Premier Interschools is back with a bang in 2019 with a new title sponsor Supa Quick, bringing viewers some of the top schoolboy rugby fixtures for the season.  Stretching over 12 matches (6 April – 17 August) and featuring 8 of the top 10 schools for the last 5 years on show, the 2019 season promises to be a humdinger and best one to date.  

Top rugby schools that are making an appearance this season are perennial No 1 Grey College (3 Matches), Paarl Boys High (3 matches), Paul Roos (3 matches), Paarl Gim (3 matches), Maritzburg College (3 matches), Affies (2 matches) with Glenwood, Rondebosch Boys High, Bishops, Grey High School, KES, Oakdale and Boland Landbou featuring in one game each.

The planned fixtures for the year are as follows:

Glenwood High School vs Maritzburg College – 06/04/2019 : @ Glenwood

The Supa Quick Premier Interschools season kicks off with a very traditional derby between Glenwood and Maritzburg College. The first match between the two schools was played in 1921 at Glenwood, which was won 5-0 by Glenwood. Maritzburg 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 late 90’s Glenwood has developed into a real rugby powerhouse and have been dominant for the last 10 years giving College only one win and 2 draws in the 18 games played thus far. The biggest victory for Maritzburg College over Glenwood was 61-13 at Maritzburg in 1995. While the biggest victory for Glenwood was 57-12 at Kings Park in 2015.

Paarl Gimnasium vs Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool (Affies) – 13/04/2019 @ Paarl Gim

The second game for the season is a real mouthwatering derby as two giants from the North and South come together for their 3rd official Interschools. Before this annual fixture was introduced in 2017, the two schools did not regularly get to play each other and only played on the odd occasion at festivals. Since their first encounter in 1967, they have played only 18 games in 52 years with Paarl Gim winning 10, Affies winning 6 and two draws. Affies is coming to Paarl with a big reputation and would like to even out the record.

Grey College vs Paarl Boys’ High – 11/05/2019: @ Grey College

A whole month will pass before we see the much-anticipated match between Paarl Boys’ High and the might of Grey College, the latter being the benchmark of schoolboy rugby in South Africa. This is a fixture of great interest to all, as the boys from Paarl is the only team in recent history who have had two away wins against the boys from Bloem. Grey College would like to put the record straight as their fans have last seen a home game win against Paarl Boys in 2013. Grey College has some electrifying backs at their disposal in 2019 combined with a very strong pack of forwards. The Paarl team is a somewhat unknown factor under new coach Peter Engledow after Sean Erasmus moved on to higher honours at the Lions Rugby Union.

Paul Roos vs Paarl Gimnasium – 18/05/2019: @ Paul Roos

The 4th match of the season is an all Winelands derby between two of the strongest teams in the region for more than 150 years. Paul Roos vs Paarl Gim brings out the best in both teams and this year will be no different. They have played 11 games in the last 10 years, with Paarl Gim having the slight edge winning 6, Paul Roos winning 4 with 1 draw. The Maroon Machine (Paul Roos) started flexing its muscles in 2018 again and only lost one game against Grey College last season. With some of their key playmakers back in 2019, expect them to be one of the top teams and contender for the best schoolboy team in South Africa.  Paarl Gim will most probably make use of their promising u/16 players of 2018 and could have a very young and inexperienced team at first, but by May the youngsters will have enough game time under the belt to give Paul Roos a good run for their money.

Paarl Boys’ High vs Paul Roos – 25/05/2019 @ Paarl Boys’ High

One week later, another big Winelands derby is on the menu, when Paarl Boys’ take on Boland neighbours Paul Roos. This match is always a highlight of the season as both teams like to run the ball at every opportunity and no quarter inch is given. With Paul Roos punishing Paarl Boys’ at home last season, the boys in blue will be out for revenge at their beloved Brug street fields. This is a must watch match for any schoolboy rugby enthusiast and the last weekend in May could dish up some of the best rugby of the year.

Bishops vs Rondebosch Boys High – 08/06/2019: @ Rondebosch

In early June one of the oldest derbies in South Africa is renewed when Rondebosch hosts neighbours Bishops. Besides being one of the oldest rivalries in SA, it is also one of the most well attended in terms of spectators. Old Boys come from all over the world to attend the weekend festivities with the Saturday rugby match being the highlight.

These two schools have played an astonishing 195 matches against each other since 1908. The two schools are only about 400m apart and are situated in the shadows of the home of WP rugby, Newlands Stadium. Many a schoolboy from these two schools moved from their home turf over to Newlands to represent WP on the hallowed Newlands ground.

The encounter is played with the most beautiful background in South Africa with Table Mountain casting its shadow over the Bishops fields. Rondebosch has won 74 games with Bishops dominating the clash, winning their 100th game in the first derby of 2018. A draw is a rare event in a rugby match, but these two sides have gone on to draw 19 times with the last draw coming in 2018.

Affies vs Maritzburg College – 13/07/2019: @ Affies

After the June school holiday break, the focus moves up north again with the big encounter between Affies and Maritzburg College. This regular rivalry started in 1996 and even saw two games played in 2011. This will be the 25th interschools match between the two schools. Affies have the better record overall and have won 21 of these encounters to Maritzburgs’s 3. For many years, Maritzburg College’s rugby has been characterised by the rugged qualities and outstanding support work of its forwards, the hard running and punishing tackling of its backs, and an eagerness to move the ball at every reasonable opportunity. Most notable however is the fierce determination and spirit typifying College teams and imbuing them with an indomitable will to win. Affies is famed and regarded as one of the best rugby schools in South Africa. It has delivered many Springbok players in the past and continues to supply loads of talent in the SA Schools and SA Academy sides. Affies also has many players at all provincial levels of rugby. This will be a match of strength up against spirit, an exciting prospect for any lover of schoolboy rugby.

Grey College vs Grey High School– 20/07/2019: @Grey College

The two brother schools will line each other up in Bloemfontein towards the end of July. By that time, both teams would have established themselves on the hierarchy of SA Schools for the 2019 season. The Bloemfontein outfit, having the better of their opponents from PE in 2018, will try and retain their dominant record while the other would desperately like a win as they have only recoded 1 win in the last 10 outings. This match 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.

KES vs Maritzburg College– 27/07/2019: @KES

King Edward VII will host Maritzburg College from Pietermaritzburg for their annual derby in the latter half of the season. This derby has been a close fought affair in the last 10 years having played 11 matches. KES has the advantage by winning 6 with Maritzburg winning 3 and 2 draws. The boys from Maritzburg will be eager to throw those bashers high up into the air again to celebrate a win over the old foe from Joburg.

This match is usually played in a very good spirit and typifies what schoolboy rugby should be about, hard and uncompromising, but with utmost respect for the opponents.

Paarl Boys’ High vs Paarl Gimnasium– 03/08/2019 @ Faure Street Stadium, Paarl

The first weekend of 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. The Bloedworse vs The Galpille, Northern Paarl vs Southern Paarl. 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 either blue and white or green, gold and red. You sit on the north side or on the south side. Tough, hard and no compromises, all will be on show in this match that captures the essence of schoolboy rugby and enthrals a whole community

A rivalry that exists for more than 100 years culminates in the main rugby match on the Saturday and Premier Interschools will be there. This is the last match for both teams for the 2019 season and be assured that there will be nothing left out on the field by the boys. This is the big one for both schools with their whole season on the line. Expect blood, sweat and tears in the traditional sense.

Oakdale vs Boland Landbou– 10/08/2019: @ Oakdale

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. Oakdale from Riversdale hosts fellow agricultural school Boland Landbou from Paarl for their annual interschools. The two schools have been playing each other on yearly basis since 1992 and this year they will meet for the 27th time. The first couple of matches were very close and home ground advantage was a huge factor. It was only in 2001 that an away team won for the first time when Boland Landbou with Derick Hougaard at pivot, took the honours 15-0 in Riversdale.

The next 8 years saw Boland dominate the Interschools with Oakdale only getting a win once in 2005 with the score of 8-6 in a hard-fought game in Riversdale. The 2009 Interschools which was supposed to be held at Oakdale was abandoned due to flooded fields. The last 5 years again went according to home ground advantage and this might well continue the trend in 2019. Currently Boland holds the overall upper hand by winning 16 of the games while Oakdale have won 9 with one draw.

Paul Roos vs Grey College – 17/08/2019: @ Paul Roos

The final match of the season cannot get any better than the huge derby between Paul Roos and Grey College. Last year in Bloemfontein this clash ended dramatically when Grey College held on in the last seconds to clinch a victory against a very strong Paul Roos team. The Maroon Machine will have that loss in the back of their minds when hosting the boys from Bloem and one can’t expect them to make the same mistakes twice. Their last win against Grey was in 2015 at home and they will be confident that they can repeat that feat in 2019. This game is also the last for both teams and the players will leave nothing on the field, giving their all for that last time. A spectacle of rugby indeed.