Paarl Gymnasium hosts Affies on Saturday in what must be the game of the weekend, several top schools play against each other but all eyes will be on this one. Both schools are well known to the public as their matches at the Noord vs Suid and World Schools Festival was broadcasted, their players analysed with their gameplan dissected into the smallest possible pieces.
The gameplan both teams play is basically the same, the quality of the players almost identical and the will to win will be as big as the other team's will.
Affies should be stronger up front with the control on the ground a very even battle. Affies maybe better equipped when the forwards start to carry the ball.
The Paarl Gym half-backs are uncle Tony's favourites and I must admit maybe just the better, but only just.
Out, back I do think both sides have brilliant players with speed to spare and this could be the place where the game is decided when everything else is equally balanced. Not the speed of the speedsters but rather their defence as one small slip will cost their side a certain five points.
Uncle Tone Stoops has the following to say: "Paarl Gym weathered a fiery Platinum Blue onslaught on the Piley Rees with their usual aplomb before upping the ante in the latter stages to crush the life out of their hosts. The measured approach which Gym adopts in every game means that it is difficult to figure out if they’re ever under stress.
This might happen on Saturday, but their starting fifteen looked very slick, the loose trio of Juan Wilson, Louw Nel and Pierich Siebert never giving an inch.
Half-backs Bobby Alexander and Johan Smal are ruthlessly efficient and in Stravino Jacobs, Stephan du Toit, Ethan James and Curwin Gertse they have more than enough pace and guile to impose themselves on any opponents. At the back, Tiaan Swanepoel exudes quiet confidence."
Paarl Gym plays a lot faster than previous years but kept the basics the same. They strangle the life out of their opponents and then tear them apart in the second with brilliant running and interplay between their forwards and backs.
They are unbeaten in six games during 2019 beating Durbanville (32-0), Monnas (43-29), Menlopark (38-23), Africa Pacific Dragons (50-24), Hartpury (41-12) and Bishops (31-10)
My opinion of the Affies team are as follow: Affies struggled in their opening matches to effectively combine the talent in the team into a gameplan that used the abundance of talent. Against Helpmekaar everything came together and those who want to write Helpmekaar off as a weak team will do so at their own peril.
Affies plays a very physical game with their forwards laying the foundation for their brilliant backline to do their thing. Their loosies showed against Helpmekaar that they can compete on the ground as well as carry the ball with skill and physicality, and their backline can finish.
Affies in earlier matches struggled against teams that play a predominantly structured gameplan using their forwards to control the proceedings. However, the game against Helpmekaar has shown that the can dominate up front and withstand what most teams can throw them up front.
They are unbeaten after seven games with wins against Middelburg HTS (30-5), Diamantveld (52-25), Stellenberg (28-21), Outeniqua (27-20), Italian All-Stars (36-12) and Helpmekaar (52-17) with a draw against Christchurch (31-31).
My left side of my brain says Affies, my right side says Paarl Gim but my heart says Affieeeeeeeeeees, and this is what will decide this game, heart.