STELLIES SET THE BALL ROLLING AGAIN
Taking over the reins. 2015 Stellenberg captain Matthew Boshoff exploits a gap in the
Durbanville defence during last year's interschools match. (photo: Steve Immelman)
Glad tidings ? Yes ! Comfort and joy ? Depends on which side of the touchline you’re on. The slowest six months of the year are a thing of the past and it’s time for the druk-en-drama of the new schoolboy rugby season.
And don’t think that all those pesky little long-weekends are going to result in spectators being short-changed. What with the Boland Trials Days and the Swartland Festival still to be included, last year’s total of 626 games covered should easily be surpassed.
You can’t keep Stellenberg quiet for long, come autumn. Last year they featured on opening day against HTS Drostdy at Kraaifontein; this year they do so again, facing Parel Vallei at 20:00 on Friday 6 March 2015 at Durbell Rugby Club.
Their extensive twenty-match schedule, which includes seven games in the month between 6 March and 6 April, becomes all the more daunting when one considers that they are in a rebuilding phase.
Four well-known names will be spearheading the new-look Jade Brigade.
The contributions of old hands Matthew Boshoff (flank and captain), flyhalf Schalk Carstens and powerful utility outside back John Brand, the team’s top try scorer in 2014 with ten touchdowns, will be integral to their fortunes.
In the engine room, rugged prop Ruan Goosen will be expected to marshal the tight five, following hooker Gustav Engelbrecht’s return to Boishaai.
Friday’s opponents, Parel Vallei, perennially among the third tier top ten, have made it quite clear to whoever might be listening that they intend to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
While their attitude deserves praise, only time will tell whether they can translate their aspirations into solid achievements, situated as they are in prime Paul Roos recruitment territory.
Out in Malmesbury, Schoonspruit start their campaign with the traditional piupe-opener against Waveren from picturesque Tulbagh, with the kick-off scheduled for 13:00.
This match invariably takes on aspects of a chess match as the respective coaches, Vos de Jager and Wylie Seroot, are two of the more astute tacticians in Boland schoolboy rugby.
The hosts will be intent on manoeuvring their way out of what represents the doldrums for an institution that used to be regarded as one of the foremost forces in the province at Under 18 level.
With both Oudtshoorn and PW Botha participating in the Gill College Sports Day in Somerset East, the only game scheduled for the South Western Districts sees Kairos welcome Genadendal’s Emil Weder to Heidelberg.
On to some in-house notes.
This year’s featured sides include all those covered last season’s plus Groendal and Lutzville of the Boland and Kairos from the South Western Districts.
Space constraints mean that the only third tier WP sides included will again be Milnerton, Jan van Riebeeck, Hottentots Holland and Bellville South.
Any of the aforementioned schools who have fixtures not already on the appropriate part of the site are requested to inform me of such.
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While all scorer and team stats will be faithfully recorded from the get-go, they will only appear on the site around 21 April, by which time just about everybody should have played at least four or five games.