Hilton to host College as Michaelhouse tackles Glenwood

2008-06-06 00:00

Most school rugby interest will be in the midlands today with two top matches: Hilton hosting Maritzburg College and Michaelhouse at home to Glenwood.

The match on Gilfillans at Hilton, starting at 3. 30 pm, will see a clash between two sides who had contrasting results last Saturday. Hilton had an easy fixture against a game Hillcrest side and their opponents today, Maritzburg College, were in Pretoria taking a beating from Affies.

Hilton are having one of their better seasons and have lost just one match among the 10 they played, a narrow one of three points against Michaelhouse. College, in contrast, are having one of their worst seasons ever as they have won just five of the 15 matches played.

There are three teams that both Hilton and College have played.

Early in the season Hilton drew with Harmony Academy and, in Vryheid, College lost 17-26; against Michaelhouse, Hilton lost 18-21 while College lost 16-36 and, against DHS, Hilton won 7-5 while College lost their first match in Durban 7-29 but, significantly, beat DHS 42-14 in a return game in Maritzburg.

Hilton must be favourites to win at home in front of their Old Boys on their Old Boys Day, but the second DHS result does tell a story and that is the improvement that College have made over the season. Whether this will be carried through this afternoon remains to be seen.

Michaelhouse and Glenwood have not played one another for the last two years due to a flu outbreak at Michaelhouse in 2006 and the teachers’ strike in 2007. Michaelhouse probably thought that they would have had a good chance of victory last year, but today’s match on Meadows (3 pm) is a different story.

Glenwood have had plenty of publicity since winning the so-called Junior World championship in Japan earlier this season, but they have had arguably tougher contests since returning to play local fixtures.

Against Maritzburg College they won 15-7, but were put under enormous pressure and then last week they edged DHS 12-6, but again did not look like the side that is unbeatable.

Glenwood have a better-balanced side and much will depend on how the home side forwards can stand up to the Glenwood pack. If Michaelhouse can win their fair share of the ball, their talented three quarters could be the difference between the two teams.

The match at DHS — on their Founders Day — against Kearsney, starts at 5.15 pm and will be played under lights. The home side have had a marginally better season than visitors Kearsney who have lost seven of the nine matches played against South African opposition, while DHS have played 12 games with three wins.

Against local provincial opponents, Kearsney and DHS had big wins against Northwood, both lost narrowly to Hilton and then against Michaelhouse, DHS lost 6-16 and Kearsney 39-58.

This all points to a close contest this evening.

St Charles travel to Durban to take on Northwood, with this match starting at 12 noon.

The hosts have only beaten Pinetown, while St Charles, with a young side, have done markedly better, winning six matches.

Northwood have the potential to do better, but they appear to lack the confidence while St Charles have shown improvement over the season and, if they win sufficient possession, they could inflict another defeat of the home side.

Westville will be tested against home side King Edwards in Johannesburg also starting at midday.

The KZN team has had two easy fixtures since playing Glenwood and this could be to their disadvantage.

The Johannesburg side is having one of their better seasons and they have only lost to Waterkloof and Pretoria BHS.

Looking at the results against the three schools they have both played, KES will be favourites today.

Against St Andrews, KES won 42-24 with Westville losing by one point and against Jeppe, Westville also lost by one point, while KES won 24-14.

The third school was Parktown and here KES had a convincing 52-14 win, with Westville winning 14-8.

Fixtures (home side first): Hilton vs Maritzburg College; Michaelhouse vs Glenwood; DHS vs Kearsney; Northwood vs St Charles; KES vs Westville; Howick vs Carter; Voortrekker vs Port Natal; Alexander vs Wartburg; Weston vs Greytown; Hillcrest vs Pinetown; St Henrys vs Treverton; Thomas More vs Kingsway;New Forest vs Kloof; Kokstad vs Ixopo

Others (home venue unknown): Gelofte vs Suid Natal; Creston vs Scottburgh; Amanzimtoti vs Durban Akademie; Kuswag vs Port Shepstone

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