Five exciting matches in final round of College Rugby Festival

2013-04-03 00:00

THE final round of the FNB Maritzburg College 150th Rugby Festival today throws up five exciting matches, this after days one and two produced some thrilling schoolboy rugby.

First up, Dale take on Affies at 9 am before Rondebosch tackle Jeppe at 10.20 am. Then it’s Grey High against a Festival Invitation XV at 11.40 am before Monument meet Noord-Kaap at 1 pm.

The curtain comes down on a superb festival when hosts Maritzburg College, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the school, face old foes Queens College at 2.20 pm.

Rondebosch’s match against Jeppe, originally scheduled to be the third game of the day, was moved up to the second game of the day due to the Capetonians’ flight schedule.

Affies have stamped their mark on this festival with Monday’s 31-3 win over Port Elizabeth’s Grey High School and a 27-13 defeat of Queens College last Saturday. Dale played typically spirited, attacking rugby during their 39-21 defeat by Monument, and did much the same in their 43-0 victory over the Festival Invitation XV on Monday.

So while Affies will be overwhelming favourites, what is certain is that Dale will play open, adventurous rugby. Rondebosch had a 64-0 romp against a spirited KZN Development XV on day one, and gave a very good account of themselves upfront and behind the scrum in Monday’s 14-5 defeat to Monument.

Today’s opponents, Jeppe, enjoyed a hard-fought 20-12 victory over Queens on Monday, this after suffering the disappointment of losing 24-16 to Noord-Kaap on day one. It is difficult to choose a winner in the Rondebosch/Jeppe fixture.

Grey High School are highly regarded and many would have put them as favourites against Maritzburg College last Saturday, but it was not to be as a wonderfully committed College side, well-led by captain and lock forward Seko Buthelezi, the head prefect, came away with a meritorious 18-10 win. And on Monday against Affies, one could also feel for head coach Rory Duncan and the Grey lads, as the 28-point defeat did not even begin to tell the story of how well they played in patches, while the lone penalty goal was scant reward for the number of times they had Affies on the back foot.

Grey will almost certainly beat the feisty Festival Invitation XV by a comfortable margin, but that will not be for want of trying by the ultra-keen festival lads.

The 1 pm clash between Monnas (Monument) and Noord-Kaap should produce some fantastic rugby, as both sides have talented players in every position — and both teams will want to go away from this memorable headline event of the Maritzburg College 150th Winter Sports Festival with unbeaten records — and in Monument’s case, a 100% win record. The Krugersdorp-based Monnas lads have beaten Dale and Rondebosch, while Noord-Kaap trumped Jeppe and drew 24-24 with Maritzburg College in a cliffhanger on Monday. Monnas probably have the edge here.

Host school Maritzburg College were simply magnificent in defence in the eight-point win over Grey — and displayed the same remarkable resolve in coming back to draw with Noord-Kaap. The very competent Queens squad lost by 14 points to Affies and by eight points to Jeppe, and will be determined to come away with a win against College.


9.00 Dale vs Affies; 10.20 Rondebosch vs Jeppe; 11.40 Grey vs Festival Invitation XV; 13.00 Monnas vs Noord-Kaap; 14.20 Queens vs Maritzburg College.

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