DYLAN JACK previews the Paarl Interschools 1st XV clash between Paarl Boys’ High and Paarl Gimnasium at Faure Street Stadium on Saturday.
HISTORY OF THE DERBY
The first match was played in 1915 when masters, schoolboys and old boys all played together. This was the format up to 1927 after which it was decided that the Interschools matches should only comprise schoolboys. The current format as we know it today officially started in 1929. The Interschools was only interrupted for one year in 1928 when for some reason lost in the mists of time, the derby did not take place.
The intensity of this derby is reflected in the average winning margin in over a 100 games of only five points. There are no easily won Interschools games. Each point gained is precious and defence is usually rock solid. There have been 11 drawn matches and three of them ended in a 0-0 draw, the last one in 1986. This shows the commitment and pressure that can build in these games.
LAST YEAR’S DERBY
Paarl Boys’ High gave departing coach Sean Erasmus a fairytale end to his reign over the side with a nailbiting 24-21 victory, extending their winning run over Paarl Gim to four matches.
While Gim started the stronger side, running the ball at every opportunity and scoring early through centre Dawid Kellerman, who grabbed a brace. It was the Boishaai defence that won the game, as they repelled the relentless Gimmies attack with some massive hits and good scrambling.
Wing Javier Farmer scored a try in each half while fullback Trent Sivertsen importantly nailed all three conversions and a penalty.
THE 2019 SEASON
Under new 1st XV coach Peter Engeldow, Paarl Boys’ High started the season tentatively as they tried to find their rhythm, beginning with a 20-20 draw with Helpmekaar at the North-South tournament. They followed that up with narrow wins over Monument (35-31) and Outeniqua (34-26). The team really started to hit top form at the Wildeklawer tournament, where they hammered a young Glenwood team 55-7 and beat Affies 39-12. Paarl Boys are coming into the match on the back of five successive victories over Paul Roos (29-16), Bishops (41-23), Oakdale (42-0), Boland Landbou (60-14) and Rondebosch (47-10)
Paarl Gimnasium, meanwhile, have continued to grow under 1st XV coach Pieter Rossouw and are looking in imperious form ahead of this weekend. The team’s only loss this season has come against Grey College at the Wildeklawer tournament, where they were eventually beaten 47-33. However, there have been plenty of highlights in between that, with good wins over the Africa Pacific Dragons (50-24) and Hartpury College (41-12) at the World Schools Festival. They are also unbeaten this year against their Western Cape rivals, including good wins over Paul Roos (42-15) and Bishops (31-10), who themselves have been in impressive form this year.
2010 – PBHS 19 Paarl Gim 19
2011 – PBHS 19 Paarl Gim 22
2012 – PBHS 9 Paarl Gim 16
2013 – PBHS 26 Paarl Gim 37
2014 – PBHS 15 Paarl Gim 16
2015 – PBHS 16 Paarl Gim 12
2016 – PBHS 26 Paarl Gim 25
2017 – PBHS 18 Paarl Gim 13
2018 – PBHS 24 Paarl Gim 21
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Paarl Gim will look to livewire scrumhalf Bobby Alexander to provide quick service as well as a threat around the ruck. Alexander has had an excellent year so far and has been rightly rewarded with both Western Province and SA Schools colours. Flank Pierich Siebert has also been in great form and is one of the hardest-working players in the team, putting in a number of massive hits this year. The back three of wings Stravino Jacobs and Curwin Gertse as well as fullback Tiaan Swanepoel will also provide a massive threat in the 1st XV match.
Meanwhile, Paarl Boys’ High have SA Schools flyhalf Kian Meadon in their ranks. Meadon has been impressive throughout the season, playing for the Western Province XV at the U18 Craven Week, and has the ability to manage a game very well with a pinpoint boot. No 8 Gideon van Wyk and loosehead prop Rynhardt Rijnsburger will provide the threat up front. In the backline, centre Quan Horn and fullback Jacques Rossouw were both chosen for the SA Schools ‘A’ team, while wing Javier Farmer memorably scored a double in last year’s fixture and will exploit any space given to him.
Paarl Boys’ High – 15 Jacques Rousseau, 14 Angelo Osch, 13 Quan Horn, 12 Tyler Bocks, 11 Javier Farmer, 10 Kian Meadon, 9 Wian van der Sandt, 8 Gideon van Wyk, 7 Eon van der Berg, 6 Stass Nel, 5 Niel Venter, 4 Evan Roode, 3 Sebastiaan Lombaard, 2 Allister Williams, 1 Rynhardt Rijnsburger.
Paarl Gimnasium – 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Curwin Gertse, 13 Ethan James, 12 John du Toit, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Jandre Burger, 9 Bobby Alexander, 8 Juan Wilson, 7 Pierich Siebert, 6 Louw Nel, 5 Marco van Rhyn (c), 4 Reynhardt Crous, 3 Jovan Bekker, 2 Liam Compion, 1 Gerhard van Niekerk.
Subs: 16 Delarey Nel, 17 Louwtjie Marais, 18 Dante Booyens, 19 Johan van Rhyn, 20 Eric Basson, 21 Bradley Davids, 22 Johan Smal, 23 Migael Basson.
12:05pm – Paarl Boys High U15A vs Paarl Gim U15A
1:15pm – Paarl Boys High U16A vs Paarl Gim U16 A
2:35pm – Paarl Boys High U19B vs Paarl Gim U19B
4pm – Paarl Boys High U19A vs Paarl Gim U19A
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images