This one is a new look at the whole season
This is the final Schools Top 20 for 2013, which looks at the entire season, and Paarl Gim are in the top spot.
As we said we would, we sat down and started with a blank sheet, looking at the season as a whole, trying to get our first teams in order, taking into account success and calibre of opposition.
Can we just say again what we said at the beginning of the season that we do not regard this as absolute and do not believe that any method would produce an absolute result.
This year we consulted a professor from the department of statistics at UCT and told him what we needed to do without explaining how we go about it. He gave us, kind man that he is, a lengthy report and the method he outlined is the method that we have been using for 15 years, which was heartening.
A word of caution: this Top 20 is not an average of the year's Top 20s which are, week by week, a reflection of what happened the weekend before. This one is a new look at the whole season.
Without more ado, here is our final Top 20. Some of our reasoning is briefly below.
FNB Top 20 - 3 September
1. Paarl Gim
4. Grey College of Bloemfontein
5. Dr EG Jansen
6. Paarl Boys' High
11. Grey High of Port Elizabeth
12. HTS Middelburg
14. Kempton Park
18. St Andrew's College of Grahamstown
Other teams strongly considered were Die Brandwag, Drostdy, Glenwood, Kearsney and Pretoria Boys High.
Paarl Gim are unbeaten. In that unbeaten season they played 11 matches against teams that have been in the Top 20, drawing with just one, Oakdale in Paarl. They are remarkable team who have enjoyed a remarkable season.
In second place we have Outeniqua who have lost narrowly twice this season - on both occasions to Paarl Gim, the top team. They, too, have played 11 matches against Top 20 teams.
We have unbeaten Affies in third place. They played eight matches against Top 20 teams, but one of their wins was an impressive one over Grey College in Bloemfontein, a rare feat. In turn Grey lost twice this season - to Outeniqua and to Affies, playing nine matches against Top 20 teams. The result against Affies is what persuaded us to move Affies above them.
Dr EG Jansen have had a good season, playing nine matches against Top 20 teams. They drew with and then beat Garsfontein but had a strange result against HTS Middelburg.
Paarl Boys' High played nine matches against Top 20 teams. They lost to Gimmies (important one that), Outeniqua and Grey Bloem who are above them but also to Waterkloof and Glenwood who are below them.
The decision between Nelspruit and Garsfontein was a close one. Nelspruit had played one more match against a Top 20 school and had won the match when they played Garsies.
Klofies did not have their best year but they did beat Paarl Boys' High, Nelspruit and Garsfontein who are above them and losing to Gimmies and Outeniqua who are also above them. Their one-point defeat at the hands of Kempton Park counted more in the favour of Kempies than to their own discredit.
The next 10 places were even harder to separate.
The only KwaZulu Natal side in the Top 20 is Westville who played just one term and four matches against other Top 20 sides, losing to Outeniqua, Gimmies and Grey PE and beating Pretoria Boys High. A tough decision was not to include brave Glenwood who played eight matches against Top 20 schools, beating only Paarl Boys' high, losing to George Campbell and taking heavy defeats from Gimmies, Garsfontein, Grey Bloem and Affies.
The other tough decision was omitting Die Brandwag of Uitenhage. who had good wins over Queen's and Marlow but lost to St Andrew's, Transvalia and then Nico Malan (42-15).
The truth is that any team getting into the Top 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 is outstanding in the enthusiastic, highly competitive world of South African Schools rugby.
The following teams have feature in the FNB Top 20 in 2013: Affies, Bethlehem Voortrekker, Centurion, Diamantveld, Die Brandwag, Dr EG Jansen, Garsfontein, Glenwood, Grey College of Bloemfontein, Grey High of Port Elizabeth, HTS Middelburg, HTS Middelburg, Kearsney, Marlow, Monument, Nelspruit, Oakdale, Outeniqua, Paarl Boys' High, Paarl Gim, Paul Roos, Pretoria Boys High, Queen's, St Andrew's College of Grahamstown, Transvalia,, Waterkloof, Westville, Wynberg.