GARETH DUNCAN analyses this weekend’s major schoolboy action from across the country.
Last weekend, there were plenty of upsets on the South African schools scene and as a result, some of my predictions were completely off. However, sanity should prevail this Saturday with more one-sided contests expected. There are a still few close ones though.
RONDEBOSCH BOYS’ vs PAARL BOYS’, RONDEBOSCH, SATURDAY
With most of the top schools facing easier opposition and Monument given a break, the Cape derby is the Schoolboy Derby feature match of the weekend. Both schools are enjoying good campaigns this season and their impressive form will be tested in what should be an exciting spectacle. Rondebosch will field a strong pack and have lethal runners out wide but they come up against a Boishaai side that has six WP Craven Week players in their team.
Prediction: Rondebosch will entertain, but Boishaai should come away with the win.
Top-ranked Affies will host KZN’s best Maritzburg College in the big clash up north. Recent form suggests Affies will win this one, but Maritzburg have recorded some impressive victories this year and have picked up an upset over the home team before. Grey College will travel to Fichardtpark in a Free State derby after disappointing back-to-back draws against Selborne and Paarl Boys’.
Prediction: Affies should be too strong while Grey will return to winning ways.
Apart from the feature match, there’s plenty of top schoolboy action down in the Cape. Bishops will host a tough game against Boland Landbou. Their big 68-27 drubbing of SACS last weekend suggests a confident performance will be produced by the home side. Paarl Gym and Paul Roos will want to pick up much-needed wins against Wynberg and SACS respectively.
Predictions: Bishops and Paarl Gym to win at home, Paul Roos to down SACS on the road.
Selborne and Grey PE have been flying the flag for the Eastern Cape on the national circuit this year, and their impressive runs should continue this weekend with easy games against Cambridge and Graeme respectively. Dale, who are celebrating their 150-year anniversary, will want to add to their win over Queen’s when they face Kingswood while there will be a close contest between Marlow and Framesby.
Predictions: Easy wins for Selborne and Grey PE, Dale to continue to celebrate and Marlow to edge Framesby on home turf.
With College off to Pretoria, there are only two major clashes on the east coast. Glenwood, who suffered a 9-8 shock defeat to Northwood, will host another KZN derby as they’re up against DHS. Westville will host a strong KES outfit who have only lost one match all year.
Predictions: The Green Machine to ease the Northwood blues with a victory over DHS while Westville will be beaten at home.