Paul Roos host Grey College in Stellenbosch on Saturday, in a match that will determine who finishes second in the national Top 20 rankings. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
While Paul Roos are aiming to end their 150th-anniversary celebration with a victory at their beloved Markötter Stadium, Grey travel to the Western Cape with just as much to play for in their final outing of the season.
The boys from Bloemfontein are in search of a first win against a team from this province in 2015 and will want to prove their promotion above Paul Roos in the national rankings this past week is no fluke either.
The teams, who have produced the most Springboks (Paul Roos 48 and Grey 44), come into the clash in contrasting form. The Maroon Machine 1st XV have lost two of their last four games, while Grey Bloem are on a six-game winning streak.
Wessel du Plessis, Grey's 1st XV coach, is adamant recent form should not be taken into account as it won't influence the outcome on Saturday.
'Paul Roos are the Sanix World Youth champions and will be playing in front of their supporters. If anything, we'll be the underdogs,' Du Plessis told SARugmag.co.za. 'In perhaps one of the biggest inter-provincial schools matches, the pressure will be on both sides to perform.'
Grey staged a magnificent comeback to record a 25-20 victory in this fixture last year and Du Plessis says they have prepared similarly to 12 months ago.
'We've prepared the boys to play on a much heavier field with thicker grass than they are used to, but I think they are ready for the challenge,' he added. 'It's always nice to end a long campaign on a high against a side like Paul Roos.'
In Saturday's other big encounters, Dale welcome Queen's, Nico Malan face Framesby, Bishops tackle Wynberg, SACS host Rondebosch and Paarl Boys' put their perfect record on the line against Drostdy.
Paul Roos – 15 Hein Steenkamp, 14 Nico Leonard, 13 Troy Payne, 12 Kristoff Baard, 11 Jason Myburgh, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Josh van Eeden, 8 Pierre van der Merwe, 7 Lazlo Pschorn, 6 Malan Basson, 5 Joa Swart, 4 Louis Conradie, Dre Calitz, 2 Abrie Coetzee, 1 Muammir Salie.
Subs: 16 Peter Cordy, 17 Robert Matthee, 18 Stephan Annadale, 19 Dean van Tonder, 20 Roelf Burger, 21 Tiaan Coetzee, 22 Sebastian Uys, 23 Paul Burger.
Grey College – 15 Jandré de Beer, 14 Johan van der Walt, 13 Francois Agenbach, 12 Dawid Snyman, 11 Marnus Boshoff, 10 Mario Vieira, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Hardus Nel, 7 Dian Schoonees, 6 Dawid Theron, 5 Janco van Tonder, 4 George Rossouw, 3 IG Prinsloo, 2 Daniel Rust, 1 Gideo Beukes.
Subs: 16 Pieter van Staden, 17 Stef Brits, 18 Johan Swanepoel, 19 Marius Stander, 20 Johan Dippenaar, 21 Niel Durow, 22 PR Serfontein, 23 Lourens Schreuder, 24 Jaco Wessels, 25 Marius Kruger.
Hudson Park vs Cambridge
Dale vs Queen's
Nico Malan vs Framesby
Despatch vs Pearson
Diamantveld vs Jim Fouche
Sentraal vs Welkom Gym
Bishops vs Wynberg
DF Malan vs Bellville
Brackenfell vs De Kuilen
Drostdy vs Paarl Boys'
Durbanville vs Stellenberg
Tygerberg vs Paarl Gym
Paul Roos vs Grey College
SACS vs Rondebosch
Worcester Gym vs Charlie Hofmeyr
Photo: Paul Roos Gymnasium