Selborne, Queen’s meet in Eastern duel

Selborne will host Queen’s in the Schoolboy Derby feature match of the weekend.

Fixtures in the Eastern Cape have been reasonably easy for the top schools, especially for Selborne, Grey PE and Queen’s who have dominated their minnow rivals. There are only several major local derbies on show in the province, and one of them happens this Saturday.

The big game sees Selborne tackle Queen’s in East London. Earlier this year, you’d say the former would be clear favourites. But on this occasion, they won’t be.

After some impressive performances this year (including a draw against top-ranked Grey Bloem), Selborne’s confidence was dented after they lost their unbeaten record against Boland Landbou at the Cape Schools Rugby Week at Dale College. They’ve had an easy return to the national schools circuit after Craven Week with a fixture against Hudson Park last weekend. They managed a 22-5 win over the latter, but it will be interesting to see how they run against Queen’s, who are enjoying a successful campaign.

Queen’s have won 12 of their 16 fixtures in 2011, and recently picked up a 26-0 win over Port Rex. Head coach John Duncan believes his team is capable of upsetting Selborne at home.

‘We are a very quick side and we play with cohesion,’ Duncan told keo.co.za. ‘ We play an expansive game and are quick at playing the ball from one wing to another. Our weakness this year has been our size – we don’t have many big players to compete with the opposition’s bigger players.

‘We’ll be looking expose Selborne’s pace, but the weather factor in East London could conspire against us as we lack big forwards. But Selborne can expect a tough game because our team has played with unbelievable enthusiasm throughout the season.’

Selborne – 15 Joshua van Rooyen, 14 Kane Amos-Brown, 13 Uzuzhake Ngantweni, 12, Dylan de Wilzen, 11 Emihle Baneti, 10 Geoff Lundersted, 9 Cameron Opperman (vice-captain), 8 Khwezi Mona, 7 Freddy Lubbe, 6 Siphesihle Punguzwa, 5 Jason Orpen, 4 Andrew Love, 3 Ryan Germishuys, 2 Siphatho Qinisile (c), 1 Yakha Qinela.

Queen’s – 15 Khaka Matwa, 14 Khaya Malotana, 13 Kyle Brown, 12 Lazola Ndata, 11 Chumani Mase, 10 Joshua Stander (vice-captain), 9 Juan-Phillip Smith, 8 Johan Meyer, 7 Andisa Ntsila, 6 Athi Gaqa, 5 Siyasanga Makohliso (captain), 4 Kevin Kaba, 3 Mongezi Manzi, 2 Kegan Emms, 1 Mandilake Ponco.

By Gareth Duncan and Soyiso Maliti