Interesting battles this weekend in school rugby

2014-05-17 00:00

Northwood vs


EXPECT a very good battle up front with the pick of the match-ups being between props Kabelo Motlong (Northwood) and Gregory Jackson (Michaelhouse).

Both boys scrum well and are outstanding ball-carriers, and definitely would not be out of place in the KZN Craven Week team. Another interesting battle will be between the flyhalves. Here Northwood’s Dawid Weersman, apart from having probably the biggest punt in KZN this year and an accurate long pass, is an excellent tackler.

Michaelhouse’s Bader Pretorius is a talent of note and although he likes to carry the ball, his challenge will be to get the backline working, as the secret to success in this game may lie in which set of backs makes better use of the front-foot ball their forwards generate.

Northwood might bring on returning-from-injury hooker Beast Mthembu for the last 20 minutes. If this does happen, he will duel with another good hooker in the form of MHS’s Bradley Roberts.

College vs Kearsney

Historically Goldstones is not a happy hunting ground for Kearsney and they will have to dig extra deep to come away from the famous ground with a win.

Kearsney have generally struggled to match more physical packs like that of College so the challenge for the visitors lies in securing their setpiece ball, especially lineouts and showing extra commitment to bringing down the College big ball carriers in tight broken play.

College’s come-from-behind away draw against KES is perhaps regarded as a disappointing result but in a sense it’s a great wake-up call for a team capable of finishing No 1 in KZN this season. The Red Black White’s four biggest inter-schools challenges, starting with Kearsney, still lie ahead with the result of this game putting College supporter optimism levels into perspective for the rest of the term. Most know what their pack of forwards are capable of, so key for College is making sure their backline plays with cohesion and effectiveness against a Kearsney line that has the ability to do lots of damage of their own.

Hilton vs DHS

Hilton will be desperate to end a four-game losing streak. They have been troubled by injuries that saw several players either not start the last game or leave the field injured, so match fitness and inexperience will be a worry for them.

They play a good enough all-round game to give DHS a full go up front and then challenge around the fringes and with the backline where Tristan Blewett has been their stand-out player as far as getting over the advantage line is concerned. Right-wing Terry Matsa, with his pace, also looks like he could be a dangerman, while promising young scrumhalf Matthew Dahl should have more of an opportunity to show his class.

DHS’s best performances seem to come when their flyhalf Le Roux van Zyl stays focused, as he has some terrific skills. DHS don’t really have big ball carriers in the forwards, so their emphasis should be on creating good platforms, letting their backline through the likes of Blessing Buthelezi and Mabhutana Peter have a go.

Glenwood vs Port Natal

Port Natal earned this opportunity to play Glenwood by beating George Campbell earlier this year and it follows on some very hard work put in by their players and coaching staff. Porties pushed a strong Glenwood Invitation XV very hard at their pre-season Night Series tournament and have some nice players to watch, but they may be troubled by the speed at which Glenwood defend and apply pressure in the setpieces.

Among those that spectators should keep an eye on is outstanding centre Chestwin Gaffley, super-quick wing Karel Terblanche and tall lock Charl Sonnekus (U19).

Voortrekker vs

St Charles

St Charles are the favourites here but Vories can’t be underestimated. The home team have a decent-sized pack that could keep St Charles’ big boys in check, meaning that Vories just need to get something extra out of their backs in terms of getting over the gainline, to make this game into very close affair that could go either way.


The Westville first XV will not be in action. Instead the lower teams will take on Richards Bay and Empangeni.

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