20170403 untitled 9272

A heavy load to bear.  As one of only two of this year’s squad available for the side next season, much
will depend on the form of Schoonspruit flyhalf Alberto “Worsie” Damon, pictured here on his way
to notching 17 points in his side’s 37-14 win over Robertson at TSRF 2017. (photo: Axnshots)


With the publication – after a number of redrafts – on Tuesday 7 November 2017 of the Western Province Premier B fixtures for next year, it has finally become worthwhile to load the 2018 fixtures for the three Western Cape provinces.

This is not a simple overnight task. 

Normally the first list out is the relatively easy WP Premier A roster, followed by the Boland Saturday fixtures – for which the individual schools are responsible – and the South Western Districts schedules, which are compiled on a regional basis.

Finally comes the WP Premier B programme, which is rendered somewhat more difficult by teams in this tier having commitments all over the place, such as against Premier A (Stellenberg), SWD (Stellenberg and Durbanville), WP third tier sides (most of the remaining second echelon teams, particularly the likes of HTS Bellville) and Boland schools (everyone, if you count HTS Drostdy as a Boland entity).

And don’t for a minute think that the fixtures were the only thing on the WP Schools Rugby officials’ mind.

The Annual General Meeting, scheduled for Thursday 26 October 2017, had to be postponed for a week when only 79 delegates arrived, twelve short of the required quorum.  Not requiring a quorum, the 2 November meeting was able to deal with much of the business at hand, but the election of office-bearers had to be put off to yet another date when it was discovered that one of the delegates was in possession of three voting papers !

These fixtures on view are still not complete as the Boland midweek local fixtures – which constitute around 80% of the formally disadvantaged schools’ commitments, but which are notoriously often simply cancelled – and the programmes for the various festivals still have to be added.

Nevertheless, here are some thoughts that come to mind on perusing what is available.

Will Durbanville and Garsfontein still be on speaking terms by the end of April ?

When last the grapevine was shaking, it was said that Garsies had gained the services of several Durbanville players from the latter’s crack junior age-group sides.

If there is indeed any unhappiness, the protagonists will have two festivals in which to sort matters out: the North-South event in March in Tshwane and the Wynberg Winter Sports Festival, to which the side in aquamarine jerseys has accepted an invitation after being rebuffed by Wildeklawer.

Don’t forget to lock up your star players on Saturday 17 March 2018 either, as the Tshwane outfit will be taking on Boland Landbou at Windmeul on that date.

Hopefully, being able to engage in dialogue with a school that is constantly – and by no means always fairly – demonised by, amongst others, the people in the immediate surrounds of Malmesbury, will go some way to easing perennial tension.     

Have Durbanville bit off more than they can chew ?

One must admire Shaun Huygen for sticking his neck out somewhat as regards the Durbies’ schedule for 2018.

Not only are they taking part in the two high-profile events mentioned above, but they also face a trip to Oakdale to face the Bulls (21 April) and welcome the Quaggas to their rustic grounds (4 August). 

They will even have an opportunity to avenge last season’s 100-0 hiding at home at the hands of SACS when they head up to Newlands on 19 May.

As the saying goes: nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Good luck, guys !

The Donkeys are coming to town !

It is nice to see that Rondebosch have extended the hand of friendship to HTS Drostdy, who will be running out on the Tinkie Heyns field on Saturday 26 May.

Under the guidance of young coach Renier de Villiers, their 1st XV play a brilliant, high-tempo brand of rugby, one which is so often tossed out of the window by some sides in favour of a dogged win-at-all-costs approach.

Diarise the date; you won’t be disappointed.

How will Parel Vallei fare against Premier B opponents ? 

Thinus Pienaar’s unquenchable passion for rugby has already led to the Western Province authorities promising the school promotion to the Premier B tier in 2019.

In order to prepare them for this large step up, the Helderbergers have been handed five matches against schools in this division in 2018: at home to Tygerberg (26 May), DF Malan (2 June) and Brackenfell (18 August) and away to Bellville (5 May) and Monument Park (21 July).

What is most notable is the enthusiasm Pienaar has stirred up among all the stakeholders at the school, from dynamic principal Dave Schenck right the way down to youngsters who are still a few years short of entering high school and their parents.

One can only call it Saturday Morning Fever !  Beware; it’s highly contagious !

Does Mr De Jager know something about the weather that he’s not telling us ?

Anyone fortunate enough to be acquainted with Reynard “Vos” De Jager, the absolutely tireless and equally affable rugby mastermind at Malmesbury’s highly-respected Schoonspruit, will know that he likes to get that school’s season off to a nice, early start so that they can wrap up their programme by the end of July.

But playing a game as early as Friday 2 February ?  Even if the opposition is an Argentinian touring team – San Luis – and you play the game between midnight and 05:00, that’s a pretty radical move !  Does Vos have a hotline to the weatherman that we don’t know about ?  It’s more likely that this accommodating gentleman simply agreed to give the tourists a game.

As a matter of interest, the Schoonies will play their seventh game of 2018 on Monday 2 April at TSRF 2018 !

Looking for a game ?

It often happens that sides suddenly find that fixture clashes leave them without a match on a particular date. 

Feel free to e-mail me at tony@stoopstats.co.za if you’d like me to try and find suitable opponents for you sooner rather than later.  It would be a pleasure to help wherever I can.



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