Craven Week hinders Cape schools

Western Cape sides will be without their Craven Week stars for the 15th Cape Schools Rugby Week that kicks off at SACS on Saturday.

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While Craven Week only starts on 13 July, WP have withdrawn all of their players, much to the disgust of the local schools’ coaches. In stark contrast, Border and EP have allowed their Craven Week players to take part in the Cape event that was launched 29 years ago and takes place every second year.

This year’s Week sees Paarl Gym and Boland Landbou taking part alongside Western Cape regulars Rondebosch, Wynberg and hosts SACS. Queen’s, Dale, Selborne, Grey and Muir will represent the Eastern Cape.

With Cape Town having had plenty of rain this week, the heavy underfoot conditions will suit the likes of Landbou and Paarl Gym who will look to keep the ball among their heavier packs.

The opening game on Saturday sees high-riding Wynberg Boys’ take on Queen’s College. Last weekend Wynberg beat SACS 20-0, while Queen’s drew 11-all with Muir College. However, Wynberg will be without two of their playmakers, talismanic pivot Kieron Goss and explosive wing Zingisi Ndiki, so hooker and captain Nic Mitchell will have to galvanise his troops.

Paarl Gym come up against a Selborne side that have been in superb form this year, playing an expansive game that has produced some great results. Gym have had a roller-coaster season and recently went down 18-15 to Outeniqua in George, while Selborne recently defeated St Andrew’s 28-25. Flyhalf Dale Sabbagh holds the key for the Eastern Cape side, while the Paarl boys possess exciting centres in Kobus van Wyk and Chris Bosch, who have created havoc this season with their decisive and direct running.

‘We are looking forward to the Week and although we have six players unavailable we are aiming to win all three games,’ Paarl Gym coach Philip Taylor told keo.co.za.

Meanwhile, Rondebosch will take on Grey PE. Last weekend, Bosch beat arch-rivals Bishops 16-10 and will go into the game full of confidence, while Grey saw off a determined Itembelihle side from New Brighton 29-20. Key players include Grey loose forwards Siya Kolisa and Renier Erasmus, and Bosch wingers Cameron Wright and Hendri van Niekerk.

Fixtures for Cape Schools Week:

Saturday 27 June
08:00 Wynberg vs Queen’s
09:20 Boland Landbou vs Dale
10:40 Paarl Gym vs Selborne
12:00 Rondebosch vs Grey
13:30 SACS vs Muir

Monday 29 June
09:00 Rondebosch vs Selborne
10:30 SACS vs Dale
12:00 Paarl Gym vs Muir
14:00 Boland Landbou vs Queen’s
15:30 Wynberg vs Grey

Wednesday 1 July
09:00 Boland Landbou vs Selborne
10:30 Paarl Gym vs Grey
12:00 Rondebosch vs Muir
14:00 Wynberg vs Dale
15:30 SACS vs Queen’s

By Gareth Wright