Glenwood are excited about the prospect of playing Affies in Pretoria on Saturday, reports THEO GARRUN.
There will be 20 rugby matches and 10 hockey games on the day, as well as tennis and golf, making it a massive logistical exercise that will involve hundreds of boys from each school.
The first rugby fixture is scheduled for 2:10pm.
The Durban school comes into the match on the back of two good wins at the Wildeklawer Festival last weekend, against Stellenberg (52-13) and Outeniqua (27-13), having been unbeaten at the Kearsney Easter Festival and the World Schools Festival. They also recorded big wins over Kearsney and Westville.
Affies have been less successful. They lost 41-21 to Paarl Gimnasium, to England’s Hartpury School at the World Schools Festival and to Paarl Boys’ at the Wildeklawer Festival. They did, however, record a 38-14 win over Boland Landbou in Kimberley and ran Booshaai very close. So it seems that they are hitting form at the right time.
Home-ground advantage could be decisive in what is likely to be a close game.
History is certainly on Affies’ side. This will be the 11th time that the two schools will be meeting on the rugby field, with Affies winning seven of the previous encounters and Glenwood three. The sides did not play each other last year and in 2016, Affies recorded their biggest win in the fixture’s history – 63-0. Glenwood last won in 2014, 35-22.
Both coaches reported that their teams came through the gruelling Wildeklawer schedule relatively unscathed.
Derek Heiberg, coach of Glenwood, says they have lost openside flanker Ethan Smit, who dislocated his shoulder against Outeniqua, while Affies’ Jaco Koch says while they played against physically tough competition in Kimberley and have a few bumps and bruises, there are no major injury concerns.
‘As a team, we said we are not focusing on individual games throughout the season,’ Heiberg told SARugbymag.co.za. ‘Instead, we are trying to ensure we constantly prepare well each week and adhere to our team values and culture.
‘Having said that, we respect Affies and it is a great challenge for us to measure ourselves against a school with a strong rugby history. We know it is one of the toughest challenges – to play them in their own backyard. So we are really looking forward to the game and the challenge it poses.
Koch stressed that all Affies’ fixtures are important to them.
‘We want to play against the top school teams in SA, the province they come from doesn’t matter,’ he says. ‘We want to give all our players an opportunity to play, and a fixture against Glenwood provides that.’
2007: Affies 48 Glenwood 11
2008: Glenwood 24 Affies 7
2009: Glenwood 24 Affies 10
2010: Affies 54 Glenwood 32
2011: Affies 18 Glenwood 9
2012: Affies 28 Glenwood 10
2013: Affies 53 Glenwood 23
2014: Glenwood 35 Affies 22
2015: Affies 22 Glenwood 10
2016: Affies 63 Glenwood 0
2017: Did not play
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images