With apologies to, inter alia, Boishaai, Oakdale, SACS and Wynberg, the major question on the lips of Western Cape rugby followers is whether or not Rondebosch can inflict double misery on Bishops when the Platinum Blues visit Canigou Avenue for the traditional end of season showdown.
Buoyed by memories of their convincing 34-18 on the Piley Rees field in June, the hosts are likely to be well-prepared to inflict the coup de grâce on a Bishops side reeling after Saturday’s humiliation at SACS.
Brimming with self-confidence, SACS visit Lovers Walk to take on a Wynberg side that has been desperately unlucky to end up on the losing side in the last fortnight’s two southern suburbs showdowns. One only hopes that the Baby Ikeys’ occasional moments of maddening inconsistency are a thing of the past!
As if the atmosphere on the day is not charged enough anyway, both sides will be bidding farewell to several lads who have become household names down here. Joshua Jacobsen, Ryan Johnson, Storm Winter and Sikhumbuzo Notshe are just a few of those taking their final bow at schoolboy level.
Paarl Boys’ High host Oakdale at Brug Street (kick-off 12.40) in the final of the big schools section of the Burger competition in what is set to be another monster of a game.
Their first meeting at the same venue four weeks ago went to the Strepies 39-33, but quite a bit of water has flowed under the, er, brug since then. Boishaai experienced a brief dip in form before bouncing back to beat HTS Drostdy 23-11 in Worcester on Saturday, but Oakdale have gone from strength to strength, beating Marlowe and Oudtshoorn away from home and whipping highly-rated Framesby and fierce farmer foes Boland Landbou in Riversdale.
It might not be the match to end all matches, but, with the Boland Cup finals inexplicably being called off for this year, it will be the match to end the local schoolboy rugby (15 man, anyway) season!
The early curtain-raiser (09.30) pits Hawston against Mossel Bay's unknowns Sao Bras, who eliminated EP’s Itembelihle, in the Burger small schools final. The Boland side looked very sharp in last Wednesday’s semi against Scottsdene and must fancy their chances of getting their hands on the silverware.
The medium schools showdown (11.00) features Malmesbury’s Schoonspruit and Nico Malan of Humansdorp, who are taking the event so seriously that they will already be in town on Thursday. The Boland unit has suddenly found some extra fuel late in the season after slumping to unexpected defeats to Augsburg Gym and New Orleans. Both Hermanus and President were dealt with ruthlessly two days apart last week, but the Eastern Cape lads have a daunting record of their own, having brushed aside in-form visitors Punt 27-7 in their semi-final meeting last Tuesday.
The last few Boland interschools games also take place this weekend.
Hosts Bredasdorp and Montagu are too evenly-matched to pick a winner, as are Swellendam and visitors Langenhoven High, both of whom suffered narrow defeats last weekend. The Charlie Hofmeyr – Robertson match in Ceres should go the way of the visitors, who have only tasted defeat once this year. That said, the Charlies have put in a spirited enough late spurt to suggest that this might not be the foregone conclusion some people might believe.
There are also two WP Premier B matches left. While HTS Bellville might find visitors De Kuilen more vulnerable than they’ve been for most of the season, the Kuile should still have enough in reserve to finish their half-century celebrations on a high.
Tygerberg close another Armageddon campaign with a home interschools against Brackenfell. Rugbywise the two schools are a lot further apart than the fifteen or so kilometers that separate them. The score – Tygerberg’s one, at least – could get pretty high in this one.
Wednesday’s S and A Sport Nite Rugby, played at the Celmar Brackenfell Rugby Club, included three feature games involving upper-level teams.
President concluded their most successful season in a long while by turning a 7-10 half-time deficit into a 26-22 victory over a young DF Malan combination. Both sides ran the ball at every opportunity, resulting in seven rousing tries, the first of which, needless to say, went to the Goodwood side’s star centre Enver Brandt, whose official tally for the season closes on 25.
Porterville’s decision to field a matrics-only team against Monument Park didn’t pan out as hoped. The resultant Bulle selection took too long to gel and couldn’t overcome the Parkies’ 20-7 change-over ascendancy, going down 20-12.
The Kraaifontein lads ran beautifully and were good for more than just the two tries they scored, by no 8 André Theron and inside centre Clinton Herbst. Flyhalf Tiaan Coetzee used the game to take his 2011 harvest to 106 points, while powerhouse props André Minnaar and SA Schools cap Andrew Beerwinkel stormed over for the Boland lads’ 103rd and 104th tries of 2011.
By the time the late (22.00) game between Milnerton and Labori started, the clear sky ensured that conditions were chilly enough for everyone to be dead set on running, if just to keep warm.
Showing no ill-effects of their thrilling 25-24 interschools win away to Bosmansdam at the weekend, the Paarl Vikings thrilled the crowd with their slick handling, turning a 15-3 half-time advantage into a 20-10 triumph, which might have been even more impressive had their various kickers met with any success.
Burly front ranker Logan Buchanan forced his way over for two five-pointers, the first of which was the culmination of a 30 metre trundle, centre Nicol Pienaar and Saturday’s three-try hero flyhalf Harlan Klaasen dotting down the other two. Left wing Kyle Petersen crossed the line for the Millies, pivot Sivakele Ulana adding the other points from the tee.
By Tony Stoops
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