The busy past weekend shed some light on just who the top dogs are in South African schools rugby this year, writes THEO GARRUN.
The big show was in Paarl where four of the best traditional powerhouses were in action: at Paarl Gimnasium where Paul Roos Gimnasium were the visitors and at the town’s Brug Street stadium where Paarl Boys’ High hosted Grey College.
All four teams had been unbeaten against local opposition this season going into the weekend, and they had faced almost all of the top guns between them.
When the dust settled, Paul Roos had beaten Paarl Gim 32-13 and Grey had claimed a famous 34-20 win against Boishaai.
On that basis, the victors have solid claims to being the top teams in the land, and their meeting in Bloemfontein on 18 August is shaping up to be the season decider.
That’s quite far away, however, and both sides have some big hurdles to negotiate before then. Take two weeks’ time, for instance.
On Saturday, 19 May, Grey travel to Affies, and on the same day, Paul Roos are at home to Paarl Boys’ – who won’t be in the mood to suffer a second defeat to a local team after going three years unbeaten before this past weekend.
And Grey College still have to travel to PE on 28 July for their annual inter-Grey clash with Grey High, a passionate derby that can deliver surprises, especially this year when Grey High have a very tenacious side.
Paul Roos meet Boland Landbou a fortnight before the Grey College fixture – another local derby with an outcome that’s far from certain.
In another big result this past weekend, Glenwood beat Affies 37-34, their first win against them since 2014. They remain unbeaten this season, but they too have some big games ahead, including Monument on 19 May and Grey College on 4 August.
Monument retained the U18 Tuks Series title, but they needed an injury-time try to beat Menlopark 36-34 in the final on Saturday.
In other action at the weekend, Bishops beat SACS 19-7 in a Cape Town southern suburbs derby, Hilton beat Michaelhouse 22-5 in the first leg of their double-header, and there were comfortable wins for KES and Jeppe over Maritzburg College and St Benedict’s respectively.
Following last weekend’s top-of-the-table clashes, things are bit quieter this Saturday. There are, however, some intriguing contests on the cards.
Grey College host Selborne College, who were the most impressive side on view at the recent Grey High Festival, and crushed Dale College 47-6 last weekend, while Paul Roos travel to Bishops, Glenwood host Menlopark and Jeppe go to Helpmekaar to determine Joburg’s top side.
Photo: Bertus Preller/Grey College Facebook