Schools rugby back in midlands

2008-07-19 00:00

Schoolboy rugby enthusiasts will be pleased that action returns today after a relatively short winter break.

There are, however, only four matches as most schools hung up their boots last quarter. Kearsney only return to school next week.

In the KZN midlands there is a choice of the two matches. Maritzburg College host Glenwood on Goldstones while, on Gillfillan, Hilton are hosting Westville.

College’s season turned around midway through last term and, although they lost 7-15 in Durban against Glenwood, the match was tightly contested with College dominating territory, but Glenwood defences holding them out.

With the visitors historically not faring as well away from home, they will be more worried about the result and retaining their unbeaten local record.

College will be hoping that they have not lost the momentum from their last two matches when they had good wins against Hilton and Kearsney. Glenwood, in their last two matches, drew with Michaelhouse and beat Voortrekker.

The final result this afternoon, in the match kicking off at 3.40 pm, will probably be determined by the amount and quality of ball the backlines receive.

The match at Hilton will be interesting, as both sides have had average seasons. Hilton lost three matches last term, albeit narrowly, while Westville went down in four matches, of which two were just by one point.

Against common opposition, Westville have notched up more points. Hilton beat both Kearsney and Parktown by just one point, while Westville triumphed 25-3 and 14-8 respectively. St Charles were beaten 40-6 by Westville in the first match of the season while Hilton played them later, winning 27-3. The other team was DHS who Hilton beat 7-5 — in controversial circumstances — while Westville won 22-14.

This points to Westville being favourites but, on Gilfillan, Hilton are always tough to crack. Hilton have also had three matches at the Independent Schools Festival, the advantage being that they should be better prepared.

Michaelhouse resume with a relatively easy fixture away to Hillcrest.

Hilton beat Hillcrest 65-0 and it is likely that Michaelhouse will beat Hillcrest by an even bigger margin.

The only other match is at Weston, where they will be hosting Voortrekker starting at 11.15 am. Weston have had a good season, with 13 wins in their 13 games and they will be very confident for today’s game.

Jan Botha, coach of Voortrekker, will have mixed feelings, as he coached Weston for a number of years and this will be the first time that he is coaching a side to beat Weston.

Fixtures (home side first): Maritzburg College v Glenwood (3.40 pm); Hilton v Westville (3.30 pm); Hillcrest v Michaelhouse (3.45 pm); Weston v Voortrekker.

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