‘We play for the badge’

Paarl Boys’ High 1st XV coach Elmo Wolfaardt attributes his side’s success to a unified effort.

This time last year, Boishaai were seventh on the rankings, but good performances in 2011 saw them climb up to second place, before dropping to third (after Affies climbed six positions to No 2).

‘Our rugby culture has always been straight forward – we play for the badge,’ says Wolfaardt. ‘We have always been rated around No 5 in South Africa. It’s been a process to get to where we are now, even though we’ve had a fair amount of excellent teams in the past.

‘We’ve made the current team believe in unity. We don’t believe in individual play and “stars”. Our great mix of backs and forwards are the reason for our dominance.’

Boishaai have played 17 matches this year, of which they’ve won 15, lost one and drawn one. Their solitary defeat came at the hands of Affies.

‘Both teams played a physical game that day, and one error cost us that clash,’ says Wolfaardt. ‘Affies are a very good side, but I feel we didn’t play to our full potential.’

Boishaai had to produce plucky performances to overcome Paul Roos and Rondebosch this season, but there’s one match stood out for Wolfaardt.

‘It was the [15-15] draw against Grey College in Bloemfontein. You know when you’re over there you’re about to test your mettle. They make you understand why they are regarded as the best in the country.’

However, Wolfaardt insists it’s possible to topple Grey in the rankings.

‘They’ve got some tough matches coming up. They still have to play Paul Roos and Rondebosch, and given the up-and-down season Paul Roos have had, Grey won’t have it easy as Paul Roos will look to prove a point.’

Boishaai had six players in the WP Craven Week side that lost two of their three matches, but Wolfaardt was still not happy with the team selection.

‘The boys didn’t play as a unit, but I was impressed by flanker Sikumbuzo Notshe. There are players in the WP Academy team like the centre-pairing of Johnnie Kotze [Bishops] and Edwin Sass [Tygerberg] who could’ve made a difference in the Craven Week team.

‘I believe players should be selected on form, and there were two Paul Roos players who weren’t enjoying their game.’

By Soyiso Maliti