GYM CAN SMILE AGAIN AT LAST !
Brak attack ! Brackenfell scrumhalf Ndinani Sibelekwana prepares
to send his backline away during his team’s 25-15 home win over
Parel Vallei on Saturday 27 July 2019. (photo: Adré Knipe)
No match report this weekend; rather a recap of Saturday’s results and where that leaves the various institutions ahead of their looming interschools season finales.
The dust may have settled for the time being at Faure Street, but discussion of every incident, every flashpoint will doubtless continue for the next twelve months. That’s what makes the Paarl Gym - Paarl Boys’ High match what it is.
On the day Gym probably deserved victory, thanks to their immense defensive effort, cutting the much-feared Boishaai backs very little slack for what seemed like a lot longer than the 76 minutes plus the referee saw fit to allow.
On the other hand, that the boys in blue and white managed to claw their way back to the final score of 17-18 after trailing 5-18 a couple of minutes earlier speaks volumes for their character.
This battle may have been lost, but, in general terms, the war has turned out very well for all concerned, everybody having acquitted themselves well and the wonderful atmosphere of the occasion leaving an indelible impression on a spectators, players and a large TV audience alike.
A turbulent week for Bishops, both on and off the field, ended rather anticlimactically on both fronts. The boardroom Old Diocesan Union shenanigans may well have had an effect on the Platinum Blues, who never really threatened hosts St Andrew’s up in Grahamstown, losing 22-42, which is pretty convincing in anybody’s language.
Fortunately, the result doesn’t dent the side’s local Southern Suburbs title aspirations. All they need to do to claim that crown is beat Wynberg on the Piley Rees field on Friday 9 August 2019.
One can’t help but be grateful that the interschools didn’t include a debate between the respective schools’ former pupils: based on Thursday’s live special meeting feed, one can’t help but think that the Old Andreans would have recorded a walk-over there, too.
A comfortable 24-5 away win over SACS saw Rondebosch maintain their challenge for the inner-city crown, but their recent 17-27 home defeat at the hands of Wynberg may yet prove to be their Waterloo.
Boland Landbou face a tough week of preparations ahead of their trip up to Riversdale to play Oakdale. Paul Roos must be reasonably satisfied with their 28-10 victory on the Farm, but Grey College - on any ground, even the Markotter - pose a very different challenge.
The Bloemfontein machine’s 57-26 win away to Oakdale must have sounded a warning to both sides mentioned in the last paragraph: the Farmers, because the Bulls managed a decent score; Paul Roos, because Grey maintained their high scoring rate, even on new ground.
The other South Western Districts big guns, Outeniqua, returned home very dissatisfied from their trip to Framesby, having what they felt were several valid scoring opportunities disallowed in a 14-22 defeat. That this was the Quaggas final outing of the year will simply have exacerbated their disappointment.
The two Langenhovens recorded welcome successes, Gym beating Punt convincingly, 36-21, in Mossel Bay, while the Dasse from Riversdale did remarkably well to record a 36-22 home win over Oudtshoorn, a side normally a league higher than them.
Pieter Franklin’s troops have every reason to go into their last two matches, a local derby against Gerrit du Plessis on Wednesday, followed by an 85 kilometre trip down the N2 to play Swellendam in their interschools finale in two weeks’ time, in a confident mood..
Gym’s programme is complete, but the Struisies face a tough local derby against Bridgton on Wednesday. Punt have a searching test at home to HTS Daniel Pienaar on Wednesday.
The applecart was well and truly overturned in picturesque Hopefield on Saturday, the hitherto unbeaten home team’s spotless record falling with a 20-24 home defeat to Robertson.
While one can’t imagine the result having too dire an effect on the hosts’ preparations for their season-closer at home to Lutzville on 17 August 2019, Robertson will be brimming with confidence as they set their sights on Charlie Hofmeyr in Ceres on the same date, greatly heartened by the Charlies’ 7-13 defeat in Montagu on Saturday.
Bredasdorp’s recent run of success ended abruptly when Swellendam came to the coast and left with a 20-18 victory under their belts. For them, interschools, even at home, against Montagu on the 17th, represents a very daunting prospect.
The Swartland - Hugenote clash in Malmesbury looks like being particularly close. On Saturday the Rockies beat Tygerberg 31-29 in Parow, while the Blackies crashed to a shock 26-29 loss at home to lowly Brackenfell.
Martin Dyason’s team has the added bonus of an away fixture against HTS Bellville on Wednesday, 7 August 2019 to iron out those last few problem areas.
The Piketberg - Porterville game remains tilted in the former, the home team’s, favour as the Bulls could only muster an 18-10 win over Vredenburg on the West Coast.
Despite Augsburg’s 22-0 triumph over Namaqualand, Vredendal remain firm favourites for their showpiece in Clanwilliam. Both still have games this week, against Clanwilliam Secondary and Lutzville respectively to finalise their preparations.
Even after consecutive defeats at home to DF Malan and Strand, it is hard to see Hermanus losing against Overberg in Caledon on Friday 9 August 2019.
For the rest, Labori are unlikely to be troubled by Bosmansdam, Worcester Gym ought to be capable of taking care of De Kuilen and Stellenbosch should make light work of Montana, but Monument Park should fancy their chances at home against Vredenburg.
The Vikings saw off Parow 30-7, the Bosvarke lost narrowly, 12-14, to Parel Vallei and Stellenbosch scored five tries without reply to beat Jan van Riebeeck 29-0.
The two WP B league sides had markedly different wins on Saturday, Durbanville seeing off Milnerton 38-13 away from home, while Stellenberg crushed what up till Saturday was a rejuvenated DF Malan side 80-0.
Those twelve unanswered tries are bound to cause DF some sleepless nights as they get ready to cross swords with a Bellville side that trotted past Primrose club 43-10. Come to think of it, the Durbeez must also be a trifle apprehensive ahead of the Jade Brigade’s arrival.
Tygerberg’s inability to hold on against Swartland does not bode well for their home northern suburbs showdown against a Brackenfell side whose spirits cannot but have been raised by Saturday’s win in Wellington.
What with it being Schoonspruit’s last home game of the season - and against well-respected Irish school Enniskillen, to boot - Friday saw yours truly at the Wesbank grounds in Malmesbury.
The tourists’ reputation proved to be well-founded as they gave as good as they got in a lively match of two halves - Schoonspruit’s backs vs the Irish forwards - under floodlights.
In the end, all that separated the teams was a single conversion, although that should really have been two since the locals’ first attempt rebounded off an upright, the Schoonies emerging triumphant 40-38, thanks largely to the smooth distributional skills of the Man of the Match, inside centre Caylo Markus.
As always, free-flowing, energetic rugby was the order of the day and the small crowd went home happier for the experience.