An exciting weekend with some high schools showing some great early form while others' coaches most probably already pulling out some hair. No international rugby and as we started with primary school rugby this section will be included from next week.
Plenty of sevens being played. Unfortunately most was played yesterday making it almost impossible to have any news available.
Not any surprises with this week coming off big interest as the two unbeaten sides, both Young Guns as well as Varsity Cup will meet at the Dania Craven Stadium. Maties and the Pukke will battle it out for the lead in both competitions.
Jaco Dames, head coach of Diamantveld had a difficult week as his team struggled to beat Louis Botha HTS (23-22) and then lost to Goudveld (12-21) at the Fichardtpark Festival. The Fichardtpark Festival was the big event in the Central Region on Saturday with the Noord Kaap beating Louis Botha HTS 36-14 while the host had an easier time against Kroonstad AHS (36-12) in the main game.
Grey College showed glimpses of brilliance against Duinelveld (60-21) while Helpmekaar who had their first trials only on Thursday last week beat hosts Voortrekker Bethlehem (38-15).
The Grens Rugby Day had no surprises with wins for Btandwag vs Hudson Park (24-12) and Nico Malan vs Punt (44-19). However, Graaff Reinet Volkies win against Muir (17-10) was "somewhat" of a surprise. Selborne has shown some early great form in wins against Cambridge (55-05) and Marlow (38-05).
In the first week of the NWU Pukke Prestige series newcomers, Heidelberg Volkies won 37-19 against a very good Marais Viljoen while Middelburg Hoër also had a promising start against Wesvalia (37-20).
The NWU Pukke 16 series also no surprises with Leewenhoff winning 29-19 against Riebeeckrand and Pretoria Noord winning 47-22 against Oosterland. Stoffberg is also still unbeaten with their second win in a row, this time victorious against Delmas (46-18)
The NWU Vaal Super series also started for most of the schools on Saturday. Hans Moore had to work hard to beat Hartbeespoort 17-10 while Florida had a much easier task against Standerton (46-17)
In some friendlies played on Saturday a great of years gone by John Vorster HTS lost 23-20 against Hans Strijdom while Middelburg HTS struggled against a determined Rustenburg (47-30). Waterkloof won 48-27 against a more than able and willing Montana. Waterkloof's intent to impress in the VirSeker out there for anybody to take note of.
All eyes were on the Boland Landbou Festival.
Tony Stoops impression of the two main games was:
Boland Landbou 50-15 Bellville - One never quite knows what to expect from the Farmers, especially when they are largely unknown players. That will soon change, judging by the exhilarating rugby they produced, cheered on by their ecstatic home crowd.
Bellville will have discovered their shortcomings the hard way in what was a bit of a mismatch. They lack last year’s speed out wide and the loose forwards will have to move up a gear if the Lions are to pose a serious threat to any superior opposition.
Landbou were good enough on the day to banish those handling errors and ruck penalties for the time being, but there is room for improvement there both up front and out back.
Without any really large units, the pack is very athletic, while the backline showed, particularly towards the end, just how well they can finish. Hopefully, they won’t be lulled into a false sense of wellbeing, given that they were up against a wilting second-tier side.
Stellenberg 13-07 Drostdy HTS - Both sides predictably launched themselves into the early rucks, leaving flyhalves Nivan Petersen (Stellenberg) and his Drostdy counterpart, Carlton Pietersen, to probe for touch to keep their sides going forward. (Please note the different spelling of the second names !)
Only tigerish tackling by their forwards, with captain and flank Khyro van der Westhuizen and lock Tyron Rose prominent, kept Stellenberg afloat in the first ten minutes as the Donkeys exerted most of the early pressure. However, the Worcester side’s lack of penetration was to prove their Achilles heel as Nivan Petersen proved unshakeable behind the Jade Brigade pack, thanks to the excellent service he received from scrumhalf Conwill Conradie.
Stellenberg boasts a very experienced fifteen, with only two Grade 11s, their key players being Conradie and Petersen, who is unfortunately Under 19 this year, who form a delightful partnership, while Rose and Van der Westhuizen stood out among the forwards.
I never thought I’d say it, but Drostdy lack size: there are no potential Wilco Louws or Robert Hunts in the making, although loosehead Benicio Kamfer, who played flank last season, has bulked up considerably in the intervening six months. It could be a long learning curve for the Worcester team, but Renier De Villiers and his coaching team are bound to see to it that matters improve sooner rather than later.