Wynberg will be looking to do the double against Bishops on Saturday.
Bishops were played off their feet in the first game between the sides this year, with SA Academy pivot Kieran Goss the catalyst in Wynberg’s 21-17 home win. This time, home-ground advantage will be with Bishops, although Wynberg were victorious there in 2008.
‘We are excited about the game,’ Bishops assistant coach Kevin Foote told keo.co.za. ‘Our boys have had a good break and are raring to go. We were outplayed in the first round and will be looking to give a more polished performance.’
Bishops will have a fully-fit squad to choose from, including flyhalf and playmaker Sam Lane and industrious SA Schools flanker Nizaam Carr.
Wynberg hooker and captain Nic Mitchell will have to lead from the front if his side are to maintain their stranglehold over Dave Mallett’s side, especially with impressive No 8 Ryan Lok out for the season.
In other Western Cape matches, Rondebosch host Boland Landbou, who have had a superb season so far and will start the game as favourites.
Landbou have only lost twice this year – to Bishops (19-15) and Selborne (25-16) – and have beaten all Western Cape teams they’ve played so far. Bosch will have to nullify Landbou flyhalf Tiaan Radyn who has marshaled his side well.
While Bosch will be without WP Schools hooker Gary Topkin, they welcome back inspirational captain Chad Mathews.
‘We know the enormity of the task that awaits us and we will have to play to our pattern,’ Bosch coach Sean Friedenthal told keo.co.za. ‘We have not beaten Landbou at home for a while and will need to be sharp if we hope to change that. Defence will also be a major determining factor on the result.’
In another big fixture, SACS travel down the N1 to play Paarl Boys’. SACS showed good form at the recent Cape Schools Week, beating Muir College (54-15) and Dale College (18-12), and will fancy their chances of an upset in Paarl.
While SACS coach Riaan van der Westhuizen was confident his side would be up for the challenge, they will have to halt the massive Paarl Boys’ pack. The field at Paarl also suits the home side as it is substantially narrower than other schoolboy fields around the country, thus suiting a more forward-oriented game plan.
Paarl Boys’ flyhalf Gavin Haupfleisch will aim to continue his outstanding form with the boot, while centre Godfrey Tundube will be hoping to unlock the Booishaai defence with his jinxing runs.
Paul Roos face a tricky game against agricultural school Oakdale in the other important match in the province.
In the Eastern Cape, the main match of the weekend will see the two leading EP schools this year, Marlow Agricultural and St Andrew’s, square up against each other in Cradock.
The encounter could well be decided by the boots of Bothe Hanru Louw (Marlow) and James Price (Saints).
St Andrew’s will start as underdogs, especially away from home and can expect a physical onslaught from the hosts, who have recorded impressive wins over Framesby, Brandwag and Grey this year. In contrast, Saints will rely on their potent backline.
Grey PE host Daniel Pienaar in Port Elizabeth and the visitors will have to be at their best to contain the outstanding Grey loose trio – in particular Siya Kolisi and Reneir Erasmus – if they are to stand any chance of a historic win.
In KwaZulu-Natal, Glenwood’s big game against Monument was cancelled at the last moment by the visitors due to their Beeld Trophy commitments.
‘We received a call to say that the fixture was off,’ said a bemused Glenwood coach Sean Erasmus. ‘It is really frustrating as it’s too late to find another game at this stage and we needed a tough fixture before our last three games that include Grey Bloem and Affies. But what can you do?’
The school season has finished in Gauteng, with the exception of the Beeld Trophy that resumes next week.
By Gareth Wright