KwaZulu-Natal rugby schools’ rankings

2012-08-14 00:00

AFTER a topsy-turvy rugby season where any one of the top six sides could win against the others, ranking the teams has not been as easy as other years. The top 10 teams have been included. The three teams at the bottom are much weaker than the top six.

The criteria that have been used are the results of the matches against the other schools in the top 10, the average score in those matches, the results of games against schools that are in the top 50 in the country and representation in the Craven Week and Academy teams.

No school was unbeaten in the province, but two teams were a head above the others. They were followed by another two sides that were almost inseparable, followed by another two that were very close in making up the top six. A number of games were very close where just three or fewer points separated the two teams. Hilton, ranked at six, beat both Michaelhouse and Kearsney, the two top-ranked sides, illustrating how any of the top six could win against any other.

Kearsney and Michaelhouse

These two teams had very similar results and have been ranked together at the top. In their nine matches against the other top 10 schools, they both lost two matches. Michaelhouse won by one point against Kearsney, but Kearsney’s average score was 28-11, with Michaelhouse having an average score slightly lower of 24-15. Kearsney’s second loss was against Hilton. The two games Michaelhouse lost were the return game against Hilton and by one point against Glenwood in the first match of the season.

Kearsney’s most significant game was probably the defeat of Maritzburg College on Goldstones by 30-10. Michaelhouse also beat College, but their most significant win was probably the 21-20 win against Kearsney. Michaelhouse’s biggest win was 60-0 against St Charles and Kearsney’s biggest win was 44-0 against Northwood.

There was only one school from outside the province that both schools played and that was Nico Malan, ranked in the 20s. Michaelhouse beat the Eastern Cape school 28-22, at the Grey HS Festival during Easter. At the same venue, Kearsney lost 24-34. In addition, Kearsney played Selborne, Queens (both of which were won), Paul Roos, Affies and Grey College. Michaelhouse played two other schools in the top 50: St Andrews College and Daniel Pienaar, both of which they won.

Michaelhouse had the largest contingent of players in the Craven Week team, with five players, including the captain, Justin Moberly. The other four were Josh Moon, Michael Mvelase, Robbie Anderson and Bruce Arnott. They had one further player in the Academy XV. Kearsney had three players in the Craven Week team and one player in the Academy team. All three players from Craven Week, twins Daniel and Jean-Luc du Preez and Sandile Kubeka, were selected to the SA U18 squad.

Kearsney: P 17 W 11 L 6

Michaelhouse: P 13 W 11 L 2

Glenwood and Maritzburg College

These two schools played against each other twice in the season and each time College came from behind to draw the game. Glenwood won five of their nine games against top KZN schools, whereas College won four of their eight games, but did not play George Campbell, which Glenwood did. Glenwood’s average score was 20-16, while College scored slightly more points on average, 24-16.

Glenwood’s most significant win was 14-13 against Michaelhouse and College would have enjoyed their 29-9 win against Westville. College’s biggest win was 43-6 against Northwood, while Glenwood’s biggest win was 34-9 against DHS.

The only outside school that both teams played was Affies from Pretoria and both had similar defeats with College losing 7-33 and Glenwood 10-28 a week later, but on the day of the trials to choose the SA Schools squad Affies were missing five players. In addition, Glenwood played Noordkaap, Monument and Queens, all of which they won. They lost against Framesby, Paarl Gym and Outeniqua, drawing with Dale.

College beat Bishops, Pretoria BHS in one match, Diamantveld and lost against Pretoria BHS in the second game, Kes, Paul Roos and Grey HS. The win and loss against PBHS was a point each way and they lost by a point against both Grey HS and Paul Roos.

Glenwood also had six players in the Craven Week squad, two in the top 15, Carel Swart and Corne Vermaak. The other four were Sihle Ngxabi, Michael van Aardt, Nkululeko Marwane and Mtokosizi Mkhabela. College had three, one of whom, Jesse Kriel, was selected for the SA U18 squad. The other two were Vuyo Khatide and Mvelo Khumalo both being in the top 15. Glenwood had another seven in the Academy team and College had three in the latter.

Glenwood: P 20 W 11 L 6 D 3

M. College: P 17 W 8 L 7 D 2

Westville

Although Westville beat Glenwood in the second match of the season, they lost against Michaelhouse, Kearsney and College. Against the top-ranked KZN schools, Westville won five of their eight games with an average score of 20-14.

Their most significant win was the 13-9 win against Glenwood with the biggest win being 43-7 against DHS. They did play five top-ranked schools, losing against Paul Roos, Grey College, Kes and Dale, the latter by a single point, but winning against EG Jansen and Louis Botha.

Only one Westville player, Msizi Zondi, was selected for Craven Week with four players in the Academy side.

P 17 W 10 L 7

Three of the games won were against second-tier opposition

Hilton

Hilton won six of their 10 matches against the top schools and losses, included one by two points against Westville, by one point against both Glenwood and the first match against Michaelhouse. Their average score was 23-14, very similar to those above.

It was their KZN representation that counted against them with Cameron Wright being the only representative at Craven Week, but was the top scrum half. There were three others in the Academy team. Only two of the top-ranked schools in the country were played where they did well to beat Bishops by two points, but lost against Queens.

Their most significant win was in the last game and in the second match against rivals Michaelhouse where they won 26-22. They lost the first by just a point. Another significant win was 13-6 against Kearsney. Their biggest win was 39-7 against St Charles.

P 13 W 8 L 5

DHS

This is the first school, and well below the others, who scored fewer points than the top KZN schools against them. The average score was 16-25, where they won just two of the eight games played. Their biggest win was 36-6 against St Charles, but arguably their most significant games were a 24-27 loss against Nico Malan and 21-27 loss against Kearsney.

They did play four of the top schools from outside the province, Queens, Daniel Pienaar, Nico Malan and Kes, but lost to all four. No DHS players were selected for either the Craven Week or the Academy teams.

P 15 W 5 L 10

Northwood

There was an improvement this year from Northwood, but against the other top KZN schools they won just two games from the nine played. Those two were against George Campbell and St Charles. Their average score in those nine games was 8-30.

Northwood played one top-ranked side where they lost 10-52 against Noordkaap. Their most significant game was the 8-20 loss against Glenwood, with the one point win against George Campbell being the most satisfying.

No Northwood players were selected for either of the two provincial line-ups.

P 14 W 5 L 9

George Campbell

They lost all five matches against the top schools in KZN, with an average score of 11-22. Their loss against Northwood by one point was disappointing, but they did hold Glenwood to 19-34, perhaps their most significant match of the season.

St Charles

They had a disappointing season, also losing all five matches played against the top 10.

Their average score in those games was 5-35, hence their position below George Campbell who they did not play. Their 3-5 loss against Northwood was probably their most significant game and their most satisfying win, 18-10 against Krugersdorp.

One St Charles player was selected for the Academy XV. They have slipped down the rankings in the past three years and will want to improve in 2013.

Port Natal

They are arguably the best of the second-tier schools and played four of the top schools in the province losing all four, but having an average score of 13-30. They did lose to both Northwood and George Campbell, but could be one of the top 10 next year.

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