Dale College likely to pull out of rugby festival after tragic week: 'We need to do what is best'

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Dale College (Dale College Facebook)
Dale College (Dale College Facebook)
  • Dale College headmaster Garth Shaw said it's unlikely that the school's first rugby team will travel to the King Edward VII School Easter Festival in light of the tragedies that have befallen the school.
  • Two of Dale College's first-team players, Liyabona Teyise and Lisakhanya Lwana, died over the last week.
  • Teyise died in hospital on Saturday evening after sustaining a head injury in a fixture in East London on Saturday.

Dale College headmaster Garth Shaw says the possibility of their first rugby team traveling to Johannesburg to honour their King Edward VII School Easter Festival invitation was unlikely after the tragedies that have befallen the school.

First team lock Liyabona Teyise died on Saturday evening after suffering a head injury during Dale College's 16-8 win against Port Rex Technical High School in East London.

Teyise's death came after 17-year-old Lisakhanya 'Carter' Lwana, also a first-team rugby player who played flyhalf, was found dead on Tuesday having been missing since last Saturday.

The players had taken part in Dale College's early season fixtures against Hudson Park at the Grens Rugby Festival and Marlow Agricultural High School at the Graeme College Festival in consecutive weekends last month.

Dale had fixtures listed against Trinityhouse, hosts KES, and Jeppe High School for Boys, with the latter school's director of rugby Carl Spilhaus a former Under-13A and first-team coach at Dale.

Shaw said they'll come to a decision on Monday and appreciated how the KES organisers have understood their plight.

"At this point in time, probably not, and we will make a final decision on Monday," Shaw told Sport24.

"We appreciate hugely that the KES tournament organisers have been very understanding and supportive.

"They have extended various options: to come later and play fewer games or to pull out altogether.

"At this point in time, we need to do what is best for our players and coaches. We will assess the situation on Monday and make a decision after that."

The Eastern Cape Department of Education's spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima said their department will assist the school in any way they can considering the tragedies.

"Upon learning about this incident, the District Manager has assembled a team to investigate the matter and its report will contain recommendations on the needed support for the schools," Mtima said.

"The MEC sends his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, the school community, and the learners. We hope the family will find solace in God during this trying time of their lives.

"The recommendations of the report of the investigation will determine the kind of support necessary for the schools."

Mtima said the safety of school rugby matches and the necessary first aid that accompanies them was cleared with the department.

"The match fixtures are done in consultation with the departmental school sports Directorate which authorises them after they have met all the requirements needed such as safety, security and paramedics to ensure they attend to any eventuality on the grounds."

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