Sharks bursaries for four schoolboys

2013-04-09 00:00

A HIGHLY successful sixth Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival wrapped up on Monday last week with the announcement of four players who each received scholarships to the Sharks Academy for 2014.

Valued at R100 000 each, the recipients are Paarl Gimnasium captain and number eight Rikus Bothma, Glenwood flank Mzwandile Mazibuko, Boland Landbou lock Sarel Roux and Kearsney College captain and scrumhalf Matt Reece-Edwards. These players could well be seen in the black and white in a few years’ time.

In making the awards, Hans Scriba, director of the academy, said there were many outstanding players at this year’s festival, which had led to the award of an additional scholarship. Prior to the event, the academy had announced it would give three awards.

“The broader quality of players this year has been exceptionally impressive. A large number of boys who have played here this weekend will be playing professional rugby in three years’ time,” Scriba said. In terms of the quality of teams, the Kearsney event had reinforced its position as the most significant schoolboy rugby festival in SA, he added.

Selectors and talent scouts from the Sharks, Sharks Academy and KZN Rugby Union watched every match at the festival. They were particularly impressed by the two unbeaten teams at the festival, Paarl Gimnasium and Hoërskool Outeniqua of George. Scriba said the teams from Grey College (Bloemfontein), Dr EG Jansen (Boksburg) and KZN teams Glenwood and Kearsney had also stood out.

The festival was well supported, with the KZN schools’ matches attracting capacity crowds. The spectators were able to enjoy a high standard of competitive rugby in good weather.

Adding to the status of the festival and the thrill of competing players, World Cup referee Craig Joubert and Super 15 referee Stuart Berry each officiated at a match.

Berry blew the 36-36 game between Selborne and Nico Malan on the first day, while Joubert refereed the final day’s play between EG Jansen and Nico Malan.

“These schoolboy rugby tournaments are wonderful advertisements for our game. It is truly astounding to see the talented rugby players we have coming through our schools,” Joubert said.

The acclaimed international referee gave the Nico Malan centre, Selvyn Davids, a high five after he scored the final try of the match with a brilliant solo effort, side-stepping his way at pace from 40 metres out.

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