Rondebosch Boys’ will host Paarl Boys’ on Saturday in the big schoolboy match of the weekend.
Both teams are enjoying successful campaigns this year, which sees them placed in the FNB Top 20 rankings. They also come off good results last weekend, with Rondebosch recording a 34-19 upset over Paarl Gym away from home while Boishaai rallied from a 15-5 deficit to a 15-15 draw against Grey College in Bloemfontein. It might’ve been a stalemate, but it must’ve felt like a win considering Grey’s outstanding home record.
Rondebosch have been the Western Cape’s surprise team this season, with only one defeat from their 10 games in 2011. There have been draws against Paul Roos and St John’s, but their victories have been admirable as they have triumphed over the likes of SACS (19-15), Jeppe (24-10), Wynberg (18-15) and St Stithians (48-14). Paarl will be their toughest challenge up to now.
Boishaai have also only suffered one defeat this year at the hands of the top-ranked Affies (25-10). Despite the loss, the top-rated Cape school have picked up convincing victories over Bishops (28-15), Florida (38-12), EG Jansen (45-3) and Outeniqua (20-7).
The Rondebosch heavies will be key up front for the home team as they have been instrumental in their team’s success this year. Their pack has scrummed well while their loose forwards are mobile around the park and influential at the tackle point. They also boast elusive wings, who have both made the 2011 WP U18 Academy squad.
But the hosts come up against a strong Paarl side, who have six players in this year’s WP Craven Week side. The visitor’s tight five have been very impressive and their locks will be expected to dominate the lineouts. They will need to gain a upper hand to stifle Rondebosch’s game plan, that has depend on their forwards’ momentum.
Paarl’s backline have also run well under the guidance of their halfback combination. If given the platform, the backs have the ability to run riot on Saturday.
Anybody’s instinct will suggest a Boishaai win, but don’t rule out an upset – this Rondebosch team is capable.