Schools Top 20 - April 5
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Tentatively, we have dipped our toe into the cold water of the schools season to feel out the possibility of diving into our first weekly Top 20.
This is the 18th year that we have been doing the Top 20 and it does not get easier, especially with the first one.
We do not, let me say it again, use any form of arithmetic or technology in doing this. We, three of us this time, sit down and consider the evidence provided by match results, and draw it up. This is a process suggested by Professor Tim Dunne of UCT's statistics department.
It is obvious that there is no absolute way of doing a Top 20 and that it is at best a reasonable guess.
We use the results which we publish each week. At this time of the year they come mainly from the numerous festivals around the country. We try to take into consideration the quality of the opposition and, later on, the venue of a match.
For the first one we start with the criterion of four matches played. That means that some strong schools are excluded - Grey College, Maritzburg College, Nelspruit, Boland Landbou, Michaelhouse, Rondebosch, Paarl Gim, SACS, KES and Wynberg - the first eight of whom ended in the 2015 Top 20.
The Top 20 will change over the course of the season, even weekly. This will start happening when strong sides play more matches.
Of course, there will be disagreements, sometimes passionate ones. But people should not take it too seriously, as there is no perfect way of doing this, none that will produce an absolute result.
But it is a means to add to the great South African interest in schools rugby and to honour those who are doing particularly well in an increasingly competitive environment.
Top 20 - April 5:
2 Paarl Boys' High
3 Grey PE
7 Dr EG Jansen
10 Paul Roos
13 HTS Middelburg
2015 Top 20
1 Paarl Boys' High
2 Paarl Gim
3 Paul Roos
6 Grey College
10 HTS Middelburg
11 Dr EG Jansen
14 Grey PE
17 Boland Landbou
19 Maritzburg College