A three-year consecutive unbeaten streak, a four-match win over Paarl Gimnasium and that still-much-debated defeat against Christchurch Boys’ High. These are just some of the highlights that stood out for charismatic coach Sean Erasmus, who joins the Golden Lions in November.
And Saturday 4 August is another day that will be forever remembered in the rugby career of Erasmus, the current coach of Paarl Boys’ High first rugby team, who has played his part exceptionally at the helm of this feared team.
After coaching more than 90 of the school’s rugby matches, Saturday was his fifth and final Interschools match. Although his role within the Lions Rugby Union has not yet been confirmed, he is keen to add value to the squad up north, which he thinks has an amazing culture.
For now, many spectators, old boys and admirers of the school’s game will recall memories of his duel with rival neighbours Paarl Gimnasium. But, as the numerous local derbies that take place in and around the town show, rugby is a massive part of the culture of the area, and Erasmus wants the focus not only to be all about winning.
“It’s a beautiful valley with culture, it’s awesome and I’m really going to miss that, especially the town and rugby,” he says. His success started when he took the reins at Glenwood High School (KZN) in 2001, and went on to become the school’s first team rugby coach in 2007.
It was clear that his aim as coach was to invest in the young talent and nurture teams to reach the top.
After almost 10 years with the “Green Machine” he traded his whistle to join the Blues and achieved exactly that. Since starting at Boishaai during the 2014-’15 season, Erasmus has shaped The Blue Army, as they are often referred to, to maintain the legacy of family and faith, and laid a foundation for coaches to come, “to remember that they are working with children and trying to prepare them.
“When all that is in line, then winning is a by-product of having a good culture but also remaining faithful to Christianity and God and working hard with the individual.”
A few moments that stand out for him as great memories with Boishaai is winning and having an unbeaten 2015 season, which included an away victory in Bloemfontein against Grey College 21-19. In 2016, Erasmus’ team is unbeaten again and clenches back to back interschools victories. The following year he mirrors this winning streak with another victory over Grey to earn the title of being unbeaten in South Africa.
“These are really special memories, every interschools is an exceptional memory!” he said. “Each year, working with a unique group of men being challenged differently is a highlight for me.”
It’s clear that school rugby is not entirely finished with him having primed many upcoming Springbok stars, such as Gianni Lombard, Manuel Rass, Salmaan Moerat and Khanya Ncusane to name a few. Erasmus himself dreams of becoming the future coach for the Springboks.
Faith plays a huge role in his life and he gives all the glory to God for success. Together with his family who have also planted firm roots with him in Paarl he has hung up his Boishaai boots in the rugby frenzy town and been subbed to the Lions den.
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