Epic clash for inconsistent sides in season of constant surprises

2012-06-09 00:00

THIS is the penultimate Saturday of the second term and most schools have just two rugby games left.

There is an interesting selection today, but most interest in schoolboy rugby will be focused on two matches — one at Glenwood and the other at Kearsney.

Both games will start earlier than normal so that fans can get to King’s Park to watch the first Test between the Springboks and England.

Glenwood will host Maritzburg College in what should be an epic battle. Both teams are playing their last matches this term, but are the only KwaZulu-Natal schools that continue with rugby next term.

It is also an FNB Classic Clash and will be televised live. This is perhaps not good news for College as they played so badly last week in front of the cameras. In this season of constant surprises, a summary of results will likely be misleading.

Suffice it to say that neither side has been very consistent in their play from one week to the next.

College went from a high when they beat Westville to a low the following week, when the rugby they played was fraught with mistakes and they lost against Kearsney.

Glenwood also lost against Kearsney four weeks ago. The rest they had last week could bode well.

The other keenly contested game is at Kearsney where they host Westville. The latter will have boosted their confidence with the easy win against Richards Bay last Saturday after their disappointing result against College the week before.

Kearsney have grown from strength to strength over the last four weeks, since their lack-lustre display against Hilton.

There is no love lost between these two Highway schools and the side that comes out on top will be the one that has the stronger pack and will put in the bigger tackles.

Michaelhouse have the best record in KZN at this stage, having lost just the one game narrowly, by one point, against Glenwood. They travel to Durban to play against DHS.

The home side are a long way off the top six sides in the province, but they have shown improvement over the season. However, they will not have either the skill of the Michaelhouse backline nor the tenacity in defence of the visitors and the Balgowan lads should win comfortably.

A match that will be more closely contested is the one in Durban between Northwood and St Charles.

The loss by St Charles against Clifton last Saturday will have given them a jolt and they will need to be close to their best against a team that will also want to end the season in a better display after some disappointing defeats.

With the heavier forwards, Northwood will be hoping to win more of the ball. If the Maritzburg side can win their share, then their backline could give them victory.

George Campbell have nothing to lose in their match on Gilfillan at Hilton. On results, Hilton should win the encounter, but the visiting school can surprise.

They are tough and uncompromising and Hilton will need to spread the ball wide at every opportunity to keep it away from their forwards.

SELECTED FIXTURES

Glenwood vs Maritzburg College; Kearsney vs Westville; DHS vs Michaelhouse; Northwood vs St Charles; Hilton vs George Campbell; Weston vs Voortrekker; Thomas More vs Hillcrest; Wartburg vs Treverton; St Henrys vs New Forest; Port Shepstone vs Kingsway; Pinetown vs Kloof; Hilton II vs Port Natal

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