Schools’ rugby focus turns north after local festivals

2013-04-13 00:00

AFTER the hype of the local school rugby festivals, the first Saturday of the school’s rugby term is something of a let-down, with few matches for school rugby fans to watch.

The only two big games involving local schools are away in Gauteng and with most Independent schools still enjoying a much longer break than state schools, there are just 14 schools with fixtures today.

Maritzburg College and Northwood have travelled north to play Pretoria BHS and Jeppe, respectively. Both matches should be good contests for the local boys. Boys’ High were at the St Stithians Festival where they beat SACS and Bishops, and lost narrowly against St Andrews from Grahamstown.

College at their 150th Anniversary Festival, beat Grey HS, drew with Noordkaap and lost against Queens. The game in Pretoria is always more testing than at home and College will do well to come home with a win.

Northwood were at the Vryheid Festival where they beat Sarel Cilliers and AHS Kroonstad, but lost against Pionier. Jeppe were at the College Festival where they beat Queens, and lost against Noordkaap and Rondebosch. Jeppe have been involved in the tougher games and playing at home, makes them favourites in the clash.

A visit to Voortrekker will match Glenwood teams against four local schools. The final game on the main field at Voortrekker sees Glenwood first team against Pinetown at 4.30 pm. The main curtain-raiser sees Voortrekker against Glenwood second XV. Earlier the Glenwood fifth will be playing Linpark and earlier still the Glenwood sixth play Alex first.

Westville first and second teams will be playing away against schools on the North Coast. The first XV will play against Empangeni and the seconds also at Empangeni, but against Richardsbaai.

Arguably, the game that will be most closely contested today is at Port Natal where they host Clifton, the one independent school that is back at work.

Both teams would have seen one another at the Top Schools pre-season warm-up matches at King’s Park last term.

Port Natal came close to beating DHS last term, while Clifton had two comfortable wins against Port Shepstone and Ashton at the Felixton Festival.

George Campbell have played five games, including tough ones against Maritzburg College, St Charles, Benoni HS and Stellenberg, and they will be hosting Hillcrest, who have not yet played a full game.

Fixtures in brief: Pretoria BHS vs Maritzburg College; Jeppe vs Northwood; Glenwood vs Pinetown (at Voortrekker); Voortrekker vs Glenwood II; Linpark vs Glenwood V; Alex vs Glenwood VI; Empangeni vs Westville; Richardsbaai vs Westville II (at Empangeni); Port Natal vs Clifton; George Campbell vs Hillcrest; Weston vs Wartburg; Scottburgh vs Howick.

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