Keen interest in traditional rivals’ clash

2012-05-05 00:00

THERE are a number of school rugby matches today where there will be plenty of interest in the results. The match at Michaelhouse, the first of two in the season against their traditional rivals Hilton, will undoubtedly draw a big crowd.

This year both these teams have done better against top opposition. This should make the result from today’s game even more fascinating. There has been much conjecture as to which of the two will triumph in this first match.

The two schools they have both played against are two of the top sides in the province. Against Glenwood, both Michaelhouse and Hilton lost by a point. Against Westville, Hilton lost by two points and Michaelhouse won by two points. Taking those results into consideration, it appears as if the game will be very close.

The forwards seem evenly matched, with the home side having a slight edge with the threequarters. Home ground advantage could just tip the game Michaelhouse’s way, but whatever happens it should be an entertaining match.

Glenwood travel across the Mngeni to play Northwood, a side that surprised all by beating Glenwood last year. If Glenwood play to half their potential they should not lose today but that was also the case last year.

Northwood has already played three of the better sides in the province, Maritzburg College, Kearsney and Westville. The smallest margin against them was 29 points by Westville. Glenwood will be determined not to allow a repeat of 2011.

Kearsney and Westville should both have relatively easy matches against DHS and Port Natal respectively. Kearsney was stunned by a defeat last Saturday against Hilton and this could lead to a big score against DHS today.

Port Natal results show that they are one of the better second tier sides but on paper cannot match Westville. The latter should relish a match where they can enjoy more freedom and likely score some good tries.

Two sides from the capital, Maritzburg College and St Charles, travel to Gauteng. College plays against King Edwards and St Charles against St Alban’s.

From reports, KES do not have a side as good as last year, but they lost by just two points against Afrikaans Seuns’ Hoërskool, Affies, one of the top sides in the country, two weeks ago. That does not indicate a weak side. College had a good weekend in Kimberley where they lost by one point against Paul Roos, another of the top teams in the country and beat the Wildeklawer hosts Diamantveld. This should be a well-contested game.

St Charles have shown plenty of guts in their games but did not have the size or the pace to match other top tier teams. St Alban’s has beaten both St John’s and St Stithian’s this season which does indicate a useful team. If St Charles play with heart again they could keep the scores close.

SELECTED FIXTURES

Michaelhouse v Hilton; Glenwood v Northwood; Kearsney v DHS; Westville v Port Natal; KES v Maritzburg College; St Albans v St Charles; George Campbell v Hillcrest; Clifton v Pinetown; Howick v Wartburg; Westville II v Voortrekker; St Henrys v Scottburgh; Thomas More v Treverton; Port Shepstone v Kloof; Kuswag v Greytown; Carter v Grace

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