Michaelhouse to give first real test for Glenwood

2013-04-20 00:00

THERE is a full rugby fixture list today with most schools involved. If the rain is as heavy as predicted, the games and numbers of spectators will be affected, but hopefully no matches will need to be cancelled.

The match between two of the top sides in 2012, taking place in Balgowan, is sure to draw a big crowd. Meadows at Michaelhouse will be the battlefield between the home team and visitors Glenwood.

The Durban side have been in the public eye at the warm-up game at King’s Park, at the Kearsney Festival and two matches, one on either side of the Easter holidays, while Michaelhouse have had only one game where their talents have been seen. During the holidays they toured Namibia with a large squad of players, rather a team-building exercise than a testing rugby tour.

Today’s game will be the first real test of whether they will again be one of the top teams in the province. In their only match against Northwood there were glimpses of a side who have pace in the backline, physicality in the forwards and the necessary skills to win today. The visitors, however, will be the more experienced after having played some very tough games and this could well be the difference this afternoon.

The second game that will generate much interest is at Westville, where they are hosting Pretoria Boys’ High. The latter had a narrow, last-minute victory, in their match against Maritzburg College in Pretoria last Saturday. Westville at home are always difficult with their home supporters surrounding the field and it is likely that Westville will pull this game off.

Long-time rivals Maritzburg College and DHS meet one another on Goldstones at College. DHS have played just two games, both before the Easter holidays, and then unfortunately withdrew from the 150th Anniversary Festival at College due to the tragic death of Madodandile Mavaleliso, an U15 player, on the eve the festival. DHS had a narrow two-point win against Port Natal, a side that are playing the College 2nd XV today. College will be favourites to win this.

Hilton will be hosting Northwood and will be keen to get their second term off to a good start after losing three of their five games played. Northwood lost in the last 10 minutes of their game against Jeppe last Saturday, but for the first time in their six games, the side played together as a unit and this could help them against the home side with the result likely to be close. St Charles host local rivals Voortrekker in what could be a physical battle. Voortrekker are low in self-confidence after some heavy losses, while St Charles came back from the Krugersdorp Festival with three good wins and with their tails up. This will likely give them a close victory today.

Kearsney played more matches than any other KZN school, after an early two-match trip to Northern KZN, two matches at the end of last term, one being a narrow win against Glenwood, their Festival and then three matches in Namibia.

Certainly they appear to be headed for being one of the top teams in the province as in their 10 games the only loss was against Paarl Gym. They travel to George Campbell with the result likely to be a convincing win for the visitors.

Selected fixtures (home side first): Michaelhouse v Glenwood; Westville v Pretoria BHS; Maritzburg College v DHS; Hilton v Northwood; St Charles v Voortrekker; George Campbell v Kearsney; Weston v Howick; Grosvenor v Wartburg; Treverton v Greytown; Port Shepstone v Thomas More; Kingsway v Suidnatal; Kloof v Gelofte; M College II v Port Natal; Clifton v Kearsney II (at G Campbell)

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