Griffons-Liga final is an all-Welkom affair

Goudveld and Welkom Gymnasium will feature in the 2018 finals of the Griffons League which takes place at the North West Stadium in Welkom on Saturday 04 August.

It is a historic first final between Welkom Gimnasium and Goudveld insofar as the Griffons League is concerned and obviously also the first time time that two Welkom schools will compete for the title in a finals.

Goudveld have never won the Griffons League title. In the past they regularly made the semi-finals but last played in the finals back in 2009 when they met and lost to Afrikaans Hoer (Rooiskool) from Kroonstad. This 2018 team is probably the best Goudveld team in more than a decade.

Welkom Gim won the Griffons League in 2015 and 2016 but surprisingly lost to Rooiskool in the semi-finals last year.

Welkom Gim is currently ranked 28th and Goudveld 29th on the current SBR-rankings.

The final could turn out to be a classic tight affair since Goudveld are hoping to have access to a number of players who due to injury were unavailable for the Welkom derby match between the two teams two weeks ago, when  Gimmies triumphed 36-16 in a match that was a lot more competitive than the final score suggests. On the very hard surface of the North West Stadium the bounce of the ball will definitely play a role and so too will the pacey backlines that both teams possess.

The game promises to be a humdinger and is there a huge buzz in the local community regarding the possible outcome of the game.

Griffons League A-team finals programme:

MATCH TEAM TIME SCHOOL
FINAL u14 A 10:00 Witteberg vs Welkom-Gymnasium
FINAL u15 A 11:00 Voortrekker vs Welkom-Gymnasium
FINAL u16 A 12:00 Witteberg vs Voortrekker
FINAL u19 Colts 13:10 Bultfontein vs Hoopstad
FINAL u19 Irawa 14:30 Riebeeckstad vs Bothaville
FINAL u19 A 15:50 Welkom-Gymnasium vs Goudveld

A big thank you to HJ for his valued input.

6 Comments

  1. @Beet – Is the Griffons league u/18 or are some of the former academy players allowed to represent the respective schools – I know there has been a fair bit of unhappiness the past couple of years over teams being “loaded”, especially come derby time…

    ReplyReply
  2. @Mountainview: Mountainview, actually unhappiness was at a time an understatement. Controversy started in 2014 and culminated in events early in 2015 where one of the parties in the end brought an urgent interdict to court. The matter was eventually settled and am I not going to deal with the facts as it is water under the bridge.

    I spoke to the head coach of Welkom Gimnasium earlier today and did he assure me that none of the players in their current first XV has any links to the Harmony Sports Academy. He also confirmed that the Griffons League is an u/19 competition.

    Insofar as I know some of the schoolboys boarding at the Harmony Sport School do play for some of the other schools in the Goldfields area but am I not privy to the details.

    I however doubt if there is currently still unhappiness/controversy pertaining to links between Harmony Sport School and any of the two participating teams in Saturday’s Griffon League Final.

    I do believe the local community is looking forward to an entertaining and competitive finals.

    Lastly, I sincerely wish to thank Beet for the placement of his articles over the last two weeks as schoolboy rugby in this part of country rarely gets any exposure on the South African websites that deals with the subject. The two articles are positive publicity for both of the two schools involved and contributes to the anticipation.

    ReplyReply
  3. @Herakles: Thanks for the informative response – interesting. I didn’t realise it got to that point a couple of years ago! Matches between the 2 schools have always been a big deal and are no doubt just as important to the Welkomites as the PG/HJS derby is to the Winelands community. Welkom Gim seems to be having a definite edge though over the last couple of years….Btw, what happened to the likes of HTS De Wet Nel, Kroonstad Landbou, Wessel Maree, Blouskool & HTS Welkom? They used to be some of the top schools in that region in years gone by but one hardly ever hears anything about them or their fixtures.

    ReplyReply
  4. @Mountainview: This site tends to concentrate on the top 100-150, or so schools, so you’ll rarely see results from schools with a lesser profile here. Also, reporting is heavily dependent on a school’s social media presence in broadcasting their results.

    There are however other sites that report a broader spectrum of results, like rugby365, ruggas.co.za, etc, so you do see the odd results from the mentioned schools. For instance, rugby365 reported the following results on 14 April:

    Blouskool 21-20 HTS Welkom; Riebeeckstad 50-0 Wessel Maree; Welkom High 55-20 Hoopstad.

    So you basically have to look at a variety of sites to find results of the lower profile schools.

    ReplyReply
  5. @tzavosky: Yip, I get that -just find it sad that schools that once had a bit of cloud, at least in their region, have regressed, or stagnated so badly that they dont even feature in that top 100-150 any longer. I had a look at Gim and Goud’s league fixtures, most of the schools I mentioned dont even seem be competing in the same league these days. I accept there are countless more such examples all over the country but purely numbers wise, the NFS is not that big a region, even with the inclusion of the old EasternFS schools and others these days as part of the Griffons, so their rugby “demise” is a bit surprising to me.

    ReplyReply
  6. @Mountainview: Yes, it’s unfortunately a tendency with many platteland schools over recent years – strength is concentrated in a few schools and the others struggle, not to mention talented boys being lured to city schools in the hope of better opportunities.

    ReplyReply

Leave a Reply