Last games of season should be exciting

2010-06-05 00:00

IT is hard to believe that it is not yet halfway through June and yet the last KZN school rugby fixtures for 2010 take place today.

Only Glenwood will be involved next term, although some schools have one-off fixtures against touring teams. There are three schools who are celebrating their Old Boy reunions in the midlands — Maritzburg College, St Charles and Weston.

The match on Goldstones at College is going to be a momentous clash, with College raising their game in front of thousands of Old Boys and Glenwood intent on being unbeaten against KZN opposition. It is also an FNB Classic Clash and will be televised.

The home side have shown an upward curve since the first game, which College lost 13-20, while Glenwood have maintained their top position in the province. The Glenwood defence have been particularly good, and if they are behind they do not panic. This has got them through a number of tough games.

The other keenly awaited match is the scheduled return game between Hilton and Michaelhouse. The first match at Michaelhouse was abandoned 10 minutes into the match because of thunder and lightning accompanied by a cloudburst.

On results posted this season, Hilton will be favourites, but in this derby game, and the pressures that go with it, anything can happen. Visitors Michaelhouse have shown that when they are up against a better team they can raise their game, as they did when beating both Westville and Maritzburg College. Both matches were at home, however, whereas today they are on Gilfillans at Hilton.

Hilton have the better pack of forwards and if they win more than their fair share of the ball, it will be very difficult for the lads from Balgowan to win the game.

In Durban, most interest will be at Durban High where they are hosting Kearsney.

Their results against other KZN teams are very similar as they have both lost against College, Westville and Glenwood and beaten Northwood and St Charles. Against Hilton, DHS did well to draw, while Kearsney lost. As DHS is at home, they are marginal favourites.

Most sport at Clifton has improved each year and they can compete with the best. An exception is rugby, where they are very much in the second tier. This weekend they travel to play against St Charles on their Old Boys Day.

Last week Clifton lost narrowly against Hillcrest, but they have beaten Voortrekker. St Charles thumped Voortrekker last weekend and so St Charles will likely win quite easily in this game.

Westville end their season on a low note as the first team play against a KZN Development XV, a far cry from the intensity that Westville is accustomed to. The Second XV play against Voortrekker and this will probably be the better game to watch.

Weston play in front of their Old Boys this morning against Greytown. The latter have had a good season with their fast-running, elusive backs, but Weston have the advantage of weight in the forwards, and if they can last the duration of the game, which should produce plenty of running, then they can win.

George Campbell have played many of the top tier sides, but the closest they came to a win was against Michaelhouse where they lost by just two points. Last Saturday Michaelhouse lost in Durban against Northwood, also by two points. This indicates that the match between Campbell and Northwood could be close.

Fixtures (home side first): Maritzburg College v Glenwood; Hilton v Michaelhouse; DHS v Kearsney; St Charles v Clifton; Westville v KZN Development; Westville II v Voortrekker; Weston v Greytown; Northwood v George Campbell; Howick v Carter; St Henrys v Treverton; Kloof v Hillcrest; Pinetown v Port Natal; Thomas More v Gelofte

Other fixtures (venue unknown): Kuswag v Kingsway; New Forest v Linpark; Amanzimtoti v DNC; Eshowe v Empangeni

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