It is War in Paarl


It is the biggest schools rugby even in the world, and Jacques (Bunny) takes us through some of the history between the biggest rivals in SA schools as-well as what you can look forward to if you make your way down to Paarl this weekend where Gimmies take on Boys High.

The Interschools in Paarl each year is the biggest in the world. No other schools’ match equals it for interest and intensity. And they have been at it since 1915.

Now that Intervarsity matches have lost its lustre, it is this Interschools which expresses South Africa’s most intense and ornate rivalry.

There are bands and songs and fancy dress, balloons and rosettes, ceremonies and superstitions, and a crowd of some 16 000 at the ground in Faure Street – a neutral ground.

The venue may be neutral but nobody in that ground will be neutral. It is possibly the most divisive sporting event in South Africa.

Paarl Gim’s people wear green, Paarl Boys’ High’s blue. The programmes are green or blue. Gim are to the left, Boys’ High to the right. You are either a Gimmie or a Boishaaier, a Bloedwors or a Galpil – and there is nothing friendly in the nicknames.

There are huge functions before and after – separate functions, and there is no friendly feeling towards the other school in the functions afterwards either.

Then come the matches – 19 of them. And there is nothing friendly in the matches, either. The only contact between the two schools at Interschools is on the field.

There is nothing overboard in the unfriendliness. People behave, but the hostility is there, however controlled. The players will never tackle harder in their lives. They will never again be as afraid to make an error. Their coaches will never be as tense again. And afterwards the two schools go Phew! and have a week off.

Everyone of the 19 matches at Interschools will be intense and matter desperately to the players and those on the touch-line. But, of course, it is the first team match that matters most. The team which wins the first team match wins Interschools as far as the world is concerned.

There are other sports – hockey and squash, for example, and the Girls’ High plays Gim at hockey and netball, and there is competition at primary school level. But it is the first team rugby match which counts. Say Boys’ High won Interschools, and everybody knows you are talking about the first rugby team.

Everybody gets worked up – the pupils, the parents, the past pupils and the whole community of the beautiful Boland town. And on the day Paarl has a parking problem.

They started playing each other in 1910 in two matches a year. Two matches would now be unthinkable. Such tension twice a year would be unbearable. The results are counted from 1915. Between 1915 and 1927 the two schools competed for the Phillips Cup, in which masters often played. The schools in the Western Province scrapped all trophies and the two schools began playing each other, schoolboy vs schoolboy.

The results down the years:

1915: Boys’ High won 10-0
1916: Gim won 7-5
1917: Gim won 3-0
1918: Gim won 3-0
1919: Gim won 9-0
1920: Gim won 20-0
1921: Draw 6-6
1922: Draw 3-3
1923: Boys’ High won 3-0
1924: Boys’ High won 13-5
1925: Boys’ High won 7-3
1926: Boys’ High won 6-5
1927: PG won 5-3
1928: No match
1929: Draw 3-3
1930: Boys’ High won 5-3
1931: Gim won 6-0
1932: Gim won 7-3
1933: Boys’ High won 3-0
1934: Boys’ High won 5-4
1935: Draw 0-0
1936: Gim won 11-6
1937: Gim won 5-3
1938: Gim won 5-3
1939: Gim won 9-8
1940: Draw 3-3
1941: Gim won 6-0
1942: Draw 0-0
1943: Gim won 9-6
1944: Boys’ High won 6-0
1945: Boys’ High won 14-6
1946: Draw 3-3
1947: Boys’ High won 8-3
1948: Draw 3-3
1949: Gim won 9-3
1950: Boys’ High won 6-3
1951: Boys’ High won 6-0
1952: Boys’ High won 11-0
1953: Boys’ High won 6-5
1956: Gim won 6-3
1957: Gim won 5-3
1958: Gim won 11-0
1959: Boys’ High won 11-3
1960: Gim won 9-3
1961: Boys’ High won 6-0
1962: Boys’ High won 6-0
1963: Boys’ High won 8-0
1964: Gim won 9-8
1965: Gim won 11-0
1966: Gim won 8-0
1967: Gim won 8-6
1968: Gim won 3-0
1969: Boys’ High won 8-5
1970: Gim won 19-8
1971: Boys’ High won 11-6
1972: Boys’ High won 6-3
1973: Boys’ High won 19-6
1974: Gim won 9-3
1975: Boys’ High won 3-0
1976: Gim won 8-6
1977: Boys’ High won 15-6
1978: Gim won 13-10
1979: Gim won 12-6
1980: Gim won 9-3
1981: Gim won 12-0
1982: Boys’ High won 16-15
1983: Gim won 15-6
1984: Gim won 10-4
1985: Boys’ High won 16-6
1986: Draw 0-0
1987: Boys’ High won 15-7
1988: Draw 6-6
1989: Gim won 15-4
1990: Boys’ High won 10-6
1991: Boys’ High won 8-4
1992: Gim won 20-15
1993: Boys’ High won 19-17
1994: Boys’ High won 11-6
1995: Boys’ High won 17-13
1996: Gim won 18-16
1997: Gim won 13-10
1998: Boys’ High won 16-5
1999: Gim won 13-6
2000: Boys’ High won 15-7
2001: Gim won 13-6
2002: Gim won 15-0
2003: Boys’ High won 25-6
2004: Gim won 13-3
2005: Gim won 22-10
2006: Gim won 23-17
2007: Gim won 10-0
2008: Gim won 38-5
2009:Boys’High won 24-12, First time since 2003.

For more information on the program go to

Don’t miss the biggest school event of the year and be part of the Paarl tradition.

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  1. Got the good news from Paarl yesterday that my son’s team won their Hockey game 9-2 were he scored 3 gaols. My daughter’s team won 6-3.

    Today they play netball and tomorrow rugby.

    The High Schools do all there matches on saturday.

    Go Gimmies
    :wave: My blood is green!!!!

  2. Reply to Jacques(Bunny) @ 10:58 am:

    :applause: This is what I miss for my daughter over here in Austria. The schools don’t have ANY sportsgrounds and some don’t even have a Hall! :bangheadt:
    HOWEVER they do hit the mountain every year and do skiing etc. but they really should have more sport in the schools – something I am working on BTW!

  3. In would be great if there was a win/loss stat in the article. I really don’t want to count al those match results

  4. Reply to Ollie @ 3:48 pm:

    we started a bit of history here in 2003
    Innsbruck (Tirol in Austria) v Bolzano (South tirol in Italy)
    Thanks to the 1WW it was split :cuss:

    Anyway – we have a yearly match for a groundhog called Murray
    2003: 10-10
    2004: 03-26 for Bolzano
    2005: 17-5 for Bolzano
    2007: 37-17 for Innsbruck
    2008: 19-29 for Innsbruck
    2009: 18-08 for Innsbruck
    2010: 15-28 for Innsbruck


  5. Reply to manvanstaal @ 4:13 pm:

    Apparently Dale College is not faring too well anymore. They had a very strong old boys network that is waning and the interest in rugby by the pupils is not so big anymore.

    This is just rumour as far as I know though. There is still a derby day coming up this year and Selborne is still hyping it.

  6. My son was at Gim. He says
    that Boishaai is far ahead
    with the lower team scores.

    BTW Slaptjips did not play
    first team at Gim. Several
    other Boks too.

  7. a pity the good kids from this clash get signed for the bulls. the kak ones get taken by WP and appear on Top Billing.

  8. Reply to Brendon Shields @ 9:41 pm: Not anymore, Rassie is changing that but ye you can not keep all of them, I would rather say for too long the Bulls had a better coaching plan and coaches that WP so the once they got they develope better.

    I just said today that Alister should bring in Hoffman over duvenage and bring in Lionel Cronje over a almost finished De Waal. These guys would surely be rapped up by another province if he does not start to give them more game time. They have all the talent but it means nothing if it cannot be coach correctly or use correctly.

    WP downfall is the coaches and administrators. How can you let a guy like Joe Pieterse leave when he had a season like he just had in the S14, but then we can say it is were the so-called BEE system comes in for Jantjes is back.

    Don’t know but to be honoust I would rather see a guy like hoffman and Cronje move to another province and became great players than keep them in the province I support and fail.

  9. Reply to Jacques(Bunny) @ 10:12 pm:

    Ja fair enough Bunny. It seems WP is obsessed with he short term goal of winning a cup – any cup will do.

    In the process they rather use old horses than invest in younger ones, and dont seem to even care.

    I for one cannot believe they will take CJ, who on sheer playing ability should not start at the Cheetahs.

    I for one think that if the Boland have money to contract their own talent, WP will suffer, or start boxing clever. On sheer talent in their schools I cannot see WP doing much against Boland.

  10. Reply to Brendon Shields @ 10:39 pm: Jip almost the same as what happening to PDV and the boks he also looks like he is too scared to take new guys in and rather stay with the old guns who he know can do the job but the didn’t so he is in a little nit of poofie ne.

    I tell you what If Boland can get an invester like a club like ManU the will kick WP arshes, it’s all about money now and they do not have it and WP in the Cape do.

    Sad to talk so much kak about my team but that’s the bottom line.

  11. Reply to Ollie @ 4:17 pm: Article in the lataest SA Sports Illustrated about the ‘buying’ of players at school level.

    Dale was named as one of the schools losing players to JHB/Pretoria. (Plenty of black talent).