Independent schools take a half-term break, state schools forge ahead in keenly-contested matches

2008-05-16 00:00

The four large Independent schools, who played over the recent two long weekends are on half-term today, while most state schools enjoyed a rest over the last long weekend.

There is just one top-tier match — and that is in Durban — but there are many other matches, which will be keenly contested.

Glenwood, the Sanix Junior World Champions, will fancy their chances against the shaky Maritzburg College unit. Their biggest enemies today will likely be complacency against opposition that have struggled.

This is the first of the teams that Glenwood aggressively attracted to the school with bursaries and, as most of them are still U17, they will again be eligible for Glenwood next year in their Centenary year. At age group levels there were few schools that beat them.

The superb rugby surface on Dixon’s field at Glenwood will be the venue and there should be a good crowd present, with the kick-off scheduled for 3.15 pm. College surprised many last Saturday when they led against Michaelhouse going into the last quarter of the match, but then a few crucial mistakes led to three tries by their more fancied opponents.

The one team they have both played is Paul Roos, with Glenwood winning 26-7, while College lost 10-29.

Very few will back College this afternoon, but this can be when they are the most dangerous.

Westville, after a defeat last weekend against Glenwood, will come out firing against visitors George Campbell. The latter have not been as strong as they have been in the last few years and Westville could post a big score against them. The match begins at 3 pm.

Against the physical Glenwood pack, Westville held their own in the forward exchanges and if they had a more accurate kicker, the scoreline could have been much closer. This is the area where the Westville team should dominate, as Campbell has not got the big forwards they had last year.

Voortrekker will be hosting Gelofte with the game starting at 11.15 am. The hosts are the only school that plays as many games against the top tier schools as they do against the level two schools. This is an advantage when it comes to playing the schools in the lower tier and so today they should have a comfortable win.

Wartburg travel to play against Thomas More in Kloof. Wartburg has had three good wins over the last two weekends, in Johannesburg against Sandringham and Randpark and then against Greytown last weekend, but today will arguably be their hardest match to date.

Both schools have lost one match, Thomas More to Hillcrest and Wartburg against Werda. The hosts played against Werda at the beginning of the season at the Wartburg Festival and beat them by one point. Werda beat Wartburg by one goal to nil, so today’s encounter is likely to be very close.

A match that is always hotly contested is at Treverton, where they host Howick. The school that they have both played is Weston — and both lost. Weston’s winning margin was 18 against Treverton and 15 against Howick, which does indicate that the game today will be no different to past years.

Kloof travel to Maritzburg to play against Alexandra. The Highway side should be too strong for Alex, who has not had a happy beginning to the season.

Fixtures (home side first): Glenwood v Maritzburg College; Westville v George Campbell; Voortrekker v Gelofte; Thomas More v Wartburg; Treverton v Howick; Alexandra v Kloof; Pinetown v New Forest; Carter v Linpark; Durban Akademie v Clifton; Amanzimtoti v St Henry’s.

Other matches (venues unknown): Estcourt v Ixopo; Suid Natal v Werda; Port Natal v Kuswag; Scottburgh v Kingsway; Port Shepstone v Kokstad

•DHS played Northwood last night.

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