Grey College face potentially their toughest game of the year when they host Glenwood in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Grey, who last lost at home to Paul Roos in 2006, will start as favourites after defeating the Green Machine 24-12 last year in Durban. Both sides have recorded notable victories in recent weeks with Glenwood dismantling Maritzburg College 31-0 last weekend and Grey defeating Grey PE 16-0 a fortnight ago.
Glenwood captain Ruan Grobler is excited about the prospect of taking on the No 1 ranked school in the country.
‘We will start as underdogs and will take the game to College,’ he told keo.co.za. ‘The guys know the enormity of the task that awaits them and are excited by the challenge.’
The game could be decided by the boot of pivots Fred Zelinger and Johan Goosen, who represented Natal and Free State respectively at the recent Craven Week in East London. They have the ability to win a match with a single moment of brilliance.
The much anticipated game in the Eastern Cape this weekend sees Grey PE host a resurgent Selborne College from East London. Grey slipped up badly last week, losing 16-7 to Framesby, while Selborne recorded a 23-15 away victory against Dale in King William’s Town.
Grey will be at full strength for the fixture. The loose trio, consisting of captain Renier Erasmus and Siya Kolisa, will do battle with SA Schools flanker Chris Cloete. This match-up should see a handful of turnovers at the breakdown, which will be eagerly contested.
Selborne will rely on nuggety scrumhalf Matt King to provide the impetus and lead from the front with his astute decision-making. King also has searing pace and is likely to keep the opposition busy around the fringes with his sniping breaks that accompany his crisp service.
‘We were quite badly hit with the flu last week but thankfully we welcome all our players back and we are at full strength,’ Grey High head coach Dean Carelse told keo.co.za. ‘Our preparation this week has been good and our boys are positive for the weekend. We are just hoping that the weather holds out.’
In other big games, Rondebosch host Wynberg, who were 13-0 victors in the first round largely due to their playmaker at pivot, Kieran Goss. However, Bosch will be looking to turn the tables and welcome back talismanic SA Schools hooker Gareth Topkin for the clash.
Wynberg, who have had a superb season, will be looking to get on the front foot with WP Craven Week winger Zingisa Ndiki likely to feature prominently on attack. Bosch will again look for stellar performances upfront from props Joel Carew and Simon Bergman to lay the platform. The game is billed as a tight encounter and defence is expected to be the key area.
SACS could face a backlash from Bishops, who suffered a shock 15-14 defeat last weekend at the hands of Tygerberg.
Keo.co.za earlier incorrectly reported that SACS’s fixture against Ronbebosch last week was cancelled at the request of SACS. The decision was a mutual one and taken after consultation with both headmasters and was down to elements beyond either school’s control.
Bishops will have been put through their paces this week after last weekend’s debacle, with head coach Dave Mallett expecting his side to produce a much improved performance. The visitors will be looking to play a more traditional, expansive game, by moving the ball into space and bringing exciting fullback Paul Cohen into the backline. Centre Nathan Nell will also create some headaches for the home side’s defence with his angled running. SACS will have to close their opposition’s space down if they are to inflict another defeat on Bishops.
In other fixtures, there will be a battle for Landbou supremacy when Boland take on Oakdale and Paarl Gym face a tough away encounter against giant-killers Tygerberg.
Grey College vs Glenwood
Grey High vs Selborne
Rondebosch vs Wynberg
SACS vs Bishops
Tygerberg vs Paarl Gym
By Gareth Wright