Paarl Gym are aiming to end Boishaai’s 17-match winning streak with a fifth successive triumph over their old foes at Faure Street Stadium on Saturday.
These two powerhouses share a rich, well-documented history and the 2015 edition of the most anticipated schools rugby match in the world, will mark the centenary year of this enthralling rivalry, which always divides this Boland town, even if just for a day.
Rated No 1 on the FNB Top 20 schools rankings, Boishaai are the premier schoolboy side in the country at present, but their recent set of results against Gimmies do not make for excellent reading. The latter have dominated derby day, winning nine of the past 11 matches between the sides, including the last four since 2011.
However Paarl Boys’ coach Sean Erasmus believes his charges are favourites to unseat Gimmes as the kings of Paarl.
‘The boys have worked extra hard this week and I feel positive about this year’s derby. Gym are a good team, we know this better than anyone,’ Erasmus told SARugbymag,co.za. ‘But if we stick to our game plan which has brought us so much success over the last couple of months, I’m confident the boys can bring home the desired result,’ said Erasmus.
Gym coach, Christoff Lötter is equally upbeat about his team’s chances at the weekend, saying they won’t alter their playing style for this contest: ‘We’ll continue to play attacking rugby at Faure Street stadium. It might be high-risk, but the people in attendance want to be entertained.’
Asked just why Gimmies have been so dominant in this particular fixture, even though they weren’t at their level best prior to derby day, Lötter played down any past achievements.
‘Every match is different, but we’ve been lucky. We’ve nicked a few last-minute wins against them but they’ve set the benchmark high this year. Boishaai remain our toughest challenge every year.’
Both sides have had to deal with injuries to their returning Craven Week players, but while Erasmus confirmed that Boishaai’s medical team had declared everyone fit; Lötter says star flank Johan Visser won’t be ready to play on Saturday and will be replaced by JA van As.
In other big matches this weekend, Grey College hosts namesakes Grey High; Paul Roos take on Bishops; KES play Parktown Boys’ and Marlow welcome Oakdale.
Paarl Boys’ vs Paarl Gym
Paul Roos vs Bishops
Rondebosch vs Bellville
Boland Landbou vs Wynberg
Brackenfell vs Durbanville
Stellenberg vs SACS
Tygerberg vs Swartland
Worcester Gym vs Vredenburg
Grey College vs Grey High
Hentie Cilliers vs Voortrekker
Jim Fouché vs Louis Botha
Dale vs St Andrew’s
Die Brandwag vs Oudtshoorn
Daniel Pienaar vs Nico Malan
Framesby vs Outeniqua
Marlow vs Oakdale
Queens vs Selborne
Eldoraigne vs Kempton Park
Helpmekaar vs Hugenote
Jeppe vs Waterkloof
KES vs Parktown
Marais Viljoen vs Menlopark
Glenwood vs Affies
Maritzburg College vs Pretoria Boys’
Photo: Peter Heeger/Gallo Images