UPDATED: School of Rugby’s Top Ten School Rugby Rivalries

Written by Hannes Nienaber

SASchoolRivalries School of Rugby | UPDATED: School of Rugby’s Top Ten School Rugby Rivalries - School of RugbyI gave myself the tremendous task (but a very satisfying one) to compile a top ten list on which games I believe are the top rivalries in South African Schoolboy rugby back in 2011, I dusted it off a bit and updated the scores between the rivals. Before even starting with the list I knew I was opening a can of worms, but thought it would be an interesting talking point and get everyone up and excited about the coming season.

South Africa’s premier rugby school Grey College and Affies both made my list twice. I must make it clear that I weighed traditional matches with a rich tradition and history highly. For example, the annual encounter between Kimberley heavyweights, Noord-Kaap and Diamantveld, has only gained interest countrywide the last couple of seasons with Diamonds and Northerns both making a name for themselves on the rugby field.

There are the matches which chose themselves and I think no one would have left them out of their top ten. They are the Paarl-derby, Grey College versus Paul Roos Gimnasium and Bishops versus Rondebosch Boys’ High. I would really like some feedback on my list positive or negative and on how you’re list would’ve looked and why?

So here are my top ten schools’ rugby rivalries in South Africa:

10. Affies vs Pretoria Boys' High

Highlights of the "Boereoorlog" of 2019 by SchoolSportLive

The oldest schools' rugby rivalry in the rugby-mad Pretoria, Affies versus Pretoria Boys' High, received a boost in 2019 thanks to an inspiring victory by the Candies. The annual clash became a bit one-sided with Affies recording record victories in 2013, 2015, 2016 and again in 2018 as they ran in 12 successive victories over Pretoria Boys' High since 2008. 

With Paul Anthony back holding the reigns at Pretoria Boys' High in 2019 helped to put the fire back into the Candies and the annual interschools between the two arch-rivals. The two schools met each other for the first time on a rugby field back in 1923. When these schools practice their war cries the other can hear them across the railway line.  

The last 15 encounters between Affies and Pretoria Boys' High:

2019 Pretoria Boys' High 38 Affies 21
2018 Affies 62 Pretoria Boys' High 20
2017 Affies 36 Pretoria Boys' High 20
2016 Affies 67 Pretoria Boys' High 6
2015 Affies 56 Pretoria Boys' High 3
2014 Affies 34 Pretoria Boys' High 26
2013 Affies 50 Pretoria Boys' High 12
2013 Affies 36 Pretoria Boys' High 20
2012 Affies 34 Pretoria Boys' High 11
2011 Affies 44 Pretoria Boys' High 0
2011 Affies 26 Pretoria Boys' High 10
2010 Affies 38 Pretoria Boys' High 3
2009 Affies 20 Pretoria Boys' High 15
2008 Pretoria Boys' High 34 Affies 30
2007 Pretoria Boys' High 20 Affies 20 

9. Wynberg Boys’ High vs. SACS

Highlights of the 2018 FNB Classic Clash between Wynberg Boys' and SACS courtesy of School Sports Live

SACS is the oldest school in South Africa, while Wynberg Boys’ High is the second oldest school in the country. Thus when these two sides lock horns it is a clash between the two oldest schools in South Africa. SACS has produced 29 Springboks to date with Percy Montgomery being the latest. There are however some schools that have claimed to be older, but none boasts a proud rugby tradition like these two schools that are almost 4km apart in Cape Town's southern suburbs. 

The last 15 matches between Wynberg Boys’ High and SACS:

2019 Wynberg Boys' High 28 SACS 0
SACS 20 Wynberg Boys' High 6
Wynberg Boys' High 30 SACS 17
Wynberg Boys' High 46 SACS 22
SACS 24 Wynberg Boys' High 20
SACS 27 Wynberg Boys' High 20
SACS 31 Wynberg Boys' High 20
SACS 24 Wynberg Boys' High 12
Wynberg Boys' High 30 SACS 23
SACS 22 Wynberg Boys' High 5
Wynberg Boys' High 36 SACS 5
Wynberg Boys' High 10 SACS 0
Wynberg Boys' High 17 SACS 12
2013 Wynberg Boys' High 15 SACS 7
2012 Wynberg Boys' High 8 SACS 7
Wynberg Boys' High 26 SACS 16

8. King Edward VII vs. Jeppe Boys’ High

Highlights from the 2014 Mutual & Federal match courtesy of SuperSport

The clash in Johannesburg between King Edward VII and Jeppe Boys’ High is one of the oldest interschools north of the Vaal River. The first match between the two sides was played in 1935. King Edward won the clash 20-0. Jeppe produced Springbok flyer Sbu Nkosi recently as well as first-class players like Wandisile Simelane, Hacjivah Dayimani and Tyrone Green in recent years.  

KES' dream team of 2017 under the leadership of Travis Gordon secured one of their schools' biggest victories when they came out on top by 45-10. 

The last ten results between King Edward VII and Jeppe Boys’ High:

2019 Jeppe Boys' High 25 King Edward VII 7
King Edward VII 49 Jeppe Boys' High 31
Jeppe Boys' High 52 King Edward VII 27
Jeppe Boys' High 24 King Edward VII 21
King Edward VII 45 Jeppe Boys' High 10
Jeppe Boys' High 36 King Edward VII 17
King Edward VII 24 Jeppe Boys' High 0
Jeppe Boys' High 17 King Edward VII 17
Jeppe Boys' High 15 King Edward VII 12
Jeppe Boys' High 28 King Edward VII 13
King Edward VII 36 Jeppe Boys’ High 15
2010 Jeppe Boys’ High 17 King Edward VII 13
2009 King Edward VII 65 Jeppe Boys’ High 10
2008 King Edward VII 24 Jeppe Boys’ High 14
2007 King Edward VII 40 Jeppe Boys’ High 18
2006 King Edward VII 12 Jeppe Boys’ High 0
2005 King Edward VII 30 Jeppe Boys’ High 7
2004 King Edward VII 12 Jeppe Boys’ High 0
2003 King Edward VII 27 Jeppe Boys’ High 7
2002 Jeppe Boys’ High 20 King Edward VII 14

7. Glenwood vs. Durban High School

Highlights of the FNB Classic Clash between Glenwood and Durban High School in 2019 courtesy of DigiTV.co.za

In a clash between the Grasshoppers and the Horseflies as Glenwood and DHS are also known as in Durban. These two schools have met each other for the first time in 1922 and it isn't always a pleasant clash, but always a tense one between these two arch-rivals. Durban High School broke an 11-year drought back in 2017 and since then is still looking get the better of Glenwood again. 

The last 15 encounters between Durban High School and Glenwood: 

2019 Glenwood 24 Durban High School 12
Glenwood 59 Durban High School 19
Glenwood 55 Durban High School 12
Durban High School 20 Glenwood 17
Glenwood 24 Durban High School 23
Glenwood 45 Durban High School 21
Glenwood 38 Durban High School 13
Glenwood 46 Durban High School 14
Glenwood 34 Durban High School 9
Glenwood 19 Durban High School 5
Glenwood 26 Durban High School 0
Glenwood 31 Durban High School 3
Glenwood 12 Durban High School 6
Glenwood 16 Durban High School 3
2006 Glenwood 34 Durban High School 9

6. Grey College vs Affies

Highlights of the FNB Classic Clash of 2013 between Affies and Grey College

Grey College is without a doubt the main feeder to provincial unions for a couple of seasons now. It is with this reasoning that this FNB Classic Clash between them and Affies of Pretoria also makes this list. Affies is also the main feeder for the Blue Bulls and also produced Springbok players like Fourie du Preez, Pierre Spies, Wynand Olivier and .

I was, however, reluctant initially to include this encounter on my list. Because Affies haven’t been beating Grey College on a regular basis since the two teams met each other for the first time in 1953. Affies can only boast about five victories in 1996, 2005, 2006, 2012 and in 2013.

The encounter has however been boosted by the fact that Free State Cheetahs and Blue Bulls have been building a rivalry in the Currie Cup in the mid 2000′s. The Cheetahs is mostly made up of former Grey College pupils, while Affies as previously mentioned is mainly fed by Affies. The match also became an FNB Classic Clash in 2010.

Grey became the first team to put 50 points past Affies' Wit Bulle back in 2016 (53-29), they've also managed another fifty (50-28) last year in Bloemfontein after trailing at the break. 

The last 15 matches between Grey College and Affies:

2019 Grey College 50 Affies 28
Grey College 39 Affies 28
Grey College 35 Affies 32
Grey College 53 Affies 29
Affies 29 Grey College 18
Grey College 42 Affies 31
Affies 37 Grey College 31
 Affies 35 Grey College 29 
Grey College 16 Affies 11
2010 Grey College 23 Affies 6
2009 Grey College 30 Affies 13
2008 Grey College 31 Affies 12
2007 Grey College 47 Affies 10
2006 Affies 18 Grey College 13
2005 Affies 27 Grey College 20

5. Queen’s College vs Dale College

Highlights of the clash between Dale College and Queen's College in 2019 by SchoolSportLive

Queen’s College and Dale College met each other for the first time on the rugby field in 1891, the same year South Africa played their first rugby test against the touring British. The teams began to face each other on an annual basis since 1926.

The biggest victory in the derby came way back in 1927 when Dale College put 64 points past Queen’s College in Kings Williams Town without conceding any points.

The results of the last 15 matches between Queen’s College and Dale College:

2019 Dale College 24 Queen's College 14
Dale College 32 Queen's College 6
Dale College 29 Queen's College 26
Dale College 29 Queen's College 16
Queen's College 24 Dale College 24
Queen's College 25 Dale College 24
Dale College 32 Queen's College 30
Dale College 17 Queen's College 3
Dale College 15 Queen's College 14
Dale College 26 Queen's College 19
Queen's College 35 Dale College 33
Dale College 13 Queen's College 12
Queen's College 23 Dale College 10
Queen's College 6 Dale College 0
Queen's College 28 Dale College 6
Dale College 21 Queen's College 18

4. Oakdale Landbou vs Boland Landbou

Highlights of the Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools of 2014 between Oakdale Landbou and Boland Landbou courtesy of SuperSport 

When the two top rugby playing agricultural schools in South Africa, Boland Landbou and Oakdale Landbou, meet each other annually it is without a doubt one of the most physical battles in schoolboy rugby probably around the world. Boland Landbou produced Springboks like Derick Hougaard, Deon Carstens and Hottie Louw. 

Oakdale Landbou produced CJ Stander (Ireland) as well as Springboks like Johann Muller and Meyer Bosman. 

The last 15 results between Boland Landbou and Oakdale Landbou:

2019 Boland Landbou 26 Oakdale Landbou 23
2018 Boland Landbou 56 Oakdale Landbou 19
2017 Oakdale Landbou 14 Boland Landbou 12
2016 Boland Landbou 27 Oakdale Landbou 22
2015 Oakdale Landbou 21 Boland Landbou 19
2014 Boland Landbou 13 Oakdale Landbou 7
2013 Oakdale Landbou 29 Boland Landbou 10
2012 Boland Landbou 38 Oakdale Landbou 19
2011 Oakdale Landbou 34 Boland Landbou 3
2010 Oakdale Landbou 3 Boland Landbou 0
2009 Game Cancelled due to inclement weather
2008 Boland Landbou 16 Oakdale Landbou 8
2007 Boland Landbou 27 Oakdale Landbou 19
2006 Boland Landbou 17 Oakdale Landbou 11
2005 Oakdale Landbou 8 Boland Landbou 6

3. Diocesan College vs. Rondebosch Boys’ High

Highlights of the FNB Classic Clash of 2016 between Bishops and Rondebosch courtesy of SuperSport

The encounter is definitely played with the most picturesque backgrounds in South Africa with Table Mountain in the background. It is also fittingly that Diocesan College (Bishops) plays some of the most beautiful running rugby in the country annually. Rondebosch Boys’ High also plays an open style of rugby which makes this clash one of the most exciting matches to watch. The interschools between these two Cape Town schools started in 1911.

The first match between the two schools was however played in 1908 with Bishops running rampant on that day winning the encounter 112-0 with Painton Cowen scoring 86 points in the match. Bishops have older rivalries against SACS, St. Andrew’s College and Paul Roos but it can’t compare against the rivalry they have against Rondebosch Boys’ High. The two schools are no more than half-a-kilometre apart from one another. The two sides play each other twice every year with one being an FNB Classic Clash.

Last 15 results between Diocesan College and Rondebosch Boys’ High since 2012:

2019 Rondebosch Boys' High 21 Diocesan College 10
Diocesan College 36 Rondebosch Boys' High 26
Diocesan College 10 Rondebosch Boys' High 10
Diocesan College 25 Rondebosch Boys' High 20
Rondebosch Boys' High 64 Diocesan College 7
Rondebosch Boys' High 32 Diocesan College 19
Rondebosch Boys' High 30 Diocesan College 26
Rondebosch Boys' High 15 Diocesan College 14
Rondebosch Boys' High 55 Diocesan College 12
Diocesan College 36 Rondebosch Boys' High 23
Diocesan College 22 Rondebosch Boys' High 21
Diocesan College 52 Rondebosch Boys' High 14
Rondebosch Boys' High 22 Diocesan College 7
Diocesan College 23 Rondebosch Boys' High 11
Rondebosch Boys' High 19 Diocesan College 11

2. Grey College vs. Paul Roos Gimnasium

Highlights of 2019's Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools between Paul Roos and Grey College courtesy of SuperSport

It is said in Bloemfontein that Paul Roos Gimnasium could lose all their matches in a season, but if they are victorious in the last encounter of the season against Grey College the team from Stellenbosch has had a season to brag about. Paul Roos Gimnasium has been the only school to defeat South Africa’s premier rugby school, Grey College on a regular basis.

Grey College managed to put 51 points past Paul Roos' defence last year in Stellenbosch. 

The results of the last 15 encounters between Paul Roos Gimnasium and Grey College are:

2019 Grey College 51 Paul Roos Gimnasium 28
Grey College 28 Paul Roos Gimnasium 26
Grey College 30 Paul Roos Gimnasium 28
Grey College 34 Paul Roos Gimnasium 32
Paul Roos Gimnasium 19 Grey College 12
Grey College 25 Paul Roos Gimnasium 20
Grey College 40 Paul Roos Gimnasium 8
Grey College 33 Paul Roos Gimnasium 23
2011 Grey College 36 Paul Roos Gimnasium 35
2010 Grey College 41 Paul Roos Gimnasium 29
2009 Paul Roos Gimnasium 9 Grey College 3
2008 Grey College 47 Paul Roos Gimnasium 15
2007 Grey College 40 Paul Roos Gimnasium 14
2006 Paul Roos Gimnasium 16 Grey College 11
2005 Grey College 16 Paul Roos Gimnasium 11

1. Paarl Boys’ High vs. Paarl Gimnasium

Highlights of the Premier Interschools clash in 2016 between Paarl Gimnasium and Paarl Boys' High courtesy of SuperSport

This interschools clash of the Paarl at Fauré Street Stadium is the biggest in South Africa or in the world for that matter. It attracts more than 20 000 spectators annually. You’re either a Galpil (Paarl Boys’ High) or a Bloedwors (Paarl Gimnasium). These two sides have been fighting it out on the rugby field since 1915.

Paarl Gimnasium broke a drought of five years in 2019 thanks to a narrow 18-17 victory. Gimmies recorded their biggest victory in the interschools came in 2008 when Louis Schreuder captained them to a 35-8 victory over Boishaai. Paarl Boys' High under Sean Erasmus had the better of Gimmies from 2015 until 2018 before his departure to the Golden Lions after the 2018-season. 

The match has a huge build-up with the parents of the first XV’s capping the players in front of the school the day before the big match.

Last 15 encounters between Paarl Boys’ High and Paarl Gimnasium:

2019 Paarl Gimnasium 18 Paarl Boys' High 17
Paarl Boys'High 24 Paarl Gimnasium 21
Paarl Boys' High 18 Paarl Gimnasium 13
Paarl Boys' High 26 Paarl Gimnasium 25
Paarl Boys' High 16 Paarl Gimnasium 10
Paarl Gimnasium 16 Paarl Boys' High 15
 Paarl Gimnasium 37 Paarl Boys' High 26
Paarl Gimnasium 16 Paarl Boys' High 9
Paarl Gimnasium 22 Paarl Boys’ High 19
2010 Paarl Gimnasium 19 Paarl Boys’ High 19
2009 Paarl Boys’ High 24 Paarl Gimnasium 12
2008 Paarl Gimnasium 35 Paarl Boys’ High 8
2007 Paarl Gimnasium 10 Paarl Boys’ High 0
2006 Paarl Gimnasium 23 Paarl Boys’ High 17
2005 Paarl Gimnasium 22 Paarl Boys’ High 10

*School Rugby Rivalries which are unlucky not to have made this list are: Noord-Kaap vs Diamantveld; Marlow Landbou vs Oakdale Landbou; Voortrekker vs Witteberg; Glenwood vs Maritzburg College; Maritzburg College vs Durban High School; St. Andrew’s College vs Diocesan College; Queen’s College vs Selborne College; Hilton College vs Michaelhouse.

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