Pretoria’s finest brace for battle

The Pretoria derby between Afrikaanse Seunshoër and Pretoria Boys’ High promises to be an enthralling clash.

The match is a massive occasion, matched in intensity and crowd size only by the Paarl inter-schools day, and this year’s encounter at Affies (on Satuday,kickoff 2pm) will be no exception.

Past records and results to date in the season seem to have less significance in these sorts of matches – how else would you explain the fact that, since 2000, Boys High have won five of the 10 encounters to Affies’ four, with one draw? And this in an era when Affies have hardly ever strayed out of the top 10 in any ranking of SA schools you may look at.

With that in mind, however, Affies go into Saturday’s game as overwhelming favourites. They beat Boys’ High 20-15 last year to record their first win in five years, and on the records of the two teams so far this season they look set to repeat that victory.

Affies look back to their best this season. They went down 13-8 to Paarl Boys’ High at the Wildeklawer Festival, but they beat Paul Roos Gimnasium in their first encounter there and won all three games at the St John’s Easter Festival, beating Nelspruit 15-0, Outeniqua 49-3 and St John’s 50-7. Last weekend they were unstoppable in crushing Jeppe 62-0.

Boys’ High, on the other hand have had an up and down season. They had a good win over Parktown, but lost to KES early on and to the same Outeniqua side that Affies thrashed, as well as to Paul Roos at the St John’s Festival.

There will be a remarkable 27 rugby matches between the two schools on Saturday – nine open teams and six each in the other age groups – reinforcing the role that these schools are playing in rugby development in the country.

The action starts at 8am, at both schools, with the first teams kicking off at 2pm.