Grey ready for the Wildekalwer

The Grey College captain, George Cronjé, on the charge against Menlopark High School during the North-South Tournament in Pretoria. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

Grey College of Bloemfontein will have a big target on their back and is the team to beat this year during the 11th edition of the Wildeklawer Festival, which will be staged once again at Diamantveld High School in Kimberley.

Grey have been unbeaten to date in 2019, and this is carried over from their unbeaten year in 2018 when they were crowned as the unofficial top rugby school in South Africa. The word unofficial gets used as there are no official ranks for school rugby teams in the country, and each ranking is worked out differently, while there is also a certain level of biasness that comes into play as well.

To date, Grey has beaten Northern Cape High School, Welkom Gymnasium, High School Menlo Park, High School Garsfontein, Christchurch Boys’ High School, Boys’ High (both New Zealand), HTS Middelburg and Selborne College. The match against Middelburg, which produced an 81-8 win, is their only home game thus far.

Grey enters a very tough block of four matches when they will be tackling Outeniqua High School (George) and Paarl Gymnasium at the Wildeklawer, while they will entertain Peter Engledow’s Paarl Boys’ High and Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies) at home.

“For now we are concentrating on the Wildeklawer because we need to play against Outeniqua on the Thursday, and then Paarl Gym on the Saturday, so it will be a tough one.

“Having a tough first game affects your second game, and that it not always the case for all the teams. For example, Paarl Gym are playing against Transvalia on the Thursday, but that is just how the cookie crumbles. As a rugby player and coach you need to adapt to whom you play against.

“Having said that, we are very excited ahead of the Wildeklawer and the two big matches at home.

“Boishaai and Affies are always two of the top sides in South Africa. We are looking forward to it, and we know that we are going to be tested in the next four matches. We will no doubt prepare well, try and play our Grey brand of rugby, and enjoy it.”

Affies will want to prove a point at the Wildeklawer, and when they come to Bloemfontein on 11 May, after their shock 33-29 defeat at home to KES (King Edward VII School) on Saturday.

Grey will tackle Outeniqua at 14:40 on Thursday afternoon, and will face Paarl Gym at 16:10 on Saturday afternoon.

On 11 May Grey will host Paarl Boys’ High in Bloemfontein, and then Affies the following weekend. – MORGAN PIEK