will be a handful on their own but DHS showed in previous fixtures that they want to play a fifteen man game and certainly have the staff to do it. Although Hilton showed in a practise match against Glenwood that they will certainly not be a push over one can not help to wonder if they have the players to counter DHS style but expect them to do the basics right and not give up without a fight.

The other "biggish" fixture is Michaelhouse who will be hosting Westville at their Meadows home-ground. Although Westville's preparation for this season can not be said to be spectacular one hopes that Michaelhouse can come back from a disastrous 2016 and pose some serious questions to Westville. But Westville must be the favourite. Kearsney should also have way too much firepower for Northwood.

In the Noorvaal Region, several matches were already played this week. The most interesting were the narrow victory of Jeppe over Kempton Park. St Benedict's victory against Zwartkop shows that these boys are getting it right and will in the near future be able to take on some big guns in Johannesburg. Frikkie Meyer's impressive record is just improving with every week. Last week they won against Oos Moot and followed it up with a win against Centurion with 8-3. They must be serious contenders to win the PUK Interprovincial Competition. Alberton Hoërskool is delivering on their promises with their 3rd win in a row in the NWU Vaal Sport Competition

In the NWU Pukke Super 16 Competition Pretoria-Noord, Bekker, Pionier and Vryburg is still unbeaten and should proceed to the semi-finals on the 25th of March 2017. With Overvaal drawing 13 all with Leeuwenhoff Bekker is also now assured of their place in the semis. Vryburg, last year's champions will face Bekker with the other semifinal played between Pretoria-Noord and Pionier.

With most other competitions already having clear favourites this not the case in the TUKS Series. EG Jansen who is quietly doing their thing is facing a Garsfontein that is steam rolling all their opponents. With Garsfontein missing Diego Appollis at centre and EG Jansen managing to keep Ruben Beytell, from SA Schools duties a very interesting afternoon awaits us. With Eg Jansen convincingly beating Rustenburg and Voortrekker Bethlehem in the past two weeks they can not be blamed if they are positive. Both teams were victorious against Rustenburg the past two weeks with EG managing a bigger margin but EG played against a weakened Rustenburg missing 7 boys. Big game with anyone predicting a winner either brave or stupid. Monnas is facing Eldoraigne at Ellispark and although the bookies have them as clear favourites they are without five vital players. Eldoraigne, on the other hand, can include 3 new boys with their star at 7 making a welcome return. It may not be going to be easy nor attractive, but Monnas should be able to win this one. Middelburg HTS and Menlopark should have comfortable wins with Nelspruit having to work a lot harder to beat Florida.

And then for the big one, Helpies hosting Affies. Helpies without Mark Snyman and Affies will be without Marnus Potgieter and Jaco Labuschagne all doing duties at SARU's training camp. Affies was happy to include Janco Uys at hooker and Charles Goedhals, flyhalf after injury scares. Their full back Regardt Roets is still doubtful. But all this does not matter when the two teams enter the battlefield on Saturday. Helpmekaar's defeat last year will be fresh in their memories and they can not be blamed if they think that they have a good chance to win. The battle between the two flyhalves will be the determining factor in deciding who wins. A big match, the first between two top 10 schools this season and the whole country will be watching the live stream if they can not make it to Helpmekaar.

With all the action elsewhere in the country one can not be blamed if you ask Western Cape why? Paul Roos played a match against Swartland on Thursday and won 56-7 completely overpowering Swartland. Friday night sees Premier A hopeful Stellenberg take on Paarl Gim. Stellenberg has a good pack of forwards with a very potent backline. With enough ball, Angelo Davids at wing and Corne van Rombergh at 13 should be able to keep Gimmies quite busy. A lot was said when their flyhalf, Ruben Scholtz left for Gimmies last year and this may just provide some spark. Gimmies should, however, be too strong for Stellenberg and a 20 points victory should be a satisfying result for both teams. The annual Boland Landbou Rugby day always produces some sparkling rugby with the main attraction Boland Landbou's team. A lot is expected from the boys in black and they should not fail to entertain. Our school of the year Parel Vallei's match against Durbanville should also provide some extra sparkle. Parel Vallei with a lot of players returning is under pressure to walk the talk of last year. Slowly the Western Cape is awakening.