Landbouskool Oakdale will host rivals Boland Landbou in the final Premier Interschools match of the season in Riversdale. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
The schools have more in common than just sport, as both agricultural institutions are regarded as two of the best in the field in the Western Cape. But despite the similarities and the mutual respect, there is a sense of hostility when the boys meet in their annual 1st XV encounter.
On paper, Oakdale boast a better success rate than their opponents this season with 10 wins and four defeats, while Boland have won 11 matches and lost eight. This is also mirrored in their respective positions in the national rankings, where Oakdale are placed five spots higher than their opponents.
However, where Oakdale failed to pick up a single victory against any of the top Cape sides this year, Boland claimed the scalps of Bishops, Rondebosch, Wynberg and Paul Roos.
In this particular fixture they are evenly poised, though. The last four games since 2010 have gone in favour of the home team by a comfortable margin and Oakdale coach Malan du Plessis believes the trend will continue.
'After thorough analysis, I am convinced we have the right balance and game plan to succeed on Saturday,' Du Plessis told SARugbymag.co.za. 'If we starve Boland of possession for most of the game, they'll become frustrated.
'They also struggle to exit sufficiently from inside their own half and we'll try to exploit that weakness. In saying that, well-laid plans only work if the execution is on point,' he concluded.
Boland Landbou 1st XV coach Oloff Bergh says they haven't spent a lot of time reviewing Oakdale, but are ready for a bruising battle.
'Because Oakdale have a massive forward pack, we're prepared for a physical onslaught. This season has been another one of mixed results, with some excellent wins and bad losses. But if we secure an away victory in our last match, it will go down as one of our better seasons in recent years.'
Following the conclusion of the season across the country, only Western Cape schools are in action this weekend. Rondebosch host Bishops, Monument Park welcome Bellville, Brackenfell face Tygerberg, Paarl Boys' play Outeniqua and Wynberg travel to SACS.
Oakdale vs Boland Landbou
Rondebosch vs Bishops
Paarl Boys' vs Outeniqua
SACS vs Wynberg
Monument Park vs Bellville
Brackenfell vs Tygerberg
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images