Keo.co.za previews this weekend’s schoolboy matches from around the country.Glenwood are odds-on favourites to beat Michaelhouse at home on Saturday. The Green Machine are eager to continue their great run of form after decimating rivals DHS 31-3 away from home last weekend, while both sides want to win after last season’s 20-all stalemate.
‘Last year we came close to causing an upset, this year we would like to go one better away from home,’ Ryno Combrink, director of rugby at Michaelhouse, told keo.co.za.
Glenwood coach Mark Labusha believes the game will be a ‘physical affair’ and that his side are looking to ‘maintain the momentum’ after last weekend’s win over DHS.
Michaelhouse’s game plan should revolve around halting the juggernaut Glenwood tight five as well as nullifying the skills of Fred Zelige, the impressive home side’s flyhalf.
Meanwhile, Kearsney College will host a resurgent St Stithians on Saturday. Saints have played some exciting rugby and recorded a thrilling 39-35 win over Pretoria Boys’ High last weekend. Saints right wing Luca Dalle Ave is a superb finisher, and scored two outstanding tries in his last outing. Kearsney, on the other hand, will be relying on the siege-gun boot of Warren Seals to get the home side moving forward.
In other games around the country, Bishops travel down the N2 to Stellenbosch to play Paul Roos. The ‘Rugby Romantics’ will be looking to avenge last year’s loss 19-7 to Paul Roos, who will be full of confidence after defeating Grey PE away from home 20-13 last Saturday. Paul Roos No 15 Craig Barry will once again look to be the catalyst from the back, while Bishops flyhalf Sam Lane will need to control the game if his side are to come away victors.
‘It does not get any easier, we need to put last weekend’s loss to Wynberg behind us and front up to Paul Roos,’ said Bishops coach Dave Mallett.
Meamwhile, Wynberg travel to Paarl Gym. Last season, Wynberg came within one score of beating Gym (they lost 35-30) and the visitors will look to the outstanding Williams brothers in the centres to create opportunities for the outside backs. Gym will again rely on a heavy pack and will look to physically dominate the close quarter exchanges.
Rondebosch Boys’ host Paarl Boys’ on Saturday, with both sides having lost their previous encounters, Bosch to Drostdy (18-8) and ‘Bois haai’ to Grey Bloem (50-8). Paarl No 10 Gavin Hauptfleish and Rondebosch No 8 Chad Matthews are players to watch.
SACS host Boland Landbou, and after the torrential rain recently in the Cape, the field will be a mud bath. This will be in the home side’s favour as it will level matters. SACS lost 30-21 to Boland Landbou last season and the home side are in desperate need of a victory.
In the Eastern Cape, the big game of the weekend is St Andrews vs Grey High. Grey coach Dean Carelse has been hampered by several injuries, and after scrapping all the way against Paul Roos (20-13) Grey will have to pick themselves up to face a St Andrews side that is a well drilled unit and has an astute coach in Stefan Louwrens. The home team will be hoping James Pryce has his kicking boots on as the winger has been in prolific point-scoring form with his accurate place kicking this season.
In other games, Pretoria Boys’ face Jeppe in the Republic’s captital. Boys’ High are in search of a win after last week’s shock defeat to St Stithians.
By Gareth Wright