We have had a real exciting and jam packed schoolboy rugby season filled with intense rivalries, classic classes, riveting interschool derbies and the Paarl Interschool’s match.
This year was one of the most hotly contested schoolboy rugby seasons where many teams were fighting it out to be crowned the unofficial number one schoolboy team in the country.
Schoolboy rugby festivals
Throughout the season, there were multiple exciting festivals that took place throughout the country especially over Easter where festivals are a big deal. The most notable festivals were:
- Wildeklawer Rugby Festival- This festival takes place at Diamantveld High school in Kimberley every year where all the best schoolboy teams in the country play against each other.
- World Schools Festival- The second edition of this festival took place at Paul Roos Gimnasium in Stellenbosch. Top teams from around the world took part including schools from England and New Zealand. It was evident at this festival that the South African School teams were far stringer than their international counterparts with many teams running riot against their opponents.
- Sanix International festival (Japan) This international festival is included because Paul Roos were lucky enough to be invited. They ended up being too strong for the other teams going on to win the title in style. They certainly looked like a team on form as they returned to South Africa.
Schoolboy team rankings
According to SA School Sports, the 4 top ranked teams were:
- Grey College
- Paarl Gim
- Paarl Boys High
- Paul Roos
Grey College were the well deserved unofficial best team in South Africa. They had an unbeaten season for the second consecutive year in a row. On 13 occasions they were able to score over 50 points against the opposition. Paarl Gim also had a great season with their only lose coming against Grey College.
Interschools is always a monumental occasion that takes place in Paarl. The town comes to a standstill over the much anticipated Interschools weekend where the town is almost split in half. You either support Paarl Boys High or Paarl Gimnasium. The match is always played at Faure Street stadium a neutral ground, where around 20 000 spectators gather in the blue and white colours of Paarl Boys and the yellow, green and maroon colours of Paarl Gimnasium. The occasion always includes a few traditions and war cries that take place before the match begins.
The stats showed that Paarl Boys had won the last four Interschools which meant Paarl Gim would have to fight hard to break the winning streak. In the first half Paarl Gim raced into an early lead with two exciting tries in quick succession. Towards the end of the half Paarl Boys clawed their way back. Paarl Gim then again started the second half strong with another try. Right at the end of the match Paarl Boys came right back with a try after normal time was up. The score was 18 -17 in Gimmies favour with a conversion to come. Unfortunately, the Paarl Boys kicker could not convert, and Paarl Gim were the victors for the first time in 4 years. Final score 18 – 17.
This was another very successful rugby season and it just shows that South Africa has an abundance of talented young players. South Africa is leaps ahead of the other countries in the world in terms of the number of teams of a high calibre strength level. Let’s hope that these players can be retained in South Africa and hopefully go on to represent the Springboks.