Twenty-three schools to feature in two KZN rugby festivals

2008-04-05 00:00

TWO rugby festivals take place next week at the end of the extended Easter vacation.

The 21st Festival at Vryheid High has attracted 23 schools, and in Maritzburg the inaugural Tiger Turf Schonk Nicholson Festival for boys in the U14, U15 and U16 age groups takes place at Maritzburg College.

Twenty schools will be represented in at least one of the age groups. This makes these two KZN festivals among the largest held at school level in South Africa.

The Vryheid festival is the second oldest in the country, and has the most schools represented — a mix of small, medium and large institutions. The bigger schools are represented by their first and second fifteens.

Kolbe College, a small school outside Perth, Australia, is also taking part.

Fixtures for the first day are in place. A small committee arranges later fixtures according to results, matching sides of similar standard.

With so many sides playing on just one field, there will be three matches on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday and most sides will play on the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Each day a “Barbarians” side will be made up of players who do not play for their team that day.

At Maritzburg College, the matches begin next Wednesday and finish on Saturday. Three fields will be used, with matches beginning at 8 am and finishing at 15.45 on Wednesday and Thursday. On Saturday, two more fields will be used, and the last match will finish by 1 pm.

There are 16 teams in the U14 group, including Grey College, Pretoria BHS, Jeppe and the lesser-known Brandwag, Sentraal, Menlopark, St Benedicts, Overkruin, Hudson Park, Rob Ferreira and Zwartkop. Also competing in this group are a Maritzburg invitation side and a KZN Development XV.

The U15 sides are the hosts, Westville, Hudson Park, Ermelo, Overkruin, Rob Ferreira, Brandwag and a KZN Development XV.

Among the 12 sides in the U16 group are College, St Charles, Westville, DHS, Pretoria BHS, Jeppe, Ermelo, Rob Ferreira, Pionier, Kempton Park and Overkruin.

With 36 sides from 20 different schools, this festival is one of the biggest of its kind in South Africa. There will be 18 matches on each of the three days. Accommodating all these teams takes a great deal of organisation, so a number of boarding establishments around the town are being used.

It is hoped that there will be a good turnout of supporters because the festival will likely provide good, hard, running rugby over the three days.

The festival is expected to become an annual event and will likely play an important role in Maritzburg College’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2013.

First-round fixtures at Vryheid

Monday: 19.30 Vryheid U15 v Kolbe U15; 20.30 Ferrum II v Michaelhouse III; 21.30 Vryheid II v Durban Akademie

Tuesday: 08.00 Port Shepstone v MenloPark; 09.00 Tuine v Pongola Akademie; 10.00 Richardsbaai v Affies III; 11.00 Greytown v Barbarians; 12.00 Sarel Cilliers v Kuswag; 13.00 Kokstad v Silverton; 14.00 Ferrum v Maritzburg College II; 15.00 Michaelhouse II v Affies II; 16.00 Westville XV v General Hertzog; 17.00 Glenwood XV v HTS Middeburg XV; 18.00 Opening Ceremony; 19.00 Maritzburg College v Ermelo; 20.00 Michaelhouse v Harmony Akademie; 21.00 Vryheid v Kolbe College

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