Graeme College have again generated a mouth-watering set of fixtures for their annual Pam Golding Properties Graeme Rugby Day in Grahamstown on Saturday, March 24.
With all the leading schools from around the Eastern Cape involved in this popular event, the hosts have put together a smorgasbord of matches, from the U14 level to the first teams, which should satisfy the appetite of the most ardent schools rugby supporter.
Unlike some schools who tend to look after themselves in terms of their opposition when they host festivals of this nature, Graeme have not shied away from providing a serious challenge for their side by electing to play Grey High in the day’s feature match at 16.10.
These two schools produced a thoroughly absorbing encounter when they met in Port Elizabeth last year, with Graeme giving one of their best performances against their PE opponents in recent years before finally going down 22-15.
With Grey a perennial powerhouse in the region, this should prove another fascinating showdown as the Grahamstown lads strive to prove a point.
That, though, is just the final course in the programme and there is something for everyone during the day, starting with what should be an interesting test for Pearson against Muir in the festival’s opening game.
After their outstanding season last year, when they were unbeaten against Eastern Cape opposition, much attention will be on St Andrew’s when they take on Hudson Park.
This is one of several cross-border clashes which litter the programme as EP schools get a chance to take on their East London rivals.
Known for their running brand, St Andrew’s are sure to be a handful for the Hudson outfit.
A second top regional clash will see crack Uitenhage side Brandwag take on Queen’s, where the former will need to be on guard against a unit capable of playing an all-round game based around energetic forwards and exciting backs.
Another team who never fail to excite with their threequarter play are Dale and they should provide a tough examination for Humansdorp outfit Nico Malan.
Marlow have often played Grey in this tournament, but this year they will have a fresh challenge. It doesn’t get much easier for the Karoo team, however, because Selborne are a side you can never take lightly.
But the Cradock outfit are great scrappers and their team unity and commitment see them regularly punch above their weight.
The main curtain-raiser will provide another Grahamstown-PE showdown and Kingswood will have their credentials thoroughly examined by the always competitive Framesby side.
Besides the action on the Somerset field, a further 15 games, which also involve U14 and U16 teams, will be played on the Marais A and B fields.
The fixtures are:
08.00 Pearson 1st vs Muir 1st
09.10 Union 1st vs Cambridge 1st
10.20 Brandwag 1st vs Queen’s 1st
11.30 Nico Malan 1st vs Dale 1st
12.40 Selborne 1st vs Marlow 1st
13.50 St. Andrew’s 1st vs Hudson Park 1st
15.00 Kingswood 1st vs Framesby 1st
16.10 Graeme 1st vs Grey High 1st
MARAIS A FIELD
08.00 Graeme U16 vs Grey High U16
09.00 Graeme 2nd vs Grey High 2nd
10.00 Port Alfred 1st vs Nathaniel Nyaluza 1st
11.00 Selborne U16 vs Marlow U16
12.00 Pearson U16 vs Muir U16
13.00 Union High U16 vs Cambridge U16
14.00 Brandwag U16 vs Queen’s U16
15.00 Nico Malan U16 vs Dale U16
MARAIS B FIELD
08.00 Graeme College U14 vs Grey High U14
09.00 Graeme College U15 vs Grey High U15
10.00 Pearson High U14 vs Muir U14
11.00 Selborne U14 vs Marlow U14
12.00 Brandwag U14 vs Queen’s U14
13.00 Union High U14 vs Cambridge U14
14.00 Nico Malan U14 vs Dale U14