Glenwood the leading light of mediocre season

2009-08-25 00:00

THE 2009 schools’ rugby season saw all but two schools’ completing their rugby at the end of the second quarter. It has not been a great season for KwaZulu-Natal teams with only Glenwood on a par with some of the better schools in the country.

To show greater success schools must have a reliable kicker and those that did not sometimes lost matches despite being the dominant team in the match.

A review of the rugby season and the top 10 sides in the province shows Glenwood well above the others and then a number of schools bunched in the middle, where to separate them is difficult. But the criteria used has been the matches where they played one another, points difference and percentage wins against the other schools played in the top 10.

Positions four, five, six and seven were extremely close and were probably on a par, with any one of them capable of beating the other on any given day.

Glenwood

Glenwood only played six of the other top KZN schools and their smallest winning margin was seven points against Kearsney. This game was played the day after they had returned from the Sannix Tournament in Japan. Overall they played 19 matches, winning 16, with a loss in Japan, and an early 20-22 loss against Outeniqua at the St Johns Easter festival and in their last match, a 3-62 hammering against the top SA school, Grey College.

In the six matches against KZN schools, the average score was 27-10. Their dominance was shown by the KZN Craven Week selections where nine of the 22 players were from Glenwood. They were John-Roy Jenkinson, Senzo Mtshali, Ricky Schnetler, Francois Kleinhans, Brendon Groenewald, Fred Zeilinga, Ruan Grobler, Shane van der Schyff and Mzwadile Mbuyazi with lock Schnetler selected for the SA Schools team. A further four players were selected for the KZN academy A team, essentially a B team in the province.

Excluding the matches in Japan and at St Johns, Glenwood scored 34 tries with loose forward Kleinhans being the chief try scorer. Flyhalf Zeilinga was their kicker and he scored more than 70 points with the boot.

This is the second year in succession that Glenwood has been the top school and this comes from their aggressive marketing, but it has come at a cost as there are KZN schools that will no longer play against them.

Westville

Arguably Westville are the next best as they lost only one game against the top KZN schools and that was against Glenwood in the eight matches played. Their overall results showed that they won 13 of the 17 matches played, losing against Rondebosch, Marlow and Glenwood and drawing 27-27 against Affies with this result probably being their best performance of the season.

Their average score against KZN schools was 19-8 and as they beat Michaelhouse they have been ranked above them. Only one Westville player, Kayde Fisher, was selected for Craven Week. A further two players were selected for the Academy A team, one of which, Khaya Majola, went on to play at Craven Week for the SA Academy team.

Much of Westville’s success must be due to flyhalf Duncan Campbell who scored just on 100 points, mainly with his boot, but also included four tries. Michaelhouse

Nine games were played against the top KZN schools of which Michaelhouse won seven, losing against Westville and Glenwood. Their average score in these nine games was 26-18 with their most convincing win, the 51-10 against DHS. Overall they played 14 games with three losses, which also included Grey High School in Port Elizabeth.

They scored 29 tries in the season, with centre Patrick Howard being the main try scorer. In addition to Howard there were two other Craven Week players in the team, fullback Reef Nakin for his second year and lock Lindsay Cameron. A further four Michaelhouse players were selected for the academy A side. Kearsney

Although Kearsney lost twice against Hilton they were the only other side to have a score average where they scored more than the points scored against them. They also played against Glenwood. Kearsney won four matches in the nine played with five losses. These included the two against Hilton, as well as Glenwood, Westville and Michaelhouse.

Their average score in these nine games was 16-15. Overall their season of 15 games included eight wins and seven losses. The other two sides they lost against were HTS Middelburg and St Stithians. Warren Seals scored just over 100 points with the boot, enabling Kearsney to win some matches against the run of play.

For the first time in a number of years, no Kearsney player was selected for either Craven Week or the academy A side. Hilton

Hilton has the next best average score at 16-17 in the eight matches against the other top KZN schools, but they did not play against Glenwood. They won four, with losses against Westville, twice against Michaelhouse and then narrowly against Maritzburg College.

Overall in the season they played 15 matches, winning eight with seven losses. Significant wins were against Daniel Pienaar and a 42-6 thrashing of St Albans. The three other losses were against Graeme, Grey HS and KES.

Wing Emil Schwartz was the top try-scorer in the province with nine tries, in their total of 33 tries and he, together with scrumhalf Michael Nolden as captain and loose forward Siphewe Mafareka, were selected for Craven Week.

Schwartz just missed selection for the SA Schools’ team, but he was later selected for the SA U18 elite squad.

An unlikely kicker in lock Josh Negri, kicked 90 points and together with two tries contributed 100 points for his side. Maritzburg College

For the second year, College has unusually been one of the weaker sides, with a points average of 15-19 against the other top KZN schools. They only won two of the seven games and these were against DHS and narrowly against Hilton. They played and lost to Glenwood twice. There were three losses where they would have won if their kicker had been more reliable and the right decisions had been made.

They lost 22-23 against Kearsney, 0-3 against Westville, where two kicks in front of the posts were missed and 10-13 against Michaelhouse where the wrong decisions were taken. Overall they played 16 matches winning seven. In addition to these losses they also lost against Outeniqua, KES, Affies and Pretoria BHS after beating the latter in the first match. Two players, prop Nic Schonert for the second time and utility back Keelin Bastew were selected for Craven Week. Three more players were selected for the academy A team. St Charles

Although St Charles had a more favourable average score than College, they did not play either Glenwood or Westville and hence are just behind College. Their average score was 22-19 in the five matches played against the better KZN teams. They won two and lost three matches against Michaelhouse, Hilton and Kearsney. The wins were against DHS and Northwood.

Overall St Charles played 13 matches with six wins and six losses and a draw against St Stithians. They also lost against Boland Landbou, Pionier and Parktown.

There were three St Charles players in the Craven Week team, flank Zwela Zondi, wing Andile Dlamini and loose forward Siseko Jafta.

The latter was not in the SA Schools side but he is the only other KZN player in the SA U18 squad. There was also one player in the academy A team. DHS

It was a frustrating year for DHS as they played seven games against the top schools in the province but lost them all.

Their average score in those matches was 7-29. Overall they played 13 matches with two wins and 11 losses. The wins were against Pinetown and the KZN Development team.

There were no DHS players in the Craven Week team but they did have one player selected for the academy A side. Port Natal

Although not normally considered in the top nine schools in the province, Port Natal were unbeaten in the 14 matches that they played. One of these included a 20-9 win against Northwood. Port Natal did have one player in the Academy A team. Northwood

Northwood only played four matches against the top eight KZN schools and lost all four, with a match average of 3-28. The four schools played were St Charles, Michaelhouse, Kearsney and Westville.

Overall Northwood played 16 matches winning five and losing 11. Their most significant win was 21-20 against Jeppe. They had no players selected for either of the two KZN sides at U18 level.

George Campbell, Weston and Voortrekker are probably the next three teams, in that order.

Campbell beat Northwood and Weston was a narrow winner against Voortrekker. George Campbell and Voortrekker play more matches against the top teams, even more than Port Natal, but the latter beat each of the others.

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