The past weekend of schools rugby was characterised by close finishes in high-scoring games involving many of the form teams this season, writes THEO GARRUN.
This indicates either superb attacking skills or poor defences, or both. Either way, there was plenty of exciting running rugby for crowds around the country to enjoy.
Up north, Vanderbijlpark’s Hoërskool Transvalia continued their dream season by beating Virseker Trophy defending champions Monument 34-31. The win comes after they beat highly-rated Helpmekaar 23-20 in the first round of the competition and thrashed HTS Middelburg 73-24 in the second. They are starting to look like early favourites to take the title.
Helpmekaar, in turn, beat last year’s runners-up Nelspruit 24-22, showing that they too are contenders, in their first year in the top division of the competition.
In other significant results in Gauteng, Affies scored a last-second try to beat Jeppe 45-41 in an 11-try thriller and Garsfontein beat Menlopark 48-24 in the Pretoria West derby.
In KwaZulu-Natal, Glenwood’s unbeaten run continued when they had no trouble in defeating their neighbours DHS 55-12 in Durban’s big annual derby.
Glenwood’s 4 August clash with Grey College is becoming a much-anticipated clash of the titans that will have a big impact on the season’s pecking order.
Selborne College and Grey High remain the top two in the Eastern Cape. Selborne beat St Andrew’s 36-17 and Grey accounted for Dale College 33-12 at the weekend. The two teams will meet on the last day of the season, 9 August, to decide exactly who’s who in that part of the world.
Down in the Western Cape, Paarl Gim beat Boland Landbou 42-38 in a big Paarl derby clash, while Bishops ended Wynberg’s good run with a 33-29 win in a Cape Town southern suburbs clash of neighbours. The SWD bragging rights this year go to Oakdale who beat Outeniqua 42-35 in Riverdale.
The first half of the season is winding down as the schools begin mid-year exams and the Craven Week preparations get into full swing, but there are still a few interesting clashes on the cards this weekend.
Paul Roos Gimnasium face a potential banana peel on their road to top-team status when they host Oakdale on Saturday, Paarl Boys’ High are at home to Bishops and Paarl Gim go to Wynberg.
Maritzburg College play Michaelhouse and Kearsney meet Hilton in two of the biggest annual KZN Midlands clashes.
In Gauteng, Jeppe will be hoping to get back on the winning track when they travel to Pretoria Boys’ High. King Edward should be too strong for their neighbours, St John’s. And Transvalia continue their quest for Virseker Trophy honours in Boksburg when they meet the Valke province’s other big guns, EG Jansen.
Photo: Theo Garrun