KES will host Jeppe in Saturday's Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools clash, writes MARIETTE ADAMS.
The schools share a long history, which began in 1935 when KES won 20-0. Jeppe have enjoyed a much better 2015 season, though, with a 71% success rate compared to KES's 47%.
Last year's contest between the two elite Johannesburg schools ended in a 17-17 stalemate, after Jeppe let slip a healthy lead on their home ground. KES coach Carl Spilhaus is the first to admit his charges were lucky to avoid defeat that day.
'Jeppe were the better side in 2014 and our chaps got the rub of the green,' Spilhaus told SARugbymag.co.za. 'That said, this is a new, more dynamic group of players who I believe can match Jeppe in every facet of the game.'
His opposite, Janse van der Rynst, says Jeppe are geared-up for a 'helluva' fight at the weekend and prepared accordingly for the most important game of their season.
'Training has gone well and I'm confident in the boys' abilities,' he said. 'We did the basics well against KES last year, but our discipline let us down. We've worked hard on that aspect of our game and I've repeatedly told the players not to concede unnecessary penalties. KES almost snatched a late win last year, but luckily the kick bounced back off the post. We can't afford to make the same silly errors again.'
Neither of the teams appear in the top 20 rankings in the country, but Spilhaus believes his side go into the clash as underdogs.
'Our preparation has been terrible. We've lost two backline players to injury, with a third likely to be ruled out on Friday. It's been an extremely disruptive week, but hopefully it does not culminate in defeat on Saturday.'
In other big matches this weekend, Maritzburg host Grey College, Pretoria Boys' take on Affies, Selborne welcome Dale, Framesby square-off against Glenwood, Eldoraigne play Monument, HTS Middelburg face Menlopark and EG Jansen meet Waterkloof.
Wynberg vs Stellenberg
Outeniqua vs Oudtshoorn
Maritzburg vs Grey College
Nico Malan vs Die Brandwag
Selborne vs Dale
Daniel Pienaar vs Marlow
Framesby vs Glenwood
Muir vs St Andrew's
Pretoria Boys' vs Affies
EG Jansen vs Waterkloof
Eldoraigne vs Monument
Garsfontein vs Nelspruit
HTS Middelburg vs Menlopark