World Schools Festival – Day 2 Match Reviews.


16:30 Paul Roos 93-5 Southland Boys (NZ)

Paul Roos is said to be the only team that can and will challenge Grey for the number one spot on the rankings BUT they only played one game in the 2019 season against Boishaai at the Newlands Rugby day where they showed enough form to validate the expectations. A big pack of forwards to supply a lightning fast backline. Southlands lost in the semis of the Otago Competition in 2018 and not much is known of the team, BUT do not expect fireworks from them and Paul Roos will run away with it at the end.

Paul Roos took on Southland Boys’ High School from New Zealand in the final match of the day, with both teams making their debuts at the festival. The home side was anything but overawed by the occasion and ran their opponents ragged.  Paul Roos scored ta otal of fifteen five-pointers, with Andrew Pegg, Meiring Ebersohn, Ruben Labuschagne and Tiaan Pretorius all bagging a brace, as the side pulled-off a crushing 93-5 hammering of the New Zealanders. Southland’s only try of the game came late in the second half courtesy of winger Allan Gillies.

I made a mistake when "tweeting" the score giving Southlands for the most part of the first half 5 points which they did not score. I felt bad to take that away from them when I corrected the score. and I was so glad to put it back as Southland score their first points after 53 minutes of the match.


15:00 Grey College 73-26 Christchurch Boys (NZ)

Grey College definately on its way to retain its number one spot in South Africa already showed at the Noord Suid festival that there are not many schools that can beat them. A well-balanced pack of forwards with some great loosies with their biggest assets the speed of their back three. In the UC Cup Christchurch Boys are always going to threaten the top of the crop and although a big group has gone from last years team they still have a lot of talent. Their expected combination at flyhalf and scrumhalf  Max Hughes and Ollie Lewis is favourites for selection for the New Zealand schools side. Both players made the U18 Crusaders last year and both players have been around for ages now and so they are fully aware of what it takes to be at the top. In the pack, Ben Lopas returns who is also looking for selection in the New Zealand Schools team.  Cameron Henderson, Nathan Fahay-Baker and  Josh Taula who is around the 2-meter range will add the much-needed height at lock. Clayden Paranihi is the returning hooker and a very high energy player and a massive asset to the team. Therefore, the match of this festival but I do think Grey needs to be the favourites against one of the top schoolboy teams in not only New Zealand but the world. GAME ON.

Christchurch Boys’ High was looking for revenge when they faced Grey College in the penultimate match of the day after the New Zealanders had been convincingly beaten by the same opponents at the 2018 Festival. The match was preceded by a moment of silence following the shooting tragedy that took place in Christchurch earlier this month, after which Grey College presented the tourists with a commemorative plaque.  That, however, was where the niceties ended, as Grey College completely dominated matters on the field. The boys from Bloemfontein ran in eleven tries, nine of which were converted by FC du Plessis, as they cruised to a 73-26 hammering of their Kiwi opponents. Grey’s outside centre Lesley Botha was a key figure in many of his side’s attacks and was named man-of-the-match, despite not crossing the chalk.

After 8 minutes in the first half the score was 21-0 in favour of Grey College and maybe it was not "GAME ON" but rather "RUDE AWAKENING" And then the flood gates open with defence not on any of the player's minds. Half time came with 49 points scored after 35 minutes Grey was in the lead with 35-14.

The pattern continued in the second half with Grey running Christchurch of their feet. To some a brilliant exciting spectacle to some a game of rugby with poor defence. The boys from Christchurch will not go home and tell stories of the Lions roaming Stellenboch's streets or the busy students at the university, they will tell stories of Grey College.


13:30 Hilton College 43-0 USA Schools

Hilton played five games already and lost to Glenwood (27-17) and drew against Kearsney (14-14) but unfortunately, the invitational side does not look that good. Therefore, Hilton should win with the USA Schools to fade in the last 20 minutes.

The score does suggest a walk in the park but on field it was definately not but Hilton's size speed and skills too much for the willing Yanks.

Hilton College meanwhile continued their good run at the festival. The Brad McLeod Henderson-coached team, who were undefeated at last year’s event, defeated the USA Schools XV 43-0. They will next face the Italians in what promises to be an exciting contest.

12:30 Boland Landbou 30-25 Napier Boys (NZ)

Boland Landbou played 5 drew 2 and then we all know about the loss against Helpmekaar (64-17) at the Noord Suid Festival in Pretoria. However, they are a much better side than the score against Helpmekaar suggest. Napier Boys High lost in the National Championship game last year. They are going to be re-building a little this year and trying to find the right players that will carry them through this year and into the next. Napier will have a solid front with Jayden Walker viewed to be one of the top props in New Zealand,  added to that William Robinson and Jacob Ward who is a 6’5 prop. Their second row and loosies are also counted as some of the best New Zealand has to offer. They also have a backline with two returning players in the 9 and 10 who will be able to use the quality ball their big forwards will supply. Therefore, Napier should be able to control thing up front while their nine and ten who will try to control the ball with the foot but the boys from the "plasie" do not know anything regarding giving up. The first big game of this festival with Napier the favourites BUT do not ever write Boland Landbou off, never......

Boland Landbou absorbed the initial onslaught from Napier and then scored two quick tries to establish an early lead of 10-0. Napier's big boys came later on into the match providing some space for their speedster and at the water break during the first half, the score was level at 10-10. The end of the first half the score was still even at 15-15 with both teams having their moments on the field with the boys from Napier visibly feeling the heat

The second half both teams played nice constructive rugby but Napier again using their big forwards to bully Boland Landbou but at the end, Boland managed to secure the win with a penalty to win 30-25. Napier could have won as their kicker could not convert one try.

Napier Boys’ High School provided a far sterner challenge when they took on Boland Landbou. While the South Africans began with a bang, Napier slowly fought their way back, with their hefty pack having the upper-hand come scrum time. The New Zealanders had numerous opportunities to take the lead at the death, but failed to make them count, as Boland Landbou held on for a hard-fought and highly entertaining 30-25 victory.

Napier Boys’ impressive efforts were largely thanks to having been part of the World Schools Festival in 2018. Head coach Brendon Ratcliffe admitted that following his team’s defeats at the inaugural tournament, the side changed their playing style to that of the South African teams they played. “South Africa produces the best schoolboy sides I’ve ever seen,” Ratcliffe said. “When we returned to New Zealand last year, we made a concerted effort to play “South Africa fast”, as the boys here play at a speed and pace unlike anywhere else in the world!”

10:30 Affies 36-12 Italian All Stars

The Italians only won one match in the 2019 u/20 Six Nations in February but that did give us an idea of the type of rugby the Italians strive to play. Expect their forwards to be in the face of the Affies boys but do expect them to spread the ball wide at every opportunity they get. They surprised many with the "new" brand of rugby they played and it seems that they are catching up with the rest of the world. Affies are still unbeaten after four matches this year and although I did criticise them a lot regarding their gameplan, their gameplan is working - they tackle hard, very hard and then run their opponents to pieces from any turnover ball they claim. Again the Italians should keep up for the first 60 minutes but then it will be all Affies.

Affies started the game with only 4 of their regulars 1stXV players but it did not stop them to score the first trie withing eight minutes of the start of the game, and then they just carried on to lead with 31-0 at half time. The first twenty minutes of the second half the All Stars played a lot better to narrow the gap to 36-12 which was also the final score.

The opening match of the day saw an on-fire Affies team overcome a competitive Italian All-Stars side 36-12. Flanker Adolph Visser was the star of the show for the Pretoria-based school, scoring a hattrick of tries in a man-of-the-match performance. The Italians put on an impressive display, with Valerio Bizotto and Giovanni Montemauri both getting on the scoresheet, but their opponents were ultimately just too strong.