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Boishaai brace for Grey assault

PREVIEW: Paarl Boys’ defence will be tested when they face a rampant Grey College in Bloemfontein this Saturday.

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Rondebosch and SACS may endure similar challenges when they host the top teams from the Cape Winelands.

The festivals in Kimberley and Port Elizabeth have concluded, and the regular season fixtures will resume this weekend.

Top dogs such as Grey College, Paul Roos and Gimmies will be full of confidence after securing two convincing victories apiece at the festival in Diamantveld last week.

Other teams like Boishaai and Maritzburg College will be looking to bounce back after recording significant losses.

@Rugby365com takes a closer look at some of the biggest clashes.

GREY COLLEGE V BOISHAAI

The first game between these two great schools was staged back in 1950. A total of 48 matches have been played since, with Grey emerging victorious on 37 occasions.

Since 2011, however, Boishaai has pulled things back to win five of the last 12. Their most recent victory against Grey was in 2017.

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Do they have what it takes to end the current losing streak?

It doesn’t get much tougher for a school side than a visit to Grey Bloem, and this Grey side has been particularly ruthless in the wake of a shock loss to Jeppe in March.

Perhaps they won’t be satisfied until they have beaten every other opponent and surpassed Paul Roos as the top-performing side in the country. Last week, Grey thrashed Maritzburg College 46-0 and Garsfontein 38-10 at the festival in Kimberley.

Meanwhile, they know how Boishaai succumbed in some of the bigger contests.

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Boishaai will be desperate to atone for their losses to Wynberg, Paul Roos and most recently to Affies.

They did secure a morale-boosting result against DHS last week and may be in a better space ahead of the next challenge.

Gimmies took the fight to Grey last month (although they lost 27-29) and Boishaai will need to produce a similarly combative effort in order to compete against the boys from Bloem.

RONDEBOSCH V GIMMIES

Rondebosch has built up some momentum in recent weeks, winning three games by 40 or more points.

They were at their attacking best against a strong Wynberg side last Saturday, handing their southern suburbs rivals their first loss of the 2024 campaign.

Whether Rondebosch can put Paarl Gym to the sword is another story. Gimmies have lost just one game this season, conceding 29 points to Grey on that occasion.

They weren’t at their free-flowing best at the recent festival in Kimberley, yet still managed to secure two wins against EG Jansen and Helpemekaar. They may well view the coming fixture as an opportunity to make an attacking statement.

Up the road at SACS, the hosts may face a similar onslaught at the hands of Paul Roos, who has yet to lose a game in 2024.

A competitive Stellenberg outfit may fancy their chances against a misfiring Bishops, while there could be another couple of upsets in the offing when Wynberg play Boland Landbou and when the ever-improving Charlie Hofmeyer side from Ceres tackles Oakdale.

WATERKLOOF V GARSFONTEIN

Waterkloof are ranked by many school rugby aficionados as one of the top 20 sides in South Africa. This season, they’ve won nine and lost one, and have scored 50 or more points in their last three fixtures.

While many felt that Garsfontein would challenge some of the top schools this year, the Pretoria-based unit has failed to deliver, recording one win and five consecutive losses. They will head into the next clash with their local rivals at underdogs.

Jeppe will be hoping to unsettle Northwood when they travel to Durban, while Maritzburg College will be desperate to claim a victory over Michaelhouse. College has struggled in terms of overall results this season, but has only lost one game at home.

Down in the Eastern Cape, Grey High will expect to build on their recent wins against St Johns and Graeme College.

Queens College hasn’t beaten Grey in 10 years and will be hard-pressed to end that streak against a side that drew with Wynberg earlier in the season. Queens should be competitive though, as they’ve already claimed seven victories to date.

* Picture credit: Marnus van Wyk

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