Glenwood hosts Grey College on Saturday 04 August, in part one of the thrilling climax to the 2018 season. There is a cup final like hype about this 1st XV game.
Both schools along with Paul Roos Gymnasium are still unbeaten this year. All three therefore still stand a chance of finishing the year as the top rugby school in South Africa. Part two of the excitement takes place on the A-field alongside Jock Meiring Street, Bloemfontein where Grey will take on visitors Paul Roos on 18 August 2018.
In 2008 I had the good fortune to attend the Glenwood-Grey College game on Dixon’s Field. The lead-up to the match wasn’t quite the same for Glenwood but presented a similar situation to 2018 for Grey.
Glenwood didn’t have a 100% record, having lost to Paarl Boys’ High and drawn with Michaelhouse, but they were the SANIX champions and a win that day in August could have seen them possibly leapfrogging Grey to finish second in the rankings. As things stood going into the match Grey were unbeaten and so too were Paarl Gymnasium, who celebrated their 150th in style, adding a record win of 35-8 in the Paarl Interskole derby to their achievements.
While Grey College had school coaching legends like Dries van der Wal and Igno Machts at the helm, Glenwood were coached by a then relatively unknown youngster Sean Erasmus, who through his achievements over the next decade would go on to become a celebrated school rugby coach.
The atmosphere at Glenwood in 2008 was electric. The typical Durban South-Wester wind was blowing that late afternoon, which handed an advantage to the team playing towards Nicholson Road (Alan Paton Road, where the Ivan Clark Pavilion now stands).
Glenwood took full advantage in the first half and led 14-3 at the break. However the change of ends also brought about a change in fortunes. Grey had an awesome backline containing several SA Schools players (during 2008 and 2009) as well as two backs who would go on to become Springboks. They spread the ball in that second half and the width rewarded them with two tries to take the lead at 15-14. Another try later in the half sealed the deal at 22-14.
In the end Rugby365 which was pretty much the only and therefore official SA Ranking back then, shared the top honours between Grey College and Paarl Gim. Glenwood finishing a credible fourth, an achievement the have not match until now in 2018 where they look almost certain to finish in the top three.
Rugby365 rankings 2008
|1||Paarl Gim, Grey College|
|11||HJS Paarl BH|
In 2008 Grey were without two big name forwards Jean Cook and regular captain Adriaan Theisinger, while Glenwood had to make do without Ricky Schnetler, who like Cook would go on to be picked for SA Schools in 2009.
|1||Nardu Raubenheimer||1||John-Henry Harris|
|2||Sean Malton||2||Johan Swanepoel|
|3||John-Roy Jenkinson||3||Stefan Pretorius|
|4||Kurt Beeton||4||Fanie van der Walt|
|5||Steen Smith||5||Dirk Wessels|
|6||Ruan Burr-Dixon||6||Derek Linde|
|7||JP Lafond||7||Ryno Fourie|
|8||Francois Kleinhans||8||Anton Earle|
|9||Andrich Arlow||9||Cobus Reinach|
|10||Storm Pearton||10||Franna du Toit|
|11||Andre Swart||11||AJ Coertzen|
|12||Allen Zungu||12||Francois Venter|
|13||Msizi Ngcongo||13||Piet Lindeque|
|14||Marinus Coetzee||14||Ernst Dinkelmann|
|15||Dean Lovett||15||Riaan Britz|