Helpmekaar Kollege and Grey College made big statements at the recent Noord-Suid Tournament, writes THEO GARRUN.
The Easter school holidays – which don’t actually coincide with Easter this year – are, true to form, not holidays at all, but one of the most intense schools rugby periods of the year.
There are rugby days and festivals on all over the place and most of the top rugby schools in the country are in action somewhere.
The big festival, as far as top-ranked schools are concerned, was at Hoërskool Garsfontein in Pretoria, where the annual Noord-Suid Tournament took place at the weekend. The revelation of the tournament was Helpmekaar Kollege. They held Paarl Boys’ High to a 20-20 draw on Saturday and then smashed Boland Landbou 64-17 on Tuesday.
They played the sort of rugby, in the process, that sounded a warning to everyone they will be meeting later in the season. Their forwards are every bit as good as last year’s monster pack and they have pacey, elusive backs to complement them this year.
Monument came heartbreakingly close to a famous victory over Paarl Boys’ on Tuesday. The lead changed hands regularly in an evenly-matched game and they found themselves 31-30 ahead when the hooter sounded. Booishaai mounted one last attack and scrambled over in the corner to snatch the win.
Grey College had two big wins, over Menlo Park and the hosts Garsfontein, showing they will once again be one of the powerhouses of South African schools rugby this year.
As far as the north vs south challenge was concerned, the north edged it by seven 1st XV wins to six, with that one draw. For the south, Grey College and Paarl Gim won both their games, with Paarl Boys’ drawing one and winning one, while the north’s Affies and EG Jansen won two out of two and Helpmekaar recorded one win and one draw.
At the Graeme Rugby Day last Saturday there were good wins for Selborne and Grey High, while St Andrew’s College sprang a bit of a surprise by beating SACS.
The attention switches to the Cape this week with the Grey High Festival on in Port Elizabeth and the Wynberg Boys’ High Festival taking place in Cape Town.
All the Joburg boys schools will be in PE with the exception of King Edward, who are going to Wynberg.
Noord-Suid Tournament results:
Affies 28 Stellenberg 21
EG Jansen 30 Durbanville 18
Garsfontein 28 Outeniqua 24
Paarl Gim 43 Monument 29
Grey College 59 Menlo Park 28
Helpmekaar 20 Paarl Boys’ High 20
Boland Landbou 36 Waterkloof 31
Waterkloof 63 Durbanville 15
Stellenberg 42 EG Jansen 32
Helpmekaar 64 Boland Landbou 17
Paarl Gim 38 Menlo Park 25
Paarl Boys’ High 35 Monument 31
Affies 27 Outeniqua 20
Grey College 53 Garsfontein 30.
Graeme College Rugby Day results:
Kingswood 31 Pearson 0
St Andrew’s 27 SACS 13
Selborne 33 Marlow 19
Framesby 40 Queens 8
Muir 19 Port Alfred 7
Mary Water 12 PJ Olivier 7
Grey High 57 Hudson Park 3
Dale 14 Graeme 14
Kearsney 14 Hilton 14
Parktown 22 St Benedict’s 19
St John’s 40 St Alban’s 14
St Stithians 22 St David’s 19
This week’s fixtures:
Grey High School Festival
8am – Hudson Park vs St Benedict’s; Woodridge vs St David’s
9:10am – St Alban’s vs Graeme; Stirling vs Marlow
10:20am – Framesby vs DHS, Itembelihle vs Grey High Unicorns
11:40am – St Andrew’s vs St John’s, Dale vs Muir
12:50pm – Queen’s vs St Stithians
2:pm – Selborne vs Jeppe
3:20pm – Grey High vs Northwood; Kingswood vs Parktown.
8am – Queen’s vs St David’s; St Alban’s vs Muir
9:10am – Stirling vs St Stithians; Brandwag vs St Benedict’s
10:20am – Dale vs Parktown; Graeme vs Marlow
11:40am – Kingswood vs St John’s
12:50pm – Jeppe vs St Andrew’s
2pm – Selborne vs Northwood; Hudson Park vs Framesby
3:20pm – Grey High vs DHS; Woodridge vs Itembelihle
Milnerton vs Parel Vallei
Rondebosch vs San Isidora (Argentina)
Wynberg vs Pearson
KES vs Glenwood
Tygerberg vs Rondebosch
San Isidoro vs Glenwood
Wynberg vs KES
Tygerberg vs Pearson
KES vs San Isidoro