Red card revolution by Bois on a High!

A South African opinion on the red card was defined as being a game-changer back in 2002

when Jannes Labuschagne received one for a late tackle on rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson during a South African test match against the strongest England rugby team of the modern era. The Springbok lock’s dismissal contributed to a heavy 53-3 defeat in that match.

Fast forward to the current times and the red card has lost its aura. So much so that one wonders if it is not time that World Rugby amends the Laws of the game to eject the player and still allow a replacement on in his place at some stage.

20 years on from the Jannes incident at Twickenham, Paarl Boys’ High proved that even at schoolboy rugby level, you can play for the best part of an hour and still do incredibly well against strong fancied opposition.

In spite of being reduced to 14 players as a result of a questionable red card produced for a clean-out (looking more like a push with the hands rather than shoulder contact) on the opposition scrumhalf, roughly halfway into the first half, Paarl Boys’ High who at that stage led 14-0, still managed to outscore hometeam and favourites Paul Roos, 21-15 during the next three-quarters to close out a 35-15 remarkable win.

An incredible result given the Maroons’ form in recent weeks which included coming from far behind on the scoreboard like they were at stages today. However this is proving to be the Season of Unexpected Outcomes, so nothing in 2022 should surprise anyone who follows South African schoolboy rugby closely anymore.

A point to note, Paul Roos played without the Namibian Nightmare – sensational outside centre Jurenzo Julius – who has been instrumental in getting them back into games during their well-remembered run against other top contenders.

Also Boishaai might have mustered their confidence from having the same Red Card Revolution taught to them at Brugstaat by visiting Oakdale on 09 April 2022. Oakdale lost a key forward early on during that match when they were 14-0 down and then proceeded to play like they were the ones with a one-man advantage, losing the match 22-15 in the end but outscoring HJS by 15-8 after the card.


  1. Unfortunately this is something that is happening more often than not, and not only referring to red cards, but decisions in general by the officials – both the man in the middle as well as the assistants on the sidelines. Its getting worse I’m afraid, and the quality of officiating is dismal to say the least. You only need to look at the increase in physical acts of violence now taking place both on and off field this season against officials, as well as between the boys when the frustrations boil over because of the additional tensions created by poor decisions. And unless something is done, I fear that it is only going to get worse. Personally, this season has been the worst in terms of bad officiating – look, its never been great, but this year has been noticeably worse. My biggest gripe – consistency. I get that not every call will be seen, and not every decision will be correct, but if you blow it up for one team, then blow it up for the other team as well. We have had instances where our full back was clothes lined on a break up the touchline so badly that his scrum cap was ripped of, and there was no sanction, but 20 minutes later, we are given a yellow card for a ‘high tackle’ which was around the shoulders against an opposition forward off a pick and go. Its that kind of disparity that causing the problems.
    As for the assistants – I think they are too afraid of the comments from the spectators behind them and keep their mouths shut, and their eyes closed, but that lands them in just as much trouble with the spectators when they don’t speak up on clear infringements in front of him that the ref might have missed.
    I really don’t know what the answer is here, apart from the Unions tasking someone to get more involved in overseeing the officiating at schoolboy level and holding the officials accountable.

  2. Dit was beslis nie ‘n kaart werd. Jammer dat beamptes sulke groot foute maak. HJS wou wen, ek dink met daai attitude sou min spanne hulle geklop het gister. Geluk Boishigh, Jurenzo het ‘n groot gat gelos vir Paul Roos agter. Die span is net nie dieselfde sonder hom.

  3. Na daai kaart het ek gehoop Boishaai wen. Is daar enige rede hoekom hul nie tmo’s in skole wedstryde gebruik nie? Dis soos die afrigters wat op die veld hol.

  4. @beet: i cant agree more. If the Paarl Boois was a red card the Grey player should have earned a red card as well + a penalty try because the clear out prevented a certain try. Score 36-31, game on! But the red card for Paarl Boois, NEVER.

  5. Was Jannes,not Jano!
    But red and yellows at schoolboy level have less of an impact.

  6. @Gemini: just looked at the ‘incedent’ where the no7 did the clean out. Shocking decision by the touch judge. Ref did not see the action and had to accept the linesman report.

    Its good for the linesman to interject when needed, but then they need to be accurate.

  7. @beet: That will be correct. U19a,d,e and u16a lost. U19b and c both drew 17-17. On the other fields at the Markotter Complex, there were some good wins for both schools.

  8. @Strepie: I just watched the game.
    Absolutely not a red card.Not even a yellow.
    Hats off to Paarl Bois for grit and and old fashioned VASBYT.

  9. The commentator made an interesting observation. He said Paul Roos did not win a single game on Markotter today. That can’t happen very often?

  10. @apple: Someone on a group remarked that Boishaai has had a relatively injury free campaign compared to other leading schools with similar fixture lists. The comment seemed to earn Sean Erasmus and Ryno Rust a bit of praise but perhaps good fortune also plays a big part.

  11. @apple: I watched the Affies Grey match and there was a similar clean out by a Grey player towards the end. I think it was the lead up to the held up try that would have got Affies to 31-36. No sanction for the player apart from a penalty.

  12. Agree, it was not a red card, not even yellow…if the same standard was applied in Bloem last week, the local team would have ended playing 7s after all the high tackles in the first half. Toughest challenges for refs / touch judges are not to have unconscious bias, or to listen to 5000 local supporters baying for blood. The ref did not see it, so to rely on a touch judge for such a big call? Paarl was fortunate, with a couple of different calls and better goal kicking Paul Roos could have taken it. You have to wonder whether the boys bodies can keep up: Grey, Paul Roos and now Bishops.


Leave a Reply