Contrasting fortunes for KZN sides

2014-07-09 00:00

WHILE daily business goes on in Durban, there is a rugby week at Glenwood High School that many people are unaware of.

It’s the fifth edition of the U16 girls’ Craven Week with 16 provincial sides competing at full contact, 15-player rugby.

The tournament kicked off on Monday with a full round of fixtures and those who were there saw some constructive, running rugby, with some great skills and understanding of the game shown.

KwaZulu-Natal has two sides — the KZN outfit and a KZN XV — the sides suffering emotions at opposite ends of the scale after the opening day that saw the KZN side run out decent 12-5 winners against Griquas, while the KZN XV never got out the blocks with a comprehensive 76-0 loss to South Western Districts.

Manager of the KZN side Cynthia Field was impressed with her charges, especially when she outlined the team’s preparation for the week ahead.

“As a team, we have been together for two-and-a-half weeks, training twice a week. With many of the players coming from outlying areas such as Ladysmith and Dundee, it’s been tough logistically to get the whole team at training,” said Field.

“Therefore, we officially met as a team on Sunday morning, the day before the week started. We trained in the afternoon and had a light session on Monday morning before our game at 3 pm.”

This puts into perspective how well the side did to win their first match. They were 5-0 down at half-time but came with a strong second-half performance to score two unanswered tries with a conversion, to wrap up proceedings.

“We concentrated on our structure, moving the ball wide and running our lines,” said Field. “The team are keen to work together for the good of what they represent and have trained hard. Today we face Border, which will not be easy and we expect a tough match.”

With rugby not offered as a sport at most girls’ schools, the team get by on the basics. “We don’t even have our own physiotherapists and really need some support for the sport to grow,” said Field. “It’s going in the right direction but has huge ground to cover. It’s hard going as rugby is always seen as a male-dominated sport and that’s where the backing and attention is focused.”

Field is the sports co-ordinator at Northlands Girls’ High School where she has introduced sevens rugby as a sport, having a handful of her players selected for various KZN teams last year.

The week continues with matches today and another round on Friday. Spectators are welcome to attend the matches at Glenwood and there is no entry fee.

Results: Border 27 Limpopo 5

Western Province 29 Border A 5

Leopards 12 Free State 7

Eastern Province 15 Blue Bulls 0

Boland 10 Lions 5

SWD 76 KZN XV 0

Pumas 12 Griffons 7

KZN 12 Griquas 5

Today’s fixtures (Glenwood High School)

10 am: Eastern Province v Leopards (Dixons); Blue Bulls v KZN XV (Bassons)

11 am: Boland v Pumas (Dixons); Griffons v Free State (Bassons)

12 pm: KZN v Border (Dixons); Border A v Limpopo (Bassons)

1 pm: Western Province v SWD (Dixons); Griquas v Lions (Bassons).

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