Local Is Lekker? Better Hope So!

Ford reliability! Bishops centre Mikey Ford tries to break free from a SACS defender during the Platinum Blues’ 39-21 away win on Saturday 4 May 2019.  (photo: Caleb Bjergfelt)

It might not be quite as enthralling, but life on the rugby field continues on Saturday 11 May 2019 after the frenzied excitement of SANIX and Wildeklawer.

Although two of the major players - Paul Roos and Paarl Gym - enjoy a much-needed rest before they face each other next Saturday at the Markotter, for most of the rest of the big local sides it will be business as usual.

The three stand-out games involving Western Cape teams are spread about as far apart as one could imagine.  Paarl Boys’ High are off to Bloemfontein for their annual tilt at the Grey College windmill, Boland Landbou host Bishops on the Farm and Framesby head down to Worcester to play HTS Drostdy.

For the rest, Rondebosch welcome Parel Vallei and Brackenfell visit SACS in cross-section matches, while Wynberg can put their feet up and enjoy a bye.

It’s never a really good time to play Grey College anywhere, let alone in front of their huge support base, but Boishaai will consider this as good a time as any, having recorded two very impressive wins at Wildeklawer.

The Brug Street Machine boasts its usual all-round strength.

A sturdy front-row sees Rhynhardt Rijnsburger at loosehead alongside busy hooker Allister Williams and tighthead Sebastian Lombard; Evan Roode and Jade Hendricks lock the scrum and no. 8 Gideon van Wyk, Stass Nel and Niel Venter constitute a fearsome loose trio.

The backline is a destructive force if ever there was one.  Halfbacks Wian van der Sandt and Kian Meadon need no invitation to send centres Tyler Bocks and the dynamic Quan Horn on their way, with the back three of Angelo Osch, Javier Farmer and Riis du Plessis as redoubtable on the attack as in defence.

If there isn’t enough riding on the game already, it will provide even the casual onlooker with a chance to compare results obtained against Grey College within the space of one week, a good barometer ahead of Interschools in August.

Boland Landbou blew hot and cold in Kimberley, losing their first outing more emphatically than the 33-42 scoreline suggests against Monument, but thumping Transvalia 59-15.

Their strength lies out back, where Keanan Wentzel, Canan Moodie and Corné Grobbelaar are gradually becoming a lethal combination.

Not that the pack stands back for anyone.  Hooker Tehan du Plessis has JJ Wiggins itching to take his place and Hen-ko Smuts, Reinhardt Spies, Jaunu Olivier and Jacques Mostert provide plenty of power up front.

Bishops underlined their undying commitment to running the ball in their 39-21 win over hosts SACS last Saturday.

The addition of speedy Joe Kirsten at full-back has added another dimension to an attack that already boasts Mikey Ford, Sam Marthinussen, Luca Liebenberg and Ollie Jones, all of whom thrive on the supply of good ball from Liam Kloosman and Matt Lennett.

Captain Isaiah Wharton commandeers a pack that has size and speed in the form of locks Sam Rudston and Connor Evans, hooker Keagan Blanckenberg, who is supported by James Bolton and the experienced Aidan McDonald and flanks Charlie Yates and Jono Bird.

The Farmers never fail to rise to the occasion when the Platinum Blues pay them a visit.  They must just not expect their guests to be in a generous mood.

Framesby did very well at Wildeklawer if anything exceeding expectations by beating both Menlopark and the highly-rated Helpmekaar team.

Hooker William Moffat, flank Christo Grobler and highly-talented pivot Juandré Liebenberg constitute the vital cogs in a well-oiled machine.

Try as they might, the Donkeys are not quite the same force as last year, particularly in the size department.  They still boast stand-out players such as loosehead Benicio Kamfer, a retreaded flank, captain Stefan Schwartz at hooker or on the side of the scrum and strong-running backs Roann Jansen, Keane Galant and Hugo Mostert.

While it may be difficult to see the home side winning, spectators can be sure to see a fiery game played in the best of spirits.

Cross-section matches are unfortunately not going to go away soon.  The alternatives - matches against HTS Drostdy, Outeniqua or Oakdale - don’t always appeal to the southern suburbs schools.

That said, the match between in-form Rondebosch and Parel Vallei on the Tinkie Heyns field promises to be an intriguing battle of wits.

Bosch doesn’t have a perceived weakness, from a powerhouse front-row to full-back Conor van Eden, every player knows exactly what his responsibilities are, the result of good coaching over the years and fine-tuning by new 1st XV coach Pieter Benade.

Having given Boland Landbou a torrid time up front - where one might have expected the city boys to show cracks - they reprised their performance up in Gauteng at Easter against the likes of Grey High and St Andrew’s.

Theirs is an at times impenetrable defensive screen with no. 8 Josh King, locks Will McDonald and Matt Gray and tough front-rowers Bryan le Roux, Lukhanyo Vokozela and tearaway hooker Troy Fisher, who’s already notched up eight tries, unrelenting in their tackling.  The halfbacks, Ishma-eel Safodien and Kian Davis don’t leave the sniping breaks to the centres, captain Jordan Collier and supersonic Dalvon Blood, meaning that opponents are kept constantly on their toes.

Parel Vallei have rapidly cultivated a rugby culture which would be the envy of many older schools.  The commitment to the cause begins even before the learners reach Grade 7 with Young Bulldogs sessions which inculcate the noble ideals of the game in every youngster.

They have taken a brave step up this year and Saturday marks their first encounter with one of the Southern Suburbs giants after two outings against Premier B stablemates, a narrow defeat to Bellville (17-24) and a 40-24 win over DF Malan.  Their large band of passionate supporters will be looking to the co-captains, flank Ethan Borcherds and tighthead Ivan Coetzee, to fire up the troops in the changing room.

While the other forwards, with the exception of no. 8 Ryan Coetzer, are generally unknown, their quick men have rapidly become household names.

Flyhalf Markus Dempsey, centres Lyle Titus and solidly-built Gethin Joseph, wings Michael Borcherds and Zander Swart and Juan Cornelius, who has made the full-back berth his own after starting the season at scrumhalf, are more than capable of wreaking havoc if given half a chance.

Regrettably, it is difficult to get excited about Brackenfell’s trip to SACS, with both sides seemingly destined to occupy the lower places in their respective leagues.

The Young Ikeys will be keen to sort out their frailties ahead of next weekend’s visit to Rondebosch.  Wing Duran Koevort has been their attacking spearhead along with stocky flank and captain Nic Boden, while front-rowers Peter Choi and Hlumelo Ntweni have caught the eye in the tight exchanges.

Brackenfell’s winter looks set to grow gloomier before the sun rises: their next mission is a home fixture against Durbanville.

Up the N2 Outeniqua and Oudtshoorn host two Boland sides who are enjoying very different fortunes this autumn.

The rejuvenated (50-7 wins have that effect on teams) Quaggas will be ready for a Hugenote team that is yet to show its best form.  One interesting aspect of the game is that the two backlines are very similar in composition - light players with lovely stepping skills - but its odds on that Outeniqua will be better prepared by virtue of the quality of the opposition they faced at Wildeklawer.

Over in Oudtshoorn, the Struisies join battle with an Overberg side that seems finally to have risen from its almost traditional early season slumber.  It is difficult to pick a winner here, but the Pride of Caledon should triumph, if only because they have ten outings behind them to Oudtshoorn’s paltry four.

The most interesting Boland attractions feature two unbeaten sides - Hopefield at home to form side Piketberg and Schoonspruit travelling to Vredenburg to play Weston.  Otherwise, there’s Labori heading up the N1 to play Robertson and Porterville and Augsburg Gym trying to get their seasons back on track at the former’s fields.

The only WP Premier B match takes place in Parow, where Tygerberg will be bracing themselves for a Durbanville side that ran in thirteen tries - twelve, actually, one was a penalty try - against the Tygers’ neighbours DF Malan seven days back.  Mind you, the hosts were not too shabby in their recent 50-24 dismissal of Strand.

Next week, Paul Roos host Paarl Gym in what is likely to be as exciting a match as one can hope for before Interschools, Wynberg host Bishops and SACS pay Rondebosch a visit.  Not to be outdone, Outeniqua plays their first home game of 2019, against SWD arch-enemies Oakdale in George.

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