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Back You are here: Home Sports Rugby Western Cape Dis 'n Boishaai Ding..'n Lekker Lekker Boishaai Ding!
Monday, 29 March 2010 23:03

Dis 'n Boishaai Ding..'n Lekker Lekker Boishaai Ding!

Walking around Paarl Boys' High on a crisp Autumn morning is like heaven for a rugby lover. I still hold many a fond Copy_of_1110419_Maryke_mmemory of this grand old school from my playing days when we would trek out to Paarl to pit ourselves against some of the best of the Boland.

The delicious pancakes and delicacies dished out by the beaming "tannies" was reason enough for throngs to make the journey but what really endeared me to this seemingly sleepy town was the love for the game. It is present in the very fibre of a Paarlite, in every brick in every wall and in embedded deep in the lush, rich soil of this rugby-mad town. While they might be sworn enemies on Interskole day, both Boishaai and Gimmies (Paarl Gym) are the pride of every single citizen of this proud town and when either play against opposition sides they receive the full support of the other.

That is the beauty of living in a small, passionate town like this. I would find it hard to see any Rondebosch boy even choose to look twice at a Bishops boy forget about supporting him in a rugby game against another side. But the boys from Paarl seem to embody camaraderie and this peters out substantially on the rugby field. Many a year I have heard sour-grapes from Cape Town when many a armchair critic voices his opinion about the amount of boys hailing from the Boland region who have been chosen for the WP Craven Week side, but if they only came out here and felt a part of the heritage, the culture, the passion and the enjoyment I am sure every single one of them would say, "Ah, so this is the reason."

 

One can't deny that it's the people that have made Boishaai the success they are today. It's more like one massive family than a school. And the family members are as warm as the fine wine which this region is famous for. No matter who you are, big fish or seemingly insignificant they will roll out the red carpet treatment for you. They make you feel like you belong. These are the building blocks upon which a successful sporting school is built on.

 

 

Its been almost a year since the boys from the Winelands had their dream rugby season, topping it off with that oh-so-famous victory over Gimmies in the 2009 Interskole. Many raised doubts as to whether this was a flash in the pan but coaches Elmo Wolfaardt and Richard Visagie have been hard at work to ensure that the Boishaai 1st XV of 2010 continues the success of the 2009 vintage... and then some.

The two Boishaai stalwarts have been hard at work since October last year laying the foundations for the 2010 stock to have a successful season. While most other top schools were rounding off their 2009 rugby season, the non-Matrics who were contenders for 1st XV spots were hard at work preparing for trials! Most schools often hold trials in early February but Elmo and Richard know how important it is to build a team atmosphere.

 

Once a squad was selected the chosen ones began Monday skills sessions throughout the Fourth Term, breaking only for the Christmas holidays from early December onwards and already the foresight of the coaches are bearing glorious fruit in Boishaai's pre-season games, the first of which was against Oudtshoorn which they comprehensively won 50 - 0. Matches against an FNB Invitational XV followed which was won 52 - 10 as well as a match against HTS Belville at the Brackenfell Sports Day which was won 70 - 0.

 

Newlands Rugby Day:

 

The traditional pre-season schools rugby day which takes place annually pitted Boishaai againt old foes Rondebosch. It was an unforgettable experience for many of the Boishaai players, many of whom will only once in their lives experience playing on such a hallowed turf.

 

The match itself was far from the greatest spectacle with both teams committing silly errors, classically indicative of pre-season rustiness. Nevertheless there never seemed to be any doubt as to who the dominant side was as Boishaai ran out comprehensive 25 - 0 winners against a lackluster "Bosch" side.

What did make the experience an incredible one was turning around to peek at the famous Newlands Grand Stand and seeing nearly 1000 boys proudly displaying the Boishaai uniform singing and cheering in unison. It was something that brought back fond memories of Saturday afternoons and was clearly quite the excursion for the boys.

Team Structure:

So what does make Boishaai successful? Surely it can't purely be passion? Agreed while passion does play an integral part in their success it is their intelligent team structure that is really what makes them formidable opposition. The 1st and 2nd XV's operate as one squad with the 2nd's made up mostly of Grade 11's. This is essential as the common curse of schoolboy 1st XV teams is the excuse that most of our Matrics have left and now we're stuck with a bunch of Grade 11's who are not as good as the Matrics of last year. The Boishaai system ensures that Grade 11 players are exposed to the coaching environment and structures they can expect at 1st XV level so that when their time arrives the following season they step into their respective 1st XV berths with consummate ease. This in the long-term ensures a constant stream of successful 1st XV's instead of a "once in every few years" story.

Both Elmo and Richard also involve all coaches at all levels in their weekly meetings meaning that should any player in the 1st XV get injured, both Elmo and Richard know exactly the strengths and weaknesses of their back-up players. It is also essential that the rugby is kept to an exceptionally high level from 1st XV level right down to U14E as different players peak at different times and ensuring that all teams are successful means that late bloomers are identified quickly instead of being lost in the system.

Upcoming Fixtures:

 

Boishaai have a fixture list which is reminiscent more of a professional rugby side than a schoolboy side. The prime objective is the St. John's Easter Festival which will be the real litmus test as to where the side stands in comparison with other top sides in the country. They will be playing Helpmekaar, Nelspruit and then a big game against Jeppe, fresh from their victory in their Classic Clash with KES.

The boys have brief respite from their hectic schedule before heading to what is fast becoming a prestigious schools rugby tournament, namely the Wildeklawer Schools Rugby Tournament, consisting of arguably the top 10 rugby sides in the country. This year's edition will be taking place at Affies no less and Boishaai will face their biggest task yet against the kings of KZN in Glenwood.

So the future bodes well for this great South African school. Time will tell whether or not this season will be one for the ages but having so far passed through all their pre-season games unbeaten, take it from me, this will be a team to remember. I emphasise the word TEAM as this is exactly what they are. There are no Bryan Habana's or Jaque Fourie's, but 15 players who are willing to sacrifice everything for their teammates on a rugby field. This is what makes them a champion side.

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