In an FNB Classic Clash, Hoër Landbouskool Marlow of Cradock meets Hoër Landbouskool Oakdale of Riversdale meet at Marlow on Saturday which will be great meeting - a keenly contested game and lots of farmland hospitality. It always is dingdong. Marlow won in 2009, Oakdale in 2010. Perhaps homeground is an big advantage.
These two agricultural schools have done so well at rugby, fighting well above their weight, as do Boland Landbou and Landboudal. The Wolramme of Cradock have just 252 boys in the school and run 13 rugby teams. Oakdale are bigger - 390 boys and 17 teams. Both schools take their rugby seriously.
Both these energetic rugby schools play over a large area as there is little in Cradock or Riversdale to provide opposition. Oakdale tend to go west as much as possible and have the advantage of their own tournament to provide matches.
They have few opponents in common. Both lost to Kempton Park and both beat Die Brandwag of Uitenhage.
Marlow have been more erratic this year than usual - beating Grey PE and Diamantveld and losing heavily to Queen's, St Andrew's, who are not having a good season, and Jim Fouché of Bloemfontein. They have played two other agricultural schools - drawing with Boland Landbou but losing to Landboudal of Jacobsdal.
Oakdale have been more consistent - beating Drostdy by a big margin and Paul Roos. In fact their best efforts may have been against Monnas and the two Paarl schools, who beat them. Of their 16 matches they have lost just four.
Marlow have several outstanding players. They include six who went to the Craven Week for Eastern Province Country Districts and four who went to the Academy Week. One of those who went to Craven Week, Zubin Baartman, is on the bench to play Oakdale.
Eastern Province Country Districts Craven Week team: Lood de Jager, Zubin Baartman, Ricky van Straaten, Henfred Linde, Cornelius van Zyl and Dean Ferreira.
Eastern Province Country Districts Academy Week team: Louis Snyman, Kobie van der Walt, Bennie Kitching, and Ines Pretorius.
In addition Paul Schoeman went to Craven Week in 2010.
Oakdale had four players in the South Western Districts team at Craven Week and four who went to the Academy Week. And in flyhalf Christiaan Willemse they have one of the leading points' scorers in the country.
South Western Districts Eagles Craven Week team: Ryno Wepener, Michael Bernardt, François van der Vyver and David Malan, who is not playing because of an injury.
South Western Districts Academy Week team: Juandré Rudolph, Jurie van Vuuren, Kobus van Schalkwyk, Piet Louw Strauss and Janneman Stander.
Clearly there is lots of class in the two sides' loose forwards and there could be a great contest between Paul Schoeman, Bennie Kitching and Ricky van Straaten of Marlow and Juandré Rudolph, Janneman Stander and François van der Vyver of Oakdale. All six of them have been in representative sides.
Clearly, too, it is a game that could go either way, with Oakdale possibly the better side but the visitors.
Marlow: 15 Louis Snyman, 14 Juan van Schalkwyk, 13 Marnus Ferreira, 12 Lood de Jager, 11 Robert Brunsdon, 10 Marlow van Niekerk, 9 Kobie van der Walt, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Bennie Kitching, 6 Ricky van Straaten, 5 Ines Pretorius, 4 Henfred Linde, 3 Olivier Dippenaar, 2 Corrie van Zyl, 1 Dean Ferreira
Replacements: 16 Johan van der Vyver, 17 George Annandale, 18 Daniël Holmes, 19 Melville Gravett, 20 Luan van der Walt, 21 Zubin Baartman, 22 Stefan Schutte
Coaches: Jaco Beukes, Neels Dreyer
Oakdale: 15 Ryno Wepener, 14 Jandri Meyer, 13 Michael Bernardt, 12 Dewald de Lange, 11 Lex Botha, 10 Christian Willemse, 9 JP Joubert, 8 Juandré Rudolph, 7 Janneman Stander, 6 François van der Vyver (captain), 5 Ruan Snyman, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Kabous van Schalkwyk, 2 Simon Snyman, 1 Piet Louw Strauss
Coaches. Thys Rall, Willie Janse van Rensburg, Pine Marais
Date: 30 July 2011
Venue: Willie Meyer Field, Marlow
Expected weather conditions: The while country is cold and Cradock is no exception. It will be clear and warm at the time of the match but then it will drop to freezing. The high will be 17°C, the low 0°C .
Referee: Phillip Bosch (Eastern Province Referees' Society)
Willie Meyer Veld
08.30: Marlow Under-15A vs Oakdale Under-15A
09.30: Marlow Under-16A vs Oakdale Under-16A
10.40: Marlow 3rd vs Oakdale 3rd
11.50: Marlow 2nd vs Oakdale 2nd
Lunch 12.15 - 13.15
13.30: Marlow 1st XV vs Oakdale 1st XV
08.30: Marlow Under-14A vs Oakdale Under-14A
09.30: Marlow 4th vs Oakdale 4th
10.40: Marlow Under-15B vs Oakdale Under-15B
11.50: Marlow Under-16B vs Oakdale Under-16B
08.30: Marlow 6th vs Oakdale 6th
09.30: Marlow Under-14B vs Oakdale Under-14B
10.40: Marlow Under-16C vs Oakdale Under-16C
11.50: Marlow 5th vs Oakdale 5th
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