The World Schools Festival in Stellenbosch turned out to be a bit of one-sided damp squib, writes THEO GARRUN.
While the idea of pitting our top schools against the best from around the world is a great one, it was only ever going to be worthwhile if the organisers could get the top schools from around the world to actually come.
In the end, it was a lopsided affair, won 35-5 by the locals, according to the Ryder Cup scoring system, and those five points were earned mainly by a World XV which consisted mostly of South African players anyway.
None of the New Zealand schools were part of their top five, and Hartpury – the top English school from last year – were without their England U19 players. The rest of the participants were makeshift composite sides who, frankly, never stood a chance against the top SA teams.
Granted, it was a great opportunity for our schoolboys to meet and mix with other players from around the world, and the week in camp will benefit them in the season ahead. Other than that, though, you have to wonder what the point of it was. We certainly can’t crow about the dominance of our school rugby based on this opposition.
World Schools Festival
Glenwood 32 John McGlashan College 17
World Select XV 76 WP Invitation 29
SACS 43 Zambezi Steelers 24
Monument 32 Hartpury College 21
Paarl Gimnasium 50 Africa Pacific Dragons 24
Affies 36 Italian All-Stars 12
Boland Landbou 30 Napier Boys’ High 25
Hilton College 43 USA Schools XV 0
Grey College 73 Christchurch Boys’ High 26
Paul Roos 93Southland Boys’ High 5
WP Invitation 33 Zambezi Steelers 30
Glenwood 33 Africa Pacific Dragons 10
World Select XV 2 SACS 15
Paarl Gimnasium 41 Hartpury College 12
Monument 48 John McGlashan College 10
Boland Landbou 71 USA Schools XV 3
Hilton College 34 Italian All-Stars 15
Grey College 54 Southland Boys’ High 0
Affies 31 Christchurch Boys’ High 31
Paul Roos 62 Napier Boys’ High 7
St Stithians 34 St Benedict’s 31
St John’s 27 St David’s 19
This weekend is the Kingswood College 125th Anniversary Festival in Grahamstown. It begins on Saturday and continues on Monday and Wednesday.
St George’s of Harare and a Kenyan Invitation XV add some international flavour, with Hilton, Kearsney, Graeme, Clifton, Dale, St Andrew’s, Kingswood and an Independent Schools Invitation team also in action.
This weekend sees the state schools back in session and there is a full set of fixtures throughout the country. The pick of the action will be in Johannesburg, where Helpmekaar host Affies. The Joburg side has had a very good start to the season and will be looking to continue that form against one of the traditional school powerhouses.
In Durban, Glenwood host Maritzburg College in the first of the Premier Interschools derbies, while St Andrew’s host Grey High in an early meeting of the Eastern Cape powerhouses.
Paarl Boys’ High take on Outeniqua at home in another clash between perennially highly ranked schools.
The Cape Town southern suburbs schools all meet opposition from the north. Bishops host Paarl Gim, Wynberg travel to Boland Landbou, Rondebosch are at home to Paul Roos and SACS travel to Durbanville.