World Schools Rugby Festival's Results, Days 1-4
The second World Schools Rugby Festival held in South Africa ended at the Markötter Field in Stellenbosch on Saturday, 30 March 2019, again with a massive win for hosts Paul Roos.
the nearest an overseas side came to winning on Day 4, was Christchurch Boys’ High who drew 31-all with Affies of Pretoria. In fact the New Zealanders came with in moments of winning, for Affies scored the try and conversion to draw the match at the death. Scrumhalf Michael van Aswegen scored a try with time up and then fullback Dieter Crafford converted from touch.
Napier Boys’ High, who were at the first such festival in 2018 had run Boland Landbou close on Day 2, but this time they were not a real match for Paul Roos who clearly have a particularly powerful side this year.
As seems always the case, Grey College, too, have a strong side with a big win over Southland Boys from Invercargill.
The only “overseas” team to win at the festival was the World Select XV of three Italians and South Africans from several strong rugby-playing schools who were not represented at the festival.
Report: The second-ever World Schools Festival came to highly entertaining end as the fourth and final day produced a host of exciting matches that thrilled the large crowd in attendance at the Markötter field at Paul Roos.
The festival, which is a celebration of schoolboy rugby, lived up to its ethos as sides from far and wide delivered a number of outstanding performances that will live long in the memory.
The most eagerly awaited contest was undoubtedly that between hosts Paul Roos Gymnasium and Napier Boys’ High from New Zealand. The home side looked like a well-oiled machine in their first outing, when they blew away fellow Kiwi outfit Southland Boys’ High School on Wednesday, but faced a far more challenging foe in Napier, who lost by just five points to Boland Landbou in their opening game.
While Napier looked capable of causing a massive upset, Paul Roos began to slowly take control of the encounter, scoring three first-half tries through Robbie Rogers, Meiring Ebersohn and Luke Burger as they went into the break 17-0 up. The home team completely dominated matters after the restart, scoring a further seven five-pointers, with Burger sealing his hat-trick, as they wrapped up the tournament with a memorable 62-7 victory to underline their status as one of the best schoolboy teams on the planet.
Christchurch Boys’ High were looking to redeem themselves after going down to Grey College, when they took on another South African powerhouse in Affies. The New Zealanders were first to strike, crossing the chalk through left winger Jake Walley. While Affies hit back quickly, their comeback was fleeting, as Christchurch scored two more tries to go into the break well ahead.
Christchurch looked to have done enough as they opened up a convincing 24-10 lead late in the second half, but the Pretoria outfit refused to quit, scoring two quick tries to level the scores with mere minutes left on the clock. It was then Christchurch’s turn to mount a comeback, as Clayden Paranihi put his team back in front with a converted try at the death. They looked to be on the brink of a famous win, but Affies had other ideas, as livewire scrumhalf Michael van Aswegen scored his second try of the game after the hooter to leave fullback Dieter Crafford with a difficult conversion attempt to draw his side level. The rangy kicker curled the ball millimetres inside of the upright, as the teams played out to a sensational 31-all draw.
Christchurch Boys’ coach Rhys Archibald, while understandably disappointed that his side had let the win slip from their grasp, admitted that the draw was a fair reflection of the match.
Southland Boys’ were widely expected to be cannon fodder when they went up against the boys from Grey College, who hadn’t tasted defeat since going down to Selborne College in May 2017. The New Zealanders however put up an impressive fight, and went into half time having conceded only three tries. Grey pulled away after the break, dotting down for a further five tries, but the tourists had by no means disgraced themselves, with big Number 8 Arese Poliko named man of the match following a very good performance.
The opening match of the day saw Boland Landbou face the USA Schools XV. The Americans showed plenty of heart, but the South Africans were simply too good. They ran in eleven tries, with Jacques Mostert, Canan Moodie and Keanan Wentzel all getting a brace, as Boland Landbou secured an emphatic 71-3 victory.
Joshua Cox shone for Hilton College when they took on the Italian All-Stars in an evenly contested encounter. The left winger was the difference between the two sides, scoring a hat-trick of tries to secure the boys from KwaZulu-Natal a hard-fought 34-15 win. The Italians were full value for their points, with man of the match Giovanni Montemauri scoring one of his team’s two tries.
And so after four days and twenty matches of non-stop action, the 2019 World Schools Festival ends in Stellenbosch, with the South African sides defeating the Rest of the World contingent 35 points to five in the Ryder Cup-style competition. Blitzbok captain Phillip Snyman, who made a guest appearance as a commentator during the festival, said that the week was a highly enjoyable one. “I came for a few days and the talent on display was just phenomenal” said the former Grey College pupil. “Of course I was thrilled about Grey’s wins so that sweetened the experience.”
The final day also featured a few old boys’ matches, as the legends of Affies defeated Paarl Gymnasium 20-5, the former stars of Grey College beat their Paul Roos counterparts 19-0, while the Paarl Boys High alumni were also victorious. The matches were a very popular addition to the festival, and thousands watched-on as players rolled back the years and took each other on with great enthusiasm and gusto.
The festival was an undoubted success according to John Phelps, chief executive of tournament owners Carinat. “When (former Springbok coach) Heyneke Meyer was managing director of Carinat, he dreamt up this concept to develop a festival to celebrate the brilliance of schoolboy rugby, and we made it our mission to ensure that sides throughout the world would feature” Phelps said. “Results are secondary to the occasion, and the boys experienced a week that they will never forget, while fans were treated to a feast of running rugby at one of the most beautiful schools in the world.”
Phelps added that Paul Roos proved to be the perfect venue for the event. “The facilities were remarkable, the public responded very well, while the pristine Markötter field held up brilliantly despite hosting twenty rugby matches across four days. We achieved exactly what we wanted with the move to Stellenbosch.”
After two years in the winelands, the festival now moves inland and will take place at the historic Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool, affectionately known as Affies, in 2020. The school, which boasts alumni of the stature of Fourie du Preez, Pierre Spies and AB de Villiers, celebrates its centenary next year, and first team coach Jaco Koch said it was the perfect opportunity to showcase the school.
Koch said: “It will be an honour to host an event of this magnitude, particularly as it comes at such a momentous time in our history. Plans are already in place to add our own touch to the event, and I can guarantee that it will be even bigger and better come 2020.”
The 2020 World Schools Festival is scheduled to take place from 24 – 28 March next year.
Report from Rayder Media
Day 4 Results
Affies vs Christchurch Boys’ High School, 31-31
Boland Landbou vs USA Schools XV, 71-3
Grey College vs Southland Boys’ High School, 54-0
Hilton College vs Italian All-Stars, 32-15
Paul Roos vs Napier Boys’ High, 62-7
Day 1, 26 Match 2019
Glenwood vs John McGlashan College, 32-17
Monument 32 Hartpury College, 32-21
Paarl Gim vs Africa Pacific Dragons, 50-24
SACS vs Zambezi Steelers, 43-24
World Select XV vs WP Invitational, 76-29
Day 2, 27 March 2019
Affies vs Italian All-Stars, 36-12
Boland Landbou vs Napier Boys’ High School, 30-25
Grey College vs Christchurch Boys’ High School, 73-26
Hilton College vs USA Schools XV, 43-0
Paul Roos vs Southland Boys’ High School, 93-5
Day 3, 29 March 2018
Glenwood vs Africa Pacific Dragons, 33-10
Monument vs John McGlashan College, 48-10
Paarl Gim vs Hartpury College, 41-12
WP Invitational vs Zambezi Steelers, 33-30
World Select XV vs SACS, 25-15