Premier Interschools features some of the top schoolboy rugby teams in the country over 12 matches stretching from the 24th March to the 25th August 2018. Some of the oldest and fiercest rivals will battle it out over 23 weeks showcasing 15 different schools.
The planned fixtures for the year are as follows:
Maritzburg College vs Glenwood High School – 24/03/2018: Goldstones, Maritzburg College, Pietermaritzburg
The first game of the season sees the two giants from KZN going head to head as the start of the season kicks off with a bang. This fixture makes a return to the Premier Interschools schedule after an absence of two years. The first match between the two schools was played in 1921 at Glenwood, which was won 5-0 by Glenwood. College dominated the earlier exchanges and has their current winning margin thanks to great teams during the 50’s, 60’s 70’s and 80’s.
Since the 90’s Glenwood has developed into a real rugby powerhouse and have dominated the last 10 years, having played 15 games, where College could only manage one win and two draws. The biggest victory for College over Glenwood was 61-13 at College in 1995, while the biggest victory for Glenwood over College was 57-12 at Kings Park in 2015.
Outeniqua vs Paarl Boys’ High – 14/04/2018: Outeniqua High School, George
Another first for Premier Interschools is the derby between Outeniqua and Paarl Boys High. With this year being the Paarl School’s 150-year celebration, every game will have that little extra pressure to ensure the team does well. Although Paarl have dominated this fixture for the last 10 years with the boys from George having only one win in 2013, this derby has always been a close fought affair. The exciting brand of running rugby that Outeniqua brings against the disciplined and structured play from Paarl, always sees this match ebb and flow, with the result usually only decided in the last minute of play.
Paul Roos vs Grey High School – 21/04/2018: Markotter Fields, Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
The party moves to Stellenbosch next when the Maroon Machine takes on Grey High School in their annual interschools fixture. With an equal number of victories over the past eight years, Paul Roos will look to exact revenge for their 2-point loss in PE last year. They are rumoured to have one of their best sides this year, having more than half of the team retained from 2017 and we can’t wait to see what the boys from Stellenbosch will bring to the table in 2018. Grey High have also a few returning players and will know what to expect from the boys in maroon.
Paarl Gymnasium vs Paul Roos – 05/05/2018: JA Kriel Field, Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl
Paul Roos features again for their match against Paarl Gymnasium in Paarl. This have been a tough encounter for the boys from Stellenbosch over the last few years as they have only managed 2 wins since 2008. Paarl Gim will be hoping that the winter rain comes early so they can use their forwards and eliminate the threat of the Paul Roos backs on a hard-quick outfield. This might yet prove to be a futile hope as the maroon machine seems to have all the blocks ticked in the forwards department as well.
Monument High vs Waterkloof High – 12/05/2018: Monument High School, Krugersdorp
The popular north vaal derby returns in May and promises to deliver a brand of exciting running rugby. Both schools are renowned for their love to give the ball some air which always makes for a spectacular encounter. Waterkloof have not been having the best of the results against Monument with their last win coming in 2012. Monument is another side that is rumoured to be very strong in 2018 and possible contenders for the highly rated Beeld trophy at the end of the season. Waterkloof have steadily been building the last couple of years and the results of their junior teams in previous seasons have given hope that the 2018 crop will once again be amongst the top teams in the country.
Paul Roos vs Paarl Boys High – 19/05/2018: Markotter Fields, Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
Once again Premier Interschools returns to the winelands to broadcast the battle of the Western Province giants of rugby when Paul Roos hosts their neighbor from Paarl. These two boys’ schools have a great relationship and friendly rivalry that goes back 150 years. Paul Roos will hope to return the favour by beating Paarl Boys in the latter’s 150th year celebration and spoil the party as the boys from Paarl did to Paul Roos in 2015. The blue brigade will have to cope with some extra pressures during their 150th season but with seasoned coach Sean Erasmus at the helm, it will help to steady the ship and bring about the best from the team.
Oakdale vs Outeniqua – 26/05/2018: Oakdale Agricultural School, Riversdale
Brand new on the Premier Interschools circuit is the big South-Western Districts derby between Oakdale and Outeniqua. This match usually decides who can claim the bragging rights as top dog in the region. The matches have been very evenly contested with no particular team getting more wins than the other. Oakdale had a 3-year winning streak from 2014 to 2016, but came up short in George last year by a measly 4 points. Outeniqua will look to extend their win of last year and make sure the farmers from Riversdale do not claim top honours in 2018. This match also closes the first half of the season for Premier Interschools.
Paarl Gymnasium vs Outeniqua – 21/07/2018: JA Kriel Field, Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl
The second half of the season kicks off with Outeniqua in action again. This time it is against their other rival from Paarl. This fixture has the knack to produce the unexpected and the last 10 games have been very closely matched with Outeniqua winning 5, Paarl Gim 4 and one draw. The Paarl side tends to have one eye on their Interschools with rival Paarl Boys the following week, and might not be as focused as they should be. This could be a contributing factor to the success rate of Outeniqua against these rugby giants.
Grey High School vs Grey College – 28/07/2018: Grey High School, Port Elizabeth
The two brother schools will line each other up at end of July in Port Elizabeth. Both teams will by then have established themselves well on the hierarchy of SA Schools for the 2018 season. The Bloemfontein outfit have had the better of their opponents from PE in the past 10 years with nine victories. This derby always has a special vibe about it because of the history between the schools as they share the same benefactor and founder in Sir George Grey.
Paarl Gimnasium vs Paarl Boys – 04/08/2018: Faure Street Stadium, Paarl
August sees the start of the great traditional “Interskole” games and to kick off this month of madness, Premier Interschools televises the biggest of them all. Northern Paarl vs Southern Paarl with twenty odd thousand old boys, old girls, moms, dads and fans will pack Faure Stadium to the rafters to watch the famous derby between these two great schools. There is no neutral ground on this day; you are blue and white or green, gold and red. You sit on the north side or on the south side. Tough, hard and no compromises, blood sweat and tears, all will be on show in this match that captures the essence of schoolboy rugby and enthrals a whole community
This is the last match for Paarl Boys in their 150th celebration and they would want to end on a high note while their northern neighbours would like nothing more than to spoil the parade.
Boland Landbou vs Oakdale – 18/08/2018: Boland Landbou,
Our second last match of the season features the two agricultural rivals of the Western Cape. These two schools regularly produce teams of outstanding quality from a very small player pool. This all comes down to the commitment of these players to their team and to their school. They are rarely out of the top 20 rankings and have produced numerous Craven Week players for their provinces. Their Interschools is usually a very close affair with neither team having a clear upper hand. Last year Oakdale won in a very close game, beating Landbou by only 2 points. This is a interschools derby of note and the winning margin should not be more than 5 points on the day.
Bishops vs Rondebosch Boys High – 25/08/2018: Piley Rees, Diocesan College, Rondebosch Cape Town
The last Premier Interschools game of the season is the old Cape derby between Bishops and Rondebosch. One of the oldest rivalries in South Africa and one of the most well attended games as well. Old Boys come from all over the world to attend the weekend festivities with the Saturday rugby match as the highlight.
Bishops is on a 5-match losing streak and is still looking for that elusive 100th win against their old rivals. Weather permitting, this match will be full of running rugby and a feast for the schoolboy rugby lover. A perfect way to end the season.