Will the underdog prevail?

2011-05-07 00:00

AFTER the extended holidays for many schools, today’s rugby fixture list has some exciting encounters scheduled. None more so than at Hilton, Maritzburg College and Kearsney, but among the second-tier schools there will be tight matches at Treverton, Hillcrest and Weston.

The first of the two matches bet­ween the large midlands Independent schools, Hilton and Michaelhouse, will be played in front of a large crowd around Gilfillans at Hilton.

The fact that neither of the two schools have a great team makes the result this afternoon even more unpredictable. Is there an underdog? Often in these derby games, the underdog prevails.

Not much can be revealed by the two teams they have both played. Against Northwood, Hilton won 19-14 in their first match of the season and Michaelhouse 29-12, the following week. Against Daniel Pienaar in Port Elizabeth, Michaelhouse lost by a point, while Hilton won 20-13.

Both teams have suffered one big defeat. In Port Elizabeth, Michaelhouse lost 3-61 against King Edward VII (Kes) and Hilton lost 0-42 against home side Kearsney. Honours appear even and it will be the side which makes the least mistakes that will most likely win.

Maritzburg College host King Edward from Johannesburg. With both teams willing to spread the ball spectators should be in for a treat. The schools that they have both played show that it will be a tight encounter. College beat Pretoria BHS 17-9 in the mud and Kes beat them 19-9. Against DHS, Kes won 41-6 and College 32-0. This game should attract another good crowd around Goldstones.

The match at Kearsney, where they host Glenwood, is another that will be good value for the spectators. Glenwood have shown gradual improvement in the matches played with only George Campbell among the KZN sides played. Kearsney have also played Campbell winning 18-13, whereas Glenwood won 29-3. The visitors have had a tough two-week schedule against some top sides and this could just count against them today.

Westville will likely be too strong for DHS. The latter have battled against the better schools, and other than a win against St Albans have lost the other six matches against the top-tier schools.

George Campbell will be hosting Voortrekker and where normally the game is keenly contested, the Durban side this year could prove too strong against a Voortrekker team that who battled in the early games.

Northwood will be using their home fields for the first time since the Football World Cup. They host Empangeni and Richardsbaai, the former playing the first XV and the second XV against Richardsbaai.


Selected fixtures (home side first): Hilton vs Michaelhouse; Maritzburg College v KES; Kearsney vs Glenwood; DHS vs Westville; George Campbell vs Voortrekker; Northwood vs Emapangeni; St Davids vs St Charles; Weston vs Clifton; Pinetown vs Port Natal; Treverton vs Wartburg; South City vs Creston; Carter vs Linpark; Hillcrest vs St Henrys; Howick vs Pongola; Port Shepstone vs Thomas More; Northwood II vs Richardsbaai.

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