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Schoolboy titans on collision course in Cape Winelands

PREVIEW: The battle for top spot will come to a head this weekend when Paarl Gym host Grey College, while
the clash between Paul Roos and Paarl Boys may also be one to savour.


Every year, there’s a fierce debate about the schoolboy rankings, and whether the quality of
opposition rather than outright results should determine the pecking order.

This season, however, there have been a few clear front-runners, in terms of win-loss records and
the number of big scalps that have been claimed.

Following Paarl Gym’s showdown with Grey College this Saturday, and Paul Roos’s battle with
Boishaai, we will have more answers regarding the South African schoolboy pecking order.

Several other regional derbies staged over the weekend will bear watching, while some of the
traditional powerhouses will be looking to hit back in the wake of humbling defeats.

Will we see yet another upset? Jeppe beat Grey College earlier this season, while Milnerton and
Wynberg have stunned Rondebosch and Boishaai in recent weeks.

Perhaps Jeppe will pick up a win at Affies, or Milnerton will shock Bishops at the Piley Rees?
Improbable, but – as recent fixtures suggest – certainly not impossible.


@Rugby365 looks at some of the biggest match-ups of the round.


This is undoubtedly the game of the weekend, with the two strongest schoolboy teams in the
country jousting for top spot.

History favours Grey, who have won six out of nine matches against Gimmies, including last year’s
fixture (33-12).

Current form, however, indicates that Gimmies should have the edge.

Gimmies boast a strong side this season, and that strength has been reflected in their
performances and results.

They’ve won all their matches to date, and came through their first big test when they edged Affies
in Pretoria last week.

A loss to Grey in at home would certainly burst their bubble. They should be desperate to atone for
last year’s defeat, and to show why they are the best team in the country.

At the same time, Grey will be just as desperate to prove a point.

Grey have racked up some big numbers this season, and recently beat Outeniqua 92-3 in Bloem.

Their right to the top spot in the unofficial rankings has been questioned, though, since they
sustained a loss to Jeppe last month.

They will view a visit to Paarl Gym this Saturday as a chance to set the record straight.


Paul Roos might have something to say about Gimmies and Grey receiving all the plaudits as “the
top two teams in the country”.

Like Gimmies, the side from Stellenbosch has won all its matches to date, and has claimed the
prize scalps of Affies and Rondebosch in the process.

Paul Roos will be expected to prevail when they host Boishaai at the Markotter Stadium on
Saturday. Again, form rather than history – as well as home advantage – could give this team the

Boishaai have won 11 matches against Paul Roos over the past 20 years. In the last meeting, Paul
Roos scored a 35-17 win over their Paarl counterparts.

Both teams have enjoyed solid 2024 seasons, although Boishaai suffered a big setback last
weekend when they went down to Wynberg at home.

Like Grey College, Boishaai will view a big win against one of the nation’s leading schoolboy sides
as a chance to set the record straight.


Affies have won four of their six matches – and unfortunately, many will focus on their two defeats
to Paul Roos and Paarl Gym.

The next few rounds could make or break the season, as they tackle some of the bigger schools in
Jeppe, Boishaai, Oakdale and Grey College.

They will still be hurting after sustaining a heartbreaking 20-19 defeat to Gimmies. Back at home
this week, they simply have to put a much-improved Jeppe to the sword, and build some
momentum ahead of those other – some might say more challenging – match-ups.

Jeppe have won six from eight, and the victory against Grey College has marked the Joburg side
as one of the strongest in recent times.

That said, they have lost to Garsfontein and Boishaai. They are yet to build on that win against

Grey with another statement-making victory.

They may view a visit to Affies as a challenge, and also a massive opportunity.


Queen’s College have won their last three matches – a run that includes a 50-0 win over Stirling
and a 26-21 win at Selborne.

Back at home for their first big match, they will be looking to make a statement against Dale.

The boys from Qonce are also on a three-game winning streak, having beaten Parktown, Grens
and (most notably) Grey High. The 32-25 win against Grey will give the confidence going into this

One way or another, a winning streak will come to an end this Saturday.

The home side will start the game as favourites, and will remember their two wins against Dale in
2023 – the latter fixture at Queen’s was a 66-10 blowout.

Dale’s defence has been a lot better this season. They have only conceded more than 25 points on
two occasions.

This Saturday, they will have the chance to show how much they have improved against one of
their local rivals.


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