Wildeklawer Plus Local Derby Excitement

Watch out, Bishops!  SACS lock Enos Ndiao torments the Kingswood defence during his side’s
20-10 victory at the recent St Stithians Easter Festival.  (Photo: Kim Kreymborg)

The good news is that the top local sides are going to be very busy this weekend.  The bad news is that 90% of that activity will be taking place about 970km north of the Mother City.

There could be some extremely interesting subtexts playing themselves out at the Wildeklawer Spectacular, which runs from Wednesday 1 to Saturday 4 May 2019 at Diamantveld,

Let’s just say that there are a few up-country teams who will be drooling at the opportunity to avenge defeats inflicted on them by some of our other local schools.

A brief look at the Western Cape team’s fixtures is quite revealing.

Stellenberg starts off against a Diamantveld side that has just run Upington ragged, then have a three-day break before facing the sublime attacking force that is Welkom Gym.  HTS Drostdy isn’t likely to forget the weekend soon.  First, up for them is an Affies side fresh from its first- ever defeat against KES; their other match pits them against a Monument side smarting after being beaten by both the Paarl giants at the North-South event.

Oakdale have a comparatively light time of it, facing Garsfontein and Menlopark, while their neighbours Outeniqua might be wishing that their games against Grey College and Noord-Kaap were the other way around.

Boland Landbou has a tough assignment against Monument, but ought to find Transvalia easier to deal with.

Paarl Gym starts with Transvalia before their clash with Grey College, the highlight of the event. Paarl Boys’ High has two tough showdowns, the first with the skilful Glenwood side that drew much praise at the Wynberg Festival, the second against an Affies side that lost to Paarl Gym a few weeks back.

The great news is that all the matches will be streamed live on the DigiTV platform.  Thanks, guys!

The local attractions come in the form of the first round of the southern suburbs derbies, with SACS hosting Bishops and Wynberg welcoming Rondebosch to Hawthornden.

Bishops haven’t played locally enough for one to have formed any real opinion.  What does seem obvious is that the Irish tour gave them the opportunity to knit into a very effective unit.  Of course, they give the ball plenty of air - which Bishop's side doesn’t? - but their tackling and general defensive organization, even in a losing cause against Paarl Gym, was an eye-opener.

The backline is well marshalled by halfbacks Liam Kloosman and Sacha Mngomezulu and there is plenty of class outside them in the form of Michael Ford, Matt Lennett, Ross Vintcent and Luca Liebenberg.  There is even the exciting Joe Kirsten waiting for his chance off the bench.

The forwards gave as good as they got against Gym.  Sam Rudston is a pillar of strength at lock, while captain and no. 8 Isaiah Wharton and his flankers, Ollie Yates and Connor Evans never stray far from the ball.  Aiden McDonald and Kyle Beley gave the front row a formidable look.

After a few worrying defeats to St Andrew’s (13-27 in Grahamstown) and 24-33 against Durbanville, SACS seem to have stabilised their ship.  Recent successes against Kingswood (20-10), Zimbabweans Prince Edward (34-14) and DF Malan (43-5) will have renewed their shaky confidence.

The backline boasts hard runners in Duran Koevort, Kyle Kreymborg and Rihaz Fredericks, while Matthew Hayes provides the stability looked for in a steady full-back.

Both locks, Jordan Thomas and Enos Ndiao, have contributed liberally to the scoresheet, with four and five touchdowns respectively.  Flank Nic Boden and lively hooker Hlumelo Ntweni have been just as industrious, while no.8 Brent van Niekerk has come into his own in recent outings.

Looks like being a great clash of two attacking styles!

Wynberg must be feeling a whole lot happier with themselves after their 37-0 Easter win over Hudson Park and a thrilling 27-27 draw at home to Grey High.  Prior to that, the prospects weren’t that encouraging with the suspicion being that captain Devon Pretorius’s boot might be their major points scorer.

His fellow backs, which include Matthew Damonze, Eben Tshimanga, Lezaine Davis and Rethabile Louw, have stepped up to the plate, while their front row is blessed with sturdy scrummagers such as Philip Masango and joint leading try-scorer Kamva Mgwali.  Underestimating the work of loosies Reece Bryce and Marzuq Allen is a mistake one soon regrets.

Bosch’s front row is formidable, with Troy Fisher, Bryan le Roux and Lukhanyo Vokozela in rampant form, and Jason Johnson waiting in the wings for an opportunity.  Matt Gray and Will McDonald are great sources of line-out possession as is Josh King.

The forwards gave Boland Landbou a torrid time, but it is out back that their real threat is to be found.  Solid half-backs pave the way for captain Jordan Collier and the irrepressible talent that is Dalvon Blood in the midfield, while wily Conor van Eden is revelling in his new role at full-back.

Bosch is tipped to sneak home, but it won’t be without a battle royal!

With the two Big O’s away at Wildeklawer, there is nothing going on up the N2, so let’s turn our attention to the Boland, where several of the usual suspects have been displaying a curious.lack of form this autumn.

The most obvious feature match sees Hermanus visit WP Premier B newbies Parel Vallei on their plush estate in Somerset West.

The Whalewatchers don’t seem to be missing prolific flyhalf Boldwin Hansen as Jumile Lucas has taken over tee-duty with great success.  Right wing Celino Pietersen is joint second on the provincial try-scoring charts, but then so is the Bulldogs’ classy Gethin Josephs.

Other Hermanus names to garner attention have been front rowers, Mohammed Diop and Sean Castle.

Not that Parel Vallei is a bunch of push-overs.  A fearsome loose trio of Ryan Coetzer, Severino Pereira and Ethan Borcherds lies behind the big men at the coalface, Shane Beukes, Ivan Coetzee and Joshua Knight.

However, under coaches Thinus Pienaar, Angelo Fritz and wily veteran Piet Faasen, the youngsters are building their reputation on the running game, a style for which they are impeccably suited.

Halfbacks Juan Cornelius and Markus Dempsey have an embarrassment of riches just waiting to take the game to their opponents.

Centres Josephs and Lyle Titus are flanked by exciting wings Kyle Slater and Xander Swart, while full-back Leonard de Leeuw has an uncanny eye for the counterattacking gap.

This is a must-see for locals who relish the sight of running rugby.

For the rest, Swartland’s home game against Charlie Hofmeyr should provide plenty of entertainment, as will Porterville’s visit to Vredendal.

There are also three all-Premier B fixtures.

Brackenfell has reached the point of desperation.  If they are to rescue a season that has seen them go winless thus far, they will have no better chance than when Bellville pitches up on Saturday.

The same could be said for DF Malan, who at least have a very successful 2018 to look back on.  However, if their visitors Durbeez’ slick performance at home to Hugenote last time out is anything to go by, the hosts may have to spend another week licking their wounds.

Try as one might, it is difficult to get even remotely excited about Strand’s away game at Tygerberg.  The Premier B division is carrying a lot of dead weight this season; these two sides, unfortunately, fit that description to at.

Next week Boland Landbou welcome Bishops and HTS Drostdy host PE’s Framesby, while Paarl Boys’ High make the trek up to Bloemfontein for a date with Grey College.

And that’s not all you have to look forward to: the Team and Top Scorer Statistics will be appearing for the first time this season on Monday 6 May 2019.

Article by: http://www.stoopstats.co.za/

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