SuperSport Schools Plus

Historical Overview – Grey College vs. Grey Boys’ High School

By Hannes Nienaber , in Rugby | News , at 2013-07-23

Grey High School will play Grey College in Bloemfontein on Saturday 27 July 2013, in the next Mutual & FederalPremier Interschools match that will be televised LIVE on SuperSport 1 HD at 12:55 – 14:30.

Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools is a series of 12 matches, which feature the highest profile and most traditional interschool rugby rivalries, from South Africa’s top rugby schools, broadcast live on SuperSport from April to August.

Schoolboy rugby has served as one of the cornerstones of domestic rugby dating back more than a century, and true to its slogan “Honouring Heritage. Playing for the Future”,Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools is about History, Heritage and Tradition. The series, now in its second year, is expected to grow even stronger.

The Mutual & Federal Premier Interschools stories are further captured in 12 magazine shows which preview all the games and provide historical overviews of these traditional schools and highlight other academic, cultural and sporting achievements.

Grey College vs Grey Boys’ High School (PE) – Background Info

Two schools who are not even in the same neighborhood because of the distance apart but very close in brotherhood will once again take to the rugby field on Saturday 27 July 2013 to continue a rivalry that started in 1929. Grey High and Grey College both have the same benefactor in Sir George Grey, Governor of the Cape Colonyfrom 5 December 1854 to 15 August 1861. He founded Grey College, Bloemfontein in 1855 and Grey High School in Port Elizabeth in 1856. During Grey’s first tenure as Governor of New Zealand, he was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (1848). Grey gave land for the establishment of Auckland Grammar School in Newmarket, Auckland in 1850. The school was officially recognised as an educational establishment in 1868 through the Auckland Grammar School Appropriation Act of the Provincial Government. Auckland Grammar school also became the school in New Zealand that produced the most All Black rugby players, much in the same mould as Grey College has become the rugby factory for Springbok rugby players in South Africa.

Grey High School from Port Elizabeth first took the initiative with an inland tour in 1929 that started off with them playing St Andrews in Grahamstown and working their way up north to Bloemfontein. There they played their brother school for the first time and lost 0-16. They invited Grey College to come down to PE the following year and the Bloemfontein Boys dually accepted and in 1930 they undertook their first tour to Port Elizabeth. In a closely fought match the Freestaters again triumphed with 9-7. For some unknown reason lost in the midst of time, the two schools took another 23 years before they played each other again. Grey PE toured to Bloemfontein again and lost 13-3 in 1953. It took another 10 years for the two Greys to square up again and the 1963 game was a drawn match of eight all while the 1968 game was also a draw. The 1972 match introduced the first unbroken sequence of matches that continues until this day. In all that time there was only another two draws in 1973 and 1990. Grey PE won their first match against their Bloemfontein

Brothers in 1976 at the anniversary of the tenth meeting between the two teams. On a day of high drama on the Philip Field at Grey PE, Robbie Logan slotted a last minute penalty for Grey High to emerge as 13-12 winners. Since then, Grey High has only been on the winning side a further six times showing the dominance that their counterparts from Bloemfontein have in the Derbies.

In the early days and up to a few years ago the boys always travelled by train between Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein and this in itself was a great event for every schoolboy involved.

2013 Season

This current season sees the two Grey’s not at their best judged against their own high standards , but still two very formidable rugby teams indeed. Their results against common opponents are very much alike with both teams having lost against Affies and Outeniqua and won against Boland Landbou.

Grey College however, did get the prized scalp of Paarl Boys’ in Bloemfontein earlier this season as well as good wins over powerhouses like Selborne and Monument. Having lost only two games thus far, they would like to up that winning ratio so don’t expect them to loose anymore games this season.

Their Port Elizabeth counterparts can boast wins against perennial powerhouse Paul Roos as well as against a very good St Andrews team, but 5 losses in-between good wins has halted their momentum so far. They had a very good showing at the annual Cape Schools week held at Paarl Gymnasium this year, only narrowly losing to the hosts 27-25 and winning against WP premier schools Boland Landbou and SACS.

Looking at the common results it is hard to pick a winner, but general form throughout the season again suggests that the Port Elizabeth lads will have a tough time getting their 7th win against the Bloemfonteinboys. Grey College might not have the fearsome forwards of a few seasons ago, but the 2013 pack is good enough to hold their own against any opposition. Fullback EW Viljoen together with center Stephan Rautenbach are the key players in the Grey backline and Viljoen’s decisive runs from the back can cause headaches for Grey High if they don’t have a counter for it. 

Grey High’s success recipe contains two main ingredients. Flanker and captain CJ Velleman and 8th man Martin Groenewald. Velleman got injured during Cravenweek and is a doubtful started for the interschool’s match thus Grey High could have a vital cog in their engine room missing come Saturday. They depend a lot on their solid pack of forwards and speedy backs. Another question is whether Grey High can play talented young u16 flyhalf Curwin Bosch. Boksmart rules state that if your opponents field an all u/18 side, you may play a u16 player, only if there is a u/19 player on the field, u/16 players are not allowed to play. Bosch is such an exciting young talent that the Grey College coaches might just be wise enough to include a u/19 player in their starting team to make sure they eliminate his threat!


Hannes Nienaber
error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.