Two of the best performing 1st XVs will meet this weekend when Paul Roos clash with Paarl Gim in their annual derby in Stellenbosch on Saturday.
The Winelands derby has always been a standout of the schools’ rugby calendar, and this year will be no different. Games between the two 1st XV’s have only been decided by an average points difference of 8,67 since 2001, proving how tightly contested spectators can expect this year’s match to be.
Paul Roos are unbeaten this year, but eight of their 11 games this season have come against overseas opposition. The Stellenbosch school will be fresh from a two-week break following their triumph at the Sanix World Schools tournament in Japan. However, they face a massive couple of weeks with a trip to Paarl Boys’ High ahead next weekend.
Paarl Gim have been equally impressive and were unbeaten in their first nine games until their most recent loss against Grey College at the Wildeklawer tournament a couple of weeks ago. They will also be fresh from a short bye weekend and will undoubtedly be looking to fire back after their defeat in Kimberley.
Paul Roos won last year’s derby, a 32-13 victory in Paarl, breaking a three-year losing streak against their Boland rivals, but have yet to put together back-to-back victories over Paarl Gim in the new millennium.
The hosts will be without captain and centre Ruben Labuschagne, who suffered an injury in Japan, but have more than enough talent with props Robbie Rodgers and Corne Weilbach laying a solid platform for flyhalf Kade Wolhuter and midfielder Tiaan Pretorius to operate.
Meanwhile, Paarl Gim will look to speedster Stravino Jacobs to add to his tally of tries, while Bobby Alexander has controlled proceedings superbly at scrumhalf.
Other games to keep an eye on this weekend include Rondebosch’s Cape derby against SACS, Outeniqua’s match against Oakdale, as well as Affies’ clash with Grey College in Bloemfontein.
Photo: Thys Lombard