Grey High will host Selborne College in Saturday’s Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools clash.
The hosts have had the upper hand in this Eastern Cape rivalry, but the last six match-ups are split evenly, with three wins apiece. Both schools have enjoyed an above average season, suffering just three defeats and recording clean sweeps against other Eastern Cape teams.
However, Grey High lost 34-22 to Grey College last weekend, while Selborne come into this contest on a nine-match winning streak.
Ranked eighth and 13th respectively in the national rankings, this showdown will determine which side finishes as the No 1-rated side in the province. Grey will be without the services of flyhalf Curwin Bosch, No 8 Khwezi Mafu and lock Kamva Dilima, while Selborne have to make do without centre David Brits – all of whom are in the SA Schools squad after impressing at Craven Week.
Grey coach Tim Fraser, however, has refuted claims of fielding a weakened team on Saturday.
‘Three of our players were called up for the international series, but the boys plugging the gap in the 1st XV are no second-stringers,’ he told SARugbymag.co.za.
‘We’ve had a solid week’s training and are ready to take up any challenge this well-drilled Selborne outfit throws at us,’ added Fraser. ‘Selborne are very physical and direct in their approach, so we need ball security at the breakdowns. I also want the players to move the ball around more, but depending on the match situation, we are prepared to play a kicking game towards the right areas of the field.’
Selborne coach Kevin Taylor says they haven’t analysed their hosts too much, opting to focus on their core strengths instead.
‘I’m happy with where we are as a team at the moment. We’re well-balanced with a fine bunch of forwards and backs that can execute perfectly,’ said Taylor. ‘The boys will go out there and look to maximise their opportunities against a defensively strong Grey unit.’
This weekend’s other big matches see Grey College play Glenwood, SACS host Bishops, Wynberg travel to Rondebosch, Pretoria Boys’ square off against Jeppe, Paul Roos face Boland Landbou and Paarl Boys’ meet Oakdale.
Grey High – 15 Sihle Njezula, 14 Mohammed Connelly, 13 Keanu Vers (c), 12 Aya Oliphant, 11 Khanyo Mafunda, 10 Lubs Dobela, 9 David Masterson, 8 Liam Blake Taylor, 7 Phelelani Zonke, 6 Jason Haggard, 5 Joe Rooyakkers, 4 Jay Whitehead, 3 Dylan Barendse, 2 Anton Mostert, 1 Tiaan Coetzee.
Subs: 16 Connor Boydd, 17 Aphiwe Febana, 18 Siviwe Masoziwe, 19 Matt Lawson, 20 Tertius Groenewald, 21 Arno Mohikwa, 22 Nikki Ferreira, 23 Stanley Davenport, 24 Nathan Brown.
Selborne – 15 Michael Botha, 14 Tristian Coetzer, 13 Andile Koyana, 12 Songo Xamlashe, 11 Thakga Boloko, 10 Morgan Steyn, 9 Joshua Allderman, 8 Lutho Selem, 7 Darren Lemmer, 6 Heinrich Nieuwenhuizen, 5 Hein Rust, 4 Daniel Froneman, 3 Daniel Voigt, 2 Grant Venter, 1 Cole van Tonder.
Subs: 16 Connor Deary, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Phumzile Maqondwana, 19 Matthew Aucamp, 20 James Bruce, 21 Joshua Armstrong.
Grey High vs Selborne
Die Brandwag vs Outeniqua
Cambridge vs Queen’s
Hudson Park vs Dale
Muir vs Graeme
Pearson vs Nico Malan
Grey College vs Glenwood
Diamantveld vs Kynoch
Port Natal vs Clifton
Bishops vs SACS
Bellville vs Stellenberg
Boland Landbou vs Paul Roos
Hugenote vs Brackenfell
Drostdy vs Daniel Pienaar
Durbanville vs DF Malan
Tygerberg vs Paarl Gym
Rondebosch vs Wynberg
Paarl Boys’ vs Oakdale
Jeppe vs Pretoria Boys’