Kearsney festival draw stop sides

2011-04-20 00:00

THE fourth annual Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival gets under way tomorrow morning and it will be well worth a visit to Hillcrest to see top South African schools in action.

In a competition to attract schools to festivals held over Easter weekend, Kearsney have fared well as they vie with three established Easter festivals, all in Johannesburg.

St Stithians has been running for 27 years, St Johns for 15 years and KES for 10 years.

Kearsney have managed a coup, attracting four schools from last year’s FNB Top 10 and one other in the top 20.

This includes the two top-ranked schools in 2010 — Grey College of Bloemfontein and Paarl Gym, which were ranked one and two respectively.

Monument of Krugersdorp were ranked at five and Glenwood at 10. The other ranked team are Selborne from East London, who are at 15.

Rugby begins at 8.30 am tomorrow, on Saturday and on Monday. Three matches will be played in the morning and in the afternoon on the first and last day of the festival.

On Saturday three matches will be played before lunch and two later before the teams leave for King’s Park to watch the Sharks take on the Hurricanes.

Paarl Gym and Monument will not be playing on Saturday as they face two tough games at the Wildeklawer tournament in Kimberley next weekend.

Glenwood and EG Jansen will also be in Kimberley and they will each play three games this weekend.

Primary school games will be sandwiched between the morning and afternoon games. Three local primary schools have the opportunity of being involved in a match against the KZN Primary Development team on each of the days.

The final game tomorrow sees Grey College against Monument, and Monnas will be going all out to show that they can beat the school that has for many years held the status of South Africa’s top rugby-playing school.

Grey have also produced more Craven Week players than any other school.

Grey, who have won the three fixtures they have played so far very easily, have not been tested this year.

Monument played a tough match against Glenwood, whom they beat 16-8 while scraping home 12-8 against Oakdale.

The final game on Saturday is between hosts Kearsney and Dale College of King Williams­town. Word has it that the visitors have a very nifty set of backline players and they are an exciting team to watch.

Kearsney have also impressed in their early games and also boast an exciting back line.

There has been a change to the final match on the Monday, which was initially set up to feature Christ’s College from Christchurch, New Zealand, and Grey College. Since the tourists lost 0-33 to DHS and 14-33 to Maritzburg College it has been decided that Kearsney will play Grey in the final match. Certainly this will be a motivator for Kearsney to play at their best.

The preceding game, Monument versus Selborne, also promises to be a good one to watch.The East London team showed some good touches in Port Elizabeth at the Grey HS Festival.

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