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Bish-Bosch headlines local derby weekend

PREVIEW: Rondebosch will fancy their chances against a battling Bishops outfit, while Waterkloof, Durban High School and others will go into their respective local clashes as favourites.

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The school term looks set to finish with a bang.

Paul Roos, Grey College, Paarl Gym and Affies will take a break this weekend (the latter’s fixture against Menlopark was cancelled, and looks set to be discontinued for the foreseeable future).

Nevertheless, a number of important fixtures will be staged around the country.

@rugby365com looks ahead to some of the biggest match-ups.

BISHOPS V RONDEBOSCH

The ‘Bish-Bosch’ rivalry is one of the oldest in South African rugby, spanning 116 years and 202 matches.

Back in 1908, Bishops thrashed Rondebosch 112-0. Since then, Bishops have gone on to win 103 matches and Rondebosch 80, while 19 of the derbies staged in Cape Town’s leafy southern suburbs have ended in a draw.

Rondebosch have won three of the last four derbies and edged the most recent encounter 36-35.

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While they have produced a mixed bag of results in 2024, they appear well-placed to build on their winning record against Bishops.

Bosch have won seven and lost five this season, with their most recent defeats coming against Gimmies and Boishaai. They were competitive in both fixtures, though, losing by seven and eight points respectively.

Bishops, by contrast, have been consistently poor in terms of results and performance.

They’ve lost eight matches overall, and their last seven in a row. That record includes one-off losses to the likes of Milnerton, SACS and Stellenberg, as well as a 5-73 defeat at the hands of Boishaai.

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When the Bosch attack has clicked, the form team from the southern suburbs has registered some impressive numbers.

If Bosch get it right this Saturday, they may well record one of their bigger wins against Bishops.

The last time they scored 50 or more points against their old rivals was in 2017, when they romped to a 64-7 win.

Bosch will be favourites to bank the result at the Piley Rees on Saturday and go 1-0 up in the two-match series.

They’ve already beaten Wynberg and SACS this season, and will be looking to strengthen their position as the top team in Cape Town’s southern suburbs.

Down the road, Wynberg will host SACS in another fiercely contested derby.

Wynberg went undefeated in seven matches before succumbing to Rondebosch. They should be desperate to end a three-match losing streak by claiming a win against SACS at home.

DHS V MICHAELHOUSE

Paul Roos and Grey College have been the best teams on show this season, while the likes of Gimmies and Affies have operated on a similar level.

Teams like DHS and Michaelhouse have held their own in the tier below. Many schoolboy rugby experts rank these sides among the top 20 teams in South Africa.

Michaelhouse have won five of their last six games, and have only lost to one of their KwaZulu-Natal rivals (Maritzburg College) in 2024.

Meanwhile, DHS have lost just two of their 12 fixtures.

Having beaten Kearsney, Westville and Maritzburg College, and having drawn with a strong Northwood side, DHS have emerged as the strongest school side in the province. A win against
Michaelhouse on Saturday would certainly strengthen that claim.

Maritzburg College have been stronger at home across a challenging season, and may fancy their chances against Hilton this weekend.

The game between Westville and Northwood should be another big clash, and the visitors could well emerge with the spoils.

Down in the Eastern Cape, Selborne will host St Andrews, while Graeme will tackle Dale College.

EG JANSEN V WATERKLOOF

A few eyebrows were raised when Waterkloof beat EG Jansen 45-38 in Boksburg this past April.

Since then, Waterkloof have continued to show their class. They’ve won 12 of their 13 fixtures in 2024, and have been particularly impressive in the early rounds of the Noordvaal Cup.

Waterkloof have beaten Garsfontein, Menlopark and Rustenburg by 40 points or more, and deservedly sit at the top of the Noordvaal Cup table.

EG Jansen have had a good season, winning 14 matches and losing two. Since the defeat to Waterkloof, they’ve won six out of seven matches, a run that includes four Noordvaal Cup victories.

Like Klofies, they have accumulated a maximum of 20 log points. Klofies currently lead the Noordvaal Cup table by virtue of their superior points difference.

EG Jansen have built up some momentum in recent rounds, and will go into their next home clash with confidence.That said, Klofies’ recent run of form has been equally impressive.

They’ve already defeated EG Jansen on the East Rand once this season, and should be highly motivated to claim a second result that will strengthen their position at the top of the Noordvaal
standings.

*Photo credit: @BishopsDiocesanCollege

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