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Affies clash to showcase best of North and South

A strong Affies side will host an unbeaten Paarl Gymnasium outfit this weekend, while Grey College will be back in action against Outeniqua.

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The top schoolboy teams delivered a series of statements last weekend.

The Paarl heavyweights brushed aside Oakdale and Boland Lanbou – who have been among the best-performing sides in 2024 – while Affies and others continued their winning form.

Following the next round of fixtures, we should have a clearer idea regarding the frontrunners for top-dog status.

@Rugby365com shines the light on a few of the big matches.

AFFIES VS PAARL GYM

Affies edged Garsfontein 33-31 last week to end a three-year losing streak against their Pretoria rivals. Having already beaten Stellenberg, Helpmekaar and Diamantveld, they may feel that they’re well-placed to claim another big scalp.

Gimmies have been in particularly dominant form, though. Pieter Rossouw’s side scored seven tries in the 47-13 win over Boland Landbou, with centre Markus Muller dotting down three times. They’ve won all of their matches this season – and by a margin of 17 points or more.

Can Affies stop the Paarl Gym juggernaut this Saturday?

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While Affies lost 21-38 in Paarl last year, they did manage to win 29-26 when this fixture was staged in Pretoria back in 2022.

Local conditions may be a factor when they host the form team in the Western Cape – and some might say the country.

Stopping that Gimmies pack, as well as that relentless backline, may be easier said than done, though.

GREY COLLEGE VS OUTENIQUA

Grey College will be desperate to make a statement in the wake of their shock defeat to Jeppe last month.

Meanwhile, Outeniqua – who are ranked 10th on the Ruggas.co.za schoolboy rankings – might view a visit to Bloem as an opportunity to record a landmark win.

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Outeniqua pushed Grey close in George last year, although the visitors went on to win 19-17. Back in 2022, Outeniqua trailed 3-21 in Bloem before the match was abandoned due to bad weather.

This season, the Kwaggas have produced a mixed bag of results, losing to much-improved Noordheuwel and Boland Landbou teams, before securing comfortable wins against Pretoria Boys and Menlopark.

Jeppe beat Grey College last month, and in doing so, proved that the Bloemfontein powerhouse is far from invincible. With this in mind, Outeniqua may feel that a win on Saturday is within their grasp.

Grey may be using that result to Jeppe as added motivation to win, and by an emphatic margin.

Many are predicting a backlash in Bloem this Saturday, and it’s fair to say that if Outeniqua doesn’t match Grey’s intensity from the outset, they may go on to sustain a heavy defeat.

EG JANSEN VS WATERKLOOF

EG Jansen has won eight matches in a row this season. Despite this record, they are ranked outside the top 10 by some schoolboy rugby experts, due to the fact that they are yet to face any of the stronger teams.

EG Jansen will face stern opposition in the form of Waterkloof this Saturday. Waterkloof have won four out of five matches this season – their only loss coming against Paul Roos.

An away win against EG Jansen may present Waterkloof – who sit in 20th place, according to Ruggas.co.za – with an opportunity to ascend the rankings.

That said, EG Jansen – who beat Waterkloof twice last season – will go into the game as favourites.

BOISHAAI VS WYNBERG

It promises to be a tough day for some of the home teams in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, with Bishops hosting Boland Landbou, and Rondebosch – who recently lost to Milnerton – tackling Paul Roos.

It won’t get any easier for the likes of Wynberg, who will travel to Paarl for a showdown against Boishaai.

Wynberg’s recent results suggest that they may be up to the challenge. They’ve won four matches in a row – and by a margin of 17 points or more.

Boishaai has won six on the bounce – with that impressive run including victories against top sides like Garsfontein and Oakdale, as well as Jeppe, who went on to beat Grey College.

After comparing those records, it’s easy to understand why Boishaai will begin the game as big favourites.

But after watching Jeppe shock Grey and Milnerton surprise Rondebosch in recent weeks, one is reluctant to rule out the possibility of another upset this Saturday.

@rugby365com

 

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