With the schoolboy rugby season ending this weekend in South Africa and Ne Zealand playing for another three weeks, Ruggas.co.za is excited to introduce the UK and Ireland teams in our International Rankings at the end of this weekend. As with the introduction of the New Zealand rankings, I expect a lot of changes in the beginning but are happy with the rankings as it stands at today.
In South Africa, the attention will be split in two with the Central Region playing finals in the Kovsies competition and the Central Region Championships while in the Western Cape all the attention will be focused on the two southern suburb derby's to decide who will be crown Kings of the South Suburbs.
I can not see that Welkom Gim could be beaten in the Kovsies finals against Duineveld. Duineveld won against Diamantveld (22-19) to reach the finals but Welkom Gim has not lost since their defeat against Paarl Gim (7-24) at the Wildeklawe Festival at the end of April this year. Welkom Gim to be crowned as champions. In the Wesgrow Central Series Diamantveld will play against a Goudveld team that had a great season this year with their only losses coming against Welkom Gim on two occasions and Diamantveld (29-39) on the 10th of March 2018. Diamantveld must be the favourites but expect a titanic battle.
The schools' rugby season draws to a close on Saturday 25 August 2018 with a handful of fixtures the most prominent of which are the two southern suburbs derbies in which SACS host Wynberg and Rondebosch stroll across to Bishops. The very close outcomes (and, in one case, result) of Saturday’s matches involving the four teams mean that these clashes are by no means dead rubbers: their results will finally determine the bragging rights among the city slickers.
On the face of it, Wynberg shouldn’t have to struggle to beat a SACS side that seems determined to contribute to its own demise in whatever manner possible. The Bishops – Rondebosch match on the Piley Rees poses a similar question. Which Bosch side can one expect? If it’s the inspired second-half unit in which they ticked absolutely every box there was, then they could easily overturn their first-round defeat.
And then we have the interschools between Brackenfell and Tygerberg which should go to Brackenfell with 20 points?
New Zealand is gripped by playoff's fever.
The Boys School's section has Kaitaia College hosting North Harbour 1A joint-winners Westlake BHS in the preliminary match on Saturday, with the winner to then host Auckland champions St Peter’s College next weekend.
In the Coed Boys, Mount Albert Grammar School is to face Kerikeri HS. The winner of that game will face the other North Harbour 1A joint-winner in Takapuna Grammar.
In the Boys School's last year’s runners-up and Super 8 winners, Hamilton BHS booked the Waikato place after beating St Paul’s Collegiate (38-5) on Monday and they will travel to New Plymouth Boys High in the one semi-final. Wesley College hosts Rotorua BHS in the other match.
The Coed Boys had the local derby between defending National Champions St Peters, Cambridge and Cambridge HS with St Peters winning 55-7. St Peter's Cambridge will be travelling to Hawera HS on Saturday. In the other semi-final, Manurewa will be hosting John Paul College.
The Boys School's section was sorted out last Sunday already with St Pats Silverstream beating St Pats Town in the Wellington Premiership final, meaning that Silverstream will host last year’s National Champions Hastings BHS (who saw off a challenge from Palmerston North BHS on Saturday) and Super 8 runners-up Napier BHS to host St Pat’s Town, both on Saturday.
The Coed Boys have Feilding HS hosting this year’s Wellington winners Aotea College on Saturday, with the winner of that to face Wairarapa College next weekend for the Top 4 place.
The places for the Boys School's final will be decided this weekend. The final of the Crusaders-region UC Championship see Christchurch BHS against rivals Christs College, with the winner of that match to host next week’s clash against the winner of the Otago BHS vs Southland BHS match in Dunedin.
In the Coed Boys Rangiora HS are already through to the final next weekend. They’ll travel to face the winner of Saturday’s Highlanders final in Oamaru between home side St Kevin’s and visitors Gore HS.