Saturday at SACS the last round of matches in the u/18 International series will be played. In the first match, France will attempt to finish this tournament unbeaten and should be positive to do so after two convincing victories against South Africa and England. Wales, however, will be no pushover after an "unlucky" loss against South Africa with 1 point and a convincing win against England. Wales and France two sides with a similar game plan but I do feel that the French team has just the better players in all departments.
The match between South Africa should see a similar game than that between England and France. South Africa definately have the better forwards while the hard running English backline will challenge the up till now poor defence of the South African schools' side. South Africa the favourite to win against a predominantly u/17 English side.
With all the finalist eyeing the big prize on the 02nd of September the games this weekend to determine the regional champions is going to be tough and expect some close games and maybe as last weekend some big surprises.
Auckland Premier 1A
With the two favourites, St Kentigern and Sacred Heart College being knocked out last weekend it is up to Kings College and St Peter's College to determine the winner of this competition. With St Peter's beating the unbeaten St Kentigern 22-21 last weekend they must feel confident about their chances to be crowned on Saturday.
Central North Island 1stXV
St Paul's Collegiate host log leaders Feilding High School in the finals this weekend. Although St Paul's ended second on the log they did beat Feilding High two weeks ago with 27-22 in a league match. Their win in the semifinal against Wesley College (41-27) was a lot more convincing than Feilding's win against St Peter's Cambridge (15-12) in the other semifinal.
North Harbour Canon 1A
Westlake BHS and Takapuna Grammar played to their second draw on Wednesday in the final. Takapuna should have buried the contest by halftime. They enjoyed 80% of possession as their forwards produced a stirring display in the opening 35 minutes and missed a try in the final seconds of the match after the referee judged them to be held up.
UC Championship 1stXV
This competition is only at the semifinal stage with two big matches expected this weekend. In the first final Christchurch Boys High host Rangiora High who shocked New Zealand in beating Christchurch earlier in the league matches and cost Christchurch their unbeaten record. Christchurch surely will be out to revenge that loss. Christ's College who hosts St Bede's College in the other semifinal knows that they have a game on hand but should feel quite confident to reach the finals after ending 12 league points ahead of St Bede's College.
St Patrick's Silverstream who is unbeaten and easily dismissed of St Patrick Town earlier in the season should be the clear favourite on Sunday. I can not see them losing but it is playoff time and .............
The northern and central regions in South Africa is all busy with several finals of competitions as well as hosting the big battle between Paul Roos and Grey College to determine the top 1stXV for 2018.
Grey College will host Paul Roos as the favourites to maintain their number 1 position. Grey College will be without 3 SA Schools players while Paul Roos will be without 4 but the big difference will be the 2 backline players who are missing from the Paul Roos setup. Grey College the slightest of favourites.
Elsewhere in Bloemfontein Diamantveld will play against Noor Kaap in the one semi-final of the newly established Central Series with Diamantveld the favourites after beating Noord Kaap earlier in 2018. Goudveld will play against Witteberg whom they have beaten earlier in the season as well. A final between Diamantveld v Goudveld should be on the cards.
Welkom Gim will host Louis in the one semifinal of the Kovsies series with Sentraal and Duineveld playing in the other. Welkom a definite favourite in the one semi with Duineveld expected to also advance to the finals.
Five games in the Eastern Cape with the return fixture between Queens and Dale the one that will attract the most attention. This game last year was spoilt when the pupils of Queens storming on the field after Dale College scored the equaliser and prevent the kicker from Dale to convert the try and thereby winning the game. This year the game should not be that close with the exciting Dale the clear favourites.
It is all about the VirSeker's several division finals al being played at the Tukkies sports grounds on Saturday,
VirSeker Cup - Helpmekaar must be the favourite after their win against Monnas a few weeks ago BUT the Monnas that completely dominated Garsfontein last weekend will be in with a chance until one second after the final whistle sounded. Monnas will have to contain Michael Amiras and Helpmekaar's dangerous backline if they have any hopes to secure their second title in so many years and make sure they do not fall too far behind on the scoreboard before their powerful forwards slow poisons become effective in the latter parts of the game.
VirSeker Plate - This could the match of the day as only one point separated Eldoraigne and Noordheuwel in their league match with Noordheuwel winning that battle. Noordheuwel was promoted to the VirSeker Cup competition in the place of Nelspruit for 2019 and will want to show that they do deserve the promotion.
VirSeker Shield - Ben Vorster and Oos Moot were only separated by two points in their league matches with Ben Vorster the winner. Ben Vorster was also promoted to the Plate competition for 2019. Again a wonderful match awaiting all attending TUKS tomorrow.
Some major clashes here this weekend with the biggest the one between Boland Landbou and Oakdale. Oakdale the clear favourites BUT it is never easy on the farm and ................ If Boland does win then they will confirm that they are the second best agricultural school in South Africa after their defeat earlier this year at the Wildeklawer Festival against the school in Pretoria who owns its own WIT BUL and resides on the PLAAS. Parel Vallei who was promoted to the Premier B division will play another Premier B school, Brackenfell this weekend and unfortunately, I do not think they will be successful.
Premier A hopefuls will host Durbanville this weekend and are the clear favourites to again the show why we all are pushing for their promotion to the Premier A division and in beating Durbanville they will also be confirmed the kick of Premier "B".
Bishops clash against Wynberg could well decide who has bragging rights in the leafy parts of the city for the next twelve months. If Bishops can taste success up at lush Hawthornden and grab a four-try bonus point, they should have the local laurels within their grasp. Don’t for a moment think that ‘Berg has nothing to play for. If they can win with a bonus point and, most importantly, deny Bishops one, they could find themselves crowned local champions, come next Saturday.