POLICE and security guards will be on standby today at a schoolboy rugby match to stem a cycle of alcohol-fuelled violence that has marred previous games.
The first XV clash between St Ignatius' College and St Joseph's College - Riverview and Joeys - is traditionally one of heated rivalry between the GPS Catholic schools from the north shore.
Crowds for such fixtures can reach 20,000. Families, old boys, aspiring girlfriends and rugby lovers all descend on the school for a day or a weekend of sport and socialising.
Matches begin in the morning, with the first XV the afternoon showpiece. With two rounds to go, Riverview is at the top of the table, and Joeys is keen to regain its supremacy.
Competition both on and off the field is so intense that this year Riverview's headmaster, Shane Hogan, changed the fixture from 3.15pm to 11.15am to thwart pre-match drinking.
Last year police used capsicum spray to break up a brawl between at least 20 spectators at the match, held at Joeys.