Busy week for provincial age-group teams

2010-06-14 00:00

OVER 300 players and officials from all over the country plus at least as many visiting supporters converge on the A.B. Jackson Greenfields Turf and Maritzburg College’s Pape’s Astro for the National U16 Boys’ Interprovincial Hockey Tournament, which runs from today to Friday’s finals.

Today’s action takes place from 7.30 am to 7 pm with a bonanza 14 matches filling the day. KZN Inland U16 will hear their first whistle with a dawn patrol match against Western Province B on Pape’s Astro at 7.30 am.

Inland B meet Boland on the A.B. Jackson at 10.10 am before Inland A tackle Northern Gauteng on the ABJ at 2 pm in what should be one of the matches of the day.

Other matches that catch the eye are the Eastern Cape derby between Eastern Province and Amathole-Border (ABJ 8.50 am), the battle of Gauteng between Southerns and Northerns (ABJ 7.30 am), Southern Free State against South Gauteng (Pape’s 2 pm) and Western Province A’s match-up with Amathole-Border (Pape’s 3.20 pm).

The equivalent girls’ IPT takes place at the same time in Potchefstroom, while the rugby weeks are also beginning in what is a very busy sports holiday for many youngsters.

The National U16 Grant Khomo Week starts today in Upington and the KZN U16 rugby team meet the mighty Blue Bulls at 10.10 am at Potgieter Stadium in what is a huge baptism of fire on day one for any calibre of team.

The U13 Craven Week rugby festival kicks off today in Graaff Reinet at 9.50 am and it sees KZN U13 tackle Free State — another unenviable baptism of fire for any side on day one of a rugby tournament.

All in all, the KZN sides in both sports codes are going to be feeling weary, both mentally and physically, come tournament end, but the experiences and the friends they will make should last a lifetime.

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