IF Paterson are to have a chance of winning the Northern Areas High Schools rugby competition final on Saturday, they will have to find a way of subduing the David Livingstone pack.
In two hard-fought semifinals last week, Paterson defeated Booysen Park 11-0 and David Livingstone saw off one of the favourites, Bertram, 18-10.
The competition heads for the finale this weekend and there should be some exciting rugby as the various divisions are decided at the Adcock Stadium, with the programme getting under way at 9.45am.
Under the capable leadership of prop Terwin Siwana, David Livingstone produced an impressive performance in the under-19 division last week, dismantling Bertram's hopes with some power play up front.
Earlier this year, in the Night Series, Bertram had advanced to the final ahead of David Livingstone on the toss of a coin after the teams had ended at 20-20 after extra time. In a sense, therefore, there was an element of justice in David Livingstone's win and they will be keen to seize this opportunity to capture the title.
Besides their well-drilled forwards, talented fullback Muhamed Jacobs will be a key player. He is capable of testing the Paterson defence with his incisive running, while his accurate goal-kicking will also be important for Livingstone.
Paterson, though, will take heart from their solid performance against Booysen Park, whose game has improved this season. Scrumhalf Sachin Filander will have an important role to play, both as a link between forwards and backs, and with his goal-kicking ability.
David Livingstone will be looking to cap a successful season because their teams will be contesting the u-15 and u-17 finals as well. In each match, they will be up against Booysen Park.
In the girls' sevens final, to be played as the main curtain-raiser, Bertram take on Booysen Park at 2.25pm.
The programme for Saturday is:
9.45am: Opening and welcome
10am: u-15 Cup final: David Livingstone v Booysen Park
10.55am: u-17 Cup final: David Livingstone v Booysen Park
12.00: u-19 top two, bottom section: Gelvandale v Bethelsdorp
1.15: u-19 third place: Bertram v Booysen Park
2.25: Girls' sevens final: Bertram v Booysen Park
3pm: u-19 Cup final: David Livingstone v Paterson
NICO Malan will be the Eastern Cape's only representatives in the competition for Western Cape and Eastern Cape schools, divided into three sections.
The Humansdorp team defeated Langenhoven Gymnasium to qualify for the final in the medium schools division where they will take on Hermanus on Saturday.
Zwide team Ndzondelelo faced Langenhoven from Riversdale in the small schools section regional final, but ended up losing 25-5. Langenhoven will take on Excelsior in Saturday's finals.
The big schools final will be a massive showdown between Outeniqua and the unbeaten Paarl Gym side, who earlier this season registered a 37-25 win over their George rivals. That has been Outeniqua's only loss of the season and they would love little more than to reverse that outcome. It will be a tough challenge, though, against the impressive Paarl outfit.
Outeniqua won through to the final last week when they overcame a determined Marlow team 18-6 in the Eastern Cape playoff.