Diamantveld should have a solid team come 2020 and a lot will be expected of this group who punched well above their weight as Under 16’s managing a Top 20 finish. Their Grade 11 support base while not as strong at Under 16 level does contain some talented players.
Players to watch:
We like the look of hooker Louis Vermeulen as well as loose-forward Stefan Swart.
Jeanovane Jansen looks an exciting player.
Should be some great local derbies this year, on the national stage expect some tough games against the top tier teams. We would think a push for the Top 25 is a more than realistic goal.
Duineveld are certainly no push overs, they often play a brand of tough rugby with large forwards and speedy backs that often punish teams on the counter attack.
Last years win over Diamantveld showed that they stand back for nobody, but perhaps this year could be tough for them having lost a number of regular and their Grade 11’s wont help too much with the depth issue should injuries hamper their season.
Players to watch:
Muller du Plessis looks a solid loose-forward and keep your eye on Duwayne Jacobs who looks an exciting prospect
Keep an eye on powerful prop Hannes van Blerk
Just too much quality in their local rivals will make it a tough season, but they will never step back from the physical confrontation of that make no mistake.
What a 2019 it was for Grey College! The team will go down as one of the finest ever produced by the school and for Grey College, that is saying a lot. They were ranked as our number 1 school on the globe in 2019 and 2020’s class will have a heck of a lot to live up to.
The class of 2020 will be no different to any Grey College year, packed to the brim with talent. For a school with such pedigree anything less than a number 1 ranking is seen as a failure. They wont have it all their own way this year, for in the shadows lurks an equally devastating team that will look to knock them off their perch – the Paarl Gim vs Grey College game this year will possibly go down as one of the most competitive of this century, and we do not engage in hyperbole.
Players to watch:
Where to start? In the front row they have Tielman Niewoudt a massive prop with pace to burn as well as Ricardo Fourie at hooker. They could very well have the best front row in the country.
Another forward to keep your eye on is Sisonke Vumazonke, he was a lock for the 1st XV in 2019 and was a regular starter for the College. We expect him to move to his preferred position of flank and he will walk into the SA Schools team, there is no doubt about that.
The backline is a frightening prospect for any opposing team. The half-back pairing is likely to be JD Olivier and Franco Knoetze, two stars of the 2019 season who will unleash hell on opposition teams. In Pascal Ekeji they have an NFL style running back whose pace, size and movement will leave opponents bamboozled.
And last but not least there is Sonwabo Sokoyi. Athleticism and skills can be developed, rugby IQ is simply something you were born with. There is hardly a weakness in this prospects game, his handling is the best we have ever seen at high school level and his ability to spot a gap and create space for his teammates will leave many a jaw nailed to the ground. Expect a huge season from this youngster.
Keep a close watch on an extremely special player named Regan Izaks. His preferred position is fly-half but should be make the 1st XV we expect him to be used as a utility back in the same way Franco Knoetze was used in 2019. He has a great future ahead of him and will become a key player for the College come 2021.
We simply cannot call it, it is literally that hard. We expect Grey to finish either 1st or 2nd in the country, totally dependent on their result against Paarl Gim.
Noord-Kaap are yet another school from the central region who do not shy away from confrontation, the area is renowned for producing rugby hard men and anyone who has played these schools will know this from experience.
The school will certainly like to improve upon last years performances having lost to both their local rivals Diamantveld and Noord-Kaap. There is no reason why this could not happen with the team possessing a diverse and balanced team this year around.
Players to watch:
Jesse-Owen Denation is a centre that is as exciting as his name suggests. Franco Stassen is a take no prisoners lock that should also be watched carefully.
Keep an eye on scrummie Jayden Eiman
They will be a solid central region team as they always are, how they compete on a national level will be extremely interesting in our opinion. They should be pushing toward the Top 35 if their team can click and fulfill their potential.
Welkom Gim are for want of a better word the “official opposition” to Grey College in the central region, but much like our own political official opposition it is with the full knowledge that they cannot compete with the rugby juggernaut. Not that there is any disgrace in this regard, there is hardly a school in the country that can lay claim to that achievement, Welkom Gim just have the misfortune of being in the same catchment area as the College and thus the best and brightest in the region are likely to see Grey College as a natural stepping stone.
The class of 2020 have talent but depth perhaps could be an issue, their support will be average from a decent Grade 11 group but again depth is a major area of concern.
Player to watch:
Benedict Human is a solid fly-half and Carl Pienaar looks to be a fantastic prospect at loose-forward, one feels that Human’s performances will make or break certain games for the boys.
Conlinn Treunicht looks a useful player, perhaps he and Human could form an ideal half-back pairing?
Expect them as usual to contribute heavily to the Griffons Craven Week squad and to put up a good fight against other regional teams. However they will not likely be a major player on the national scene.
The same as it is literally every year, Grey College will easily be the unofficial central region champions for 2020.