Schoolboy Rugby – Number Four And Number Five You Are Up Next


A big derby is on the cards when Paul Roos (Stellenbosch) ranked fourth on the 1stXV Rankings, and Paarl Boishaai (Paarl) ranked fifth, meet this Saturday, 27 May in Paarl in round 6 of the 2023 Premier Interschool matches. These two pillars of schoolboy rugby in the Western Cape have been neighbours, friends and rivals for 150 years.

They met intermittently on the rugby field during the early years with Paul Roos playing mostly in the “Cape” leagues against the likes of SACS, while the boys from Paarl mostly competed in the “Country” leagues against schools from neighbouring towns. They however competed enough against each other in all sports that the boys knew each other well and many became friends. The old boys also played together in representative teams for provinces and South Africa over the years.

Paarl Boishaai vs Paul Roos Gymnasium is one of the great derby clashes between two schools that have dominated Western Province school rugby for many years. Together with Paarl Gimnasium (Gim) they have produced more than 75% of all Western Province Craven Week players since 1964!

This match is always a highlight of the season as both teams like to run the ball at every opportunity and no quarter-inch is given. Paul Roos has only been on the winning side twice in their last ten outings, and they would love to repeat the drubbing they gave Paarl Boishaai in 2018 at Markotter to get some more wins under the belt.

There is a new air of expectancy at the Markotter grounds as Paul Roos invested heavily in infrastructure and players and now boasts one of the most modern and advanced training facilities of any school in the country. With an excellent coaching structure also in place, they are the team to watch over the next few years.

Traditionally, the derbies go the way of the home team by the smallest of margins. Exceptions to the rule were in the late ’70s and early 80’s when Paarl Bois’haai won ten in a row and in the late ’80s and early '90s when Paul Roos won four on the trot.

Paul Roos 2023 Season so Far:

Paul Roos has played nine games so far, losing to Monument and Paarl Gim only and getting some good wins over Grey PE, Bishops and Affies. They have opted to rest during the Easter Festivals and played fewer games than their counterparts from Paarl. This could stand them in good stead, as they will be a little fresher and perhaps more rested than previous years for the Battle at the Brug.

Results 2023
2023/03/18 Secunda 17-5
2023/04/01 Monument 26-44
2023/04/04 Pretoria Boys High 29-19
2023/04/15 Grey PE 39-24
2023/04/22 Bishops 24-12
2023/04/29 DHS 21-14
2023/05/01 Affies 31-25
2023/05/06 Paarl Gim 19-24
2023/05/20 Rondebosch 27-7

Paarl Boyshaai 2023 Season so Far:

Contrary to their opponents, Paarl Boys’ High have already played 14 games, losing three and winning the rest. They had some close encounters and it has not been their easiest of seasons. They had to come back from deficits to win games and it shows their fighting spirit to never give up until the final whistle. On form, they can run any team ragged with their backline, but their main test will come from the Paul Roos forwards and if they can secure their own line-out ball, they are in with a good chance to keep the winning streak going.

Results 2023
2023/03/18 HTS Drostdy 13-6
2023/03/25 Durbanville 25-26
2023/04/01 Jeppe 43-21
2023/04/04 Affies 26-19
2023/04/06 Selborne 48-5
2023/04/08 KES 10-8
2023/04/10 Northwood 29-7
2023/04/15 Oakdale 17-20
2023/04/22 SACS 34-18
2023/04/28 Glenwood 35-13
2023/05/01 Helpmekaar 15-10
2023/05/06 Stellenberg 41-29
2023/05/13 Grey College 30-39
2023/05/20 Wynberg BHS 33-29