Festival has massive dose of hard rugby

2014-04-15 00:00

FOR the schoolboy rugby connoisseur, the Easter weekend offers nothing better than the Easter Rugby Festival at Kearsney College.

In its seventh year, this time around sees 12 of the country’s top rugby schools play matches on April 17, 19 and 21 on Kearsney’s Stott field.

Participating schools are Kearsney, Glenwood, Westville Boys’ High School, Grey Bloem, Affies, Monument, E.G. Jansen, HTS Middelburg, Framesby, Nico Malan, Selborne College and Dale College.

Touted as one of the country’s premier festivals, spectators can expect massive doses of hard, physical, but running rugby, with six fixtures offered each day.

Large companies have offered their support through sponsorship and Sharks CEO John Smit, who played at Kearsney when he toured with the Pretoria Boys’ High School side in his school days, has labelled the event “a phenomenal success”.

The festival provides a platform for some of the country’s budding rugby talent to impress those in attendance. Among the rugby-mad spectators, there are talent scouts and representatives from the Sharks Academy looking for that something special.

Through their support, the academy offers bursaries to three players identified by the scouts as potential Sharks lads. The bursary includes a contract with the academy, accommodation and tuition, and is awarded to players identified as the best back, forward and man of the tournament. Each bursary is valued at R100 000 and many players from past festivals have reaped the fruits of their efforts, kick-starting their rugby careers from the opportunity they were given.

Even some primary schools have been given an opportunity to play. On each playing day, from 8.30 am, teams from Highbury, Westville Senior Primary School, Umhlali Preparatory School and a KZNRU Ibutho U13 development team will set the tone for the big boys who start their matches from 9.30 am.

Entry for spectators is R50 per vehicle. There will be secure parking, and food and refreshments will be available.

Fixtures

Thursday

8.30 am — KZN U13 Development v Umhlali Prep

9.30 am — Kearsney College v HTS Middelburg

10.45 am — Framesby v Monument

Noon — Westville v Nico Malan

1.15 pm — Selborne College v Affies

2.30 pm — Glenwood v Dale College

3.45 pm — Grey College v EG Jansen

Saturday

8.30 am — KZN U13 Development v Westville Senior Primary

9.30 am — Selborne College v Framesby

10.45 pm — HTS Middelburg v Nico Malan

Noon — Kearsney College v Dale College

1.15 pm — Glenwood v EG Jansen

2.30 pm — Grey College v Westville

3.45 pm — Affies v Monument

April 21

8.30 am — KZN U13 Development v Highbury Prep

9.30 am — Nico Malan v Dale College

10.45 am — Glenwood v Framesby

Noon — Westville v Selborne College

1.15 pm — Affies v HTS Middelburg

2.30 pm — Grey v Monument

3.45 pm — Kearsney College v EG Jansen

5 pm — Awarding of Sharks Academy Bursaries.

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