Monument will host unbeaten Glenwood in a Premier Interschools clash in Krugersdorp on Saturday. TYRONE ENGEL reports.
Both sides have claimed silverware this season, with Monnas winning the Tuks Series and Glenwood the Sanix World Youth Rugby Tournament.
Monument have lost three games in 2016 and drawn one, while Glenwood are on a 13-game winning streak that includes six games at the Sanix tournament. However, the home side will take confidence from the fact that they’ve won the last three fixtures between the sides in 2015 (21-8), 2014 (30-19) and 2013 (26-20).
Monument picked up big wins in the Tuks Series against Kempton Park (43-16), and Rustenburg (46-12) in the quarter-finals, before going on to beat Garsfontein (29-11) in the semi-finals and Nelspruit (25-17) in the final at LC de Villiers Sports Grounds in Pretoria.
However, Monnas were unable to replicate that form at this year’s schools festivals. They lost their final two games at the St John’s Easter Festival against Paul Roos (14-11) and Helpmekaar (30-15). At the Wildeklawer Super Schools Festival they were made to settle for a 3-3 draw against Selborne in their first game, before losing 40-25 to Outeniqua.
But Monument bounced back by winning the Tuks Series final and then beat Waterkloof (37-7) at home, Rustenburg (40-7) away from home and Kempton Park (36-3) at home last Saturday.
‘We are quietly confident about Saturday’s game against Glenwood,’ Monument 1st XV coach Hans Coetzee told SARugbymag.co.za. ‘We realise it’s going to be a tough challenge for us because they are unbeaten this year and Sanix World Youth champions, but we believe in our ability.
‘Our preparation has gone well, but as with every team at this stage of the season, players are carrying little niggles and those who have been picked for provincial teams are bit wary of picking up any serious injuries. We’ll probably make five or six changes to our side this week with some players coming back from injury and others having been rested against Kempton Park last week.’
Glenwood made a strong start to their season, going unbeaten at the Kearsney Easter Festival, picking up wins against EG Jansen (14-13), HTS Middleburg (17-6) and Dale College (32-5). They won their next three home games against Framesby (65-9), Michaelhouse (56-5) and Kearsney (21-7) before making the trip to Japan to compete at the Sanix tournament.
The KZN side had two weeks off after returning home, before facing DHS in a Classic Clash last Saturday. They showed great character to secure a 24-23 win to keep their unbeaten record this season intact.
‘We know we’re in for a tough battle at Monument,’ Glenwood 1st XV coach Rudi Dames told SARugbymag.co.za. ‘We’re looking forward to a very physical game and if we can match them physically I think we’ll be in with a good chance of winning.
‘We’ve made a few changes to the side this week because of injuries,’ Dames added. ‘In the second row, JJ van Der Mescht is replaced Dylan Weidman and Edward Laubscher comes in for Matthew Bauer. Jayden Jooste starts ahead of Craig Hunt at scrumhalf, while JC Conradie will be replaced in the midfield by last week’s flyhalf Maarten Holtzhausen, with Francke Botha returning from injury to slot in at 10.’
In other games featuring in Gauteng, Waterkloof will face a tough challenge at home against Garsfontein, while Pretoria Boys’ will be looking for revenge when they host Jeppe after losing 59-18 away from home earlier this year.
Gauteng schools fixtures (4 June):
Ben Vorster vs Tom Naudé
Montana vs Centurion
EG Jansen vs Marais Viljoen
Eldoraigne vs Wonderboom
Florida vs Die Anker
Waterkloof vs Garsfontein
Pretoria Boys’ vs Jeppe
Kempton Park vs Rustenburg
KES vs St John’s
Klerksdorp vs Potch Volkskool
Parktown vs St Alban’s
Frikkie Meyer vs Pietersburg
St Benedict’s vs St David’s Marist
Volkskool Heidelberg vs Hugenote (Springs)
Transvalia vs Volkskool Heidelberg (Gauteng)
Jeugland vs Noordheuwel
HeronBridge vs Redhill
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images