SuperSport Schools Plus

SSS_Logo_180px.png

Big guns assemble in Makhanda for the SAC Shield


The 2024 summer sports season is about to shift into top gear with two prestigious water polo tournaments taking place in Makhanda this coming weekend.

On the boys’ side of things, the action will come thick and fast on SuperSport Schools from the annual SAC Shield, hosted by St Andrew’s College. Nearby, Kingswood College hosts top girls’ teams from across the country in the Brian Baker Tournament.

The SAC Shield will see 13 of the best assemble in the small Eastern Cape town, with the first drop of the ball happening bright and early at 07:00 on Thursday. The final, to be played at 12:20 on Sunday, will bring the event to a close.

The four-day festival will present teams with an opportunity to sharpen their skills in double-quick time ahead of a busy schedule over the next two months. Chemistry, cohesion and squad depth will all be to the fore.

Last year’s winners, Paul Roos Gymnasium are drawn in Pool B, and will face St Andrew’s College, St John’s College, Westville Boys’ High, Michaelhouse, and their provincial neighbours, Rondebosch Boys’ High.

Coach Vaughn Marlow’s team already has a number of games under its belt after hosting a pre-season festival this past weekend.

The Stellenbosch side will be take that pre-season experience into the event, where they’ll be seeking to overturn their misfortune of losing to SACS in the final of two big tournaments late last year.

Pool A includes St Stithians College and Selborne College, who will use the congested tournament format to help fast-track their preparations for the Vides tournament, which takes place in East London next month.

Grey High is in the mix, too, along with the Cape powers, SACS and Bishops. Under the guidance of coach Devon Card, SACS were, undoubtedly, South Africa’s best last year.

Jabulani Sibiya’s Bishops team has previously enjoyed success in the SAC Shield, lifting the title in 2020 and 2022. They’re first into the water on Thursday against St Stithians. Then, at 13:00, they’re set for a southern suburbs’ showdown against SACS.

In Pool A, KwaZulu-Natal is represented by Clifton College, and Hilton College.

Clifton, Hilton, and Westville will feel they underperformed in last year’s SAC Shield, and their better results later in the year certainly suggest that was the case. They’ll be out to improve on their fourth, fifth, and seventh places from 2023.

Day one also includes an interesting clash between Clifton and Hilton, who were ranked one and two in KZN last year. Clifton produced five KZN u19A players and Hilton had four.

The hosts, St Andrew’s face a tough opener on Thursday at 09:15 when they go up against St John’s College. The boys from Houghton had three South African Schools players in their ranks in 2023.

On Thursday only, three games, which take place in the evening, will be played at DSG.

Early season optimism will abound as the teams in the 12-strong field set out to make a statement about their place in the pecking order of South African schoolboys’ water polo in 2024.

The hosts, St Andrew’s, would dearly love to repeat their win of 2021, while SACS, after their dominant 2023, which didn’t include a SAC Shield title, will be keen to add that one to their list of achievements.

Previous winners

2023 – Paul Roos
2022 – Bishops
2021 – St Andrew’s College
2020 – Bishops
2019 – SACS

Groups

Pool A: Clifton College, SACS, Grey High, Bishops Diocesan College, Selborne College, St Stithians College, Hilton College
Pool B: Paul Roos Gymnasium, Westville Boys’ High, Michaelhouse, Rondebosch Boys’ High, St John’s College, St Andrew’s College

Day 1, Thursday, 25 January, @ St Andrew’s College

07:00 – (1) St Stithians vs Bishops; 07:45 – (2) Paul Roos vs Westville; 08:30 – (3) Michaelhouse vs Rondebosch; 09:15 – (4) St John’s vs St Andrew’s; 10:00 – (5) SACS vs Selborne; 10:45 – (6) St Stithians vs Grey High; 11:30 – (7) St Andrew’s vs Paul Roos; 12:15 – (8) Rondebosch vs St John’s; (9) 13:00 – Bishops vs SACS; 13:45 – (10) Grey High vs Selborne; 14:30 – (11) Hilton vs Clifton; 15:15 – (12) Paul Roos vs Michaelhouse; 16:00 – (13) St John’s vs Westville; 16:45 – (14) SACS vs Hilton; 17:30 – (15) Clifton vs Grey High.

Day 1, Thursday, 25 January, @ DSG

19:00 – (16) St Andrew’s vs Michaelhouse; 19:45 – (17) Rondebosch vs Westville; 20:30 – (18) Hilton vs Grey High

Day 2, Friday, 26 January, @ St Andrew’s College

07:00 – (19) St John’s vs Paul Roos; 07:45 – (20) Hilton vs St Stithians; 08:30 – (21) Selborne vs Clifton; 09:15 – (22) St Andrew’s vs Rondebosch; 10:00 – (23) Grey High vs SACS; 10:45 – (24) Bishops vs Selborne; 11:30; (25) St Stithians vs Clifton; 12:15 – (26) Westville vs Michaelhouse; 13:00 – (27) Rondebosch vs Paul Roos; 13:45 – (28) Selborne vs Hilton; 14:30 – (29) Clifton vs Bishops; 15:15 – (30) SACS vs St Stithians; 16:00 – (31) Westville vs St Andrew’s; 16:45 – (32) Michaelhouse vs St John’s; 17:30 – (33) Bishops vs Hilton

Day 3, Saturday, 27 January, @ St Andrew’s College

07:00 – (34) Clifton vs SACS; 07:45 – (35) Grey High vs Bishops; 08:30 – (36) Selborne vs St Stithians; 09:15 – (37) 7th Pool A vs 6th Pool B (qualifier); 10:00 – (38) 1st Pool A vs 4th Pool B (quarterfinal 1); 10:50 – (39) 2nd Pool A vs 3rd Pool B (2nd quarterfinal); 11:40 – (40) 3rd Pool A vs 2nd Pool B (3rd quarterfinal); 12:30 – (41) 4th Pool A vs 1st Pool B (quarterfinal 4); 13:20 – (42) 5th Pool A vs Winner 37 (Plate semi-final); 14:10 – (43) 6th Pool A vs 5th Pool B (Plate semi-final); 15:00 – (44) Loser 38 vs Loser 40 (5th-8th); 15:50 – (45) Loser 30 vs Loser 41 (5th-8th); 16:40 – (46) Winner 38 vs Winner 40 (Semi-final 1); 17:30 – (47) Winner 39 vs Winner 41 (Semi-final 2)

Day 4, Sunday, 28 January, @ St Andrew’s College

08:00 – (48) Loser 42 vs Loser 43 (11th/12th); 08:50 – (49) Winner 42 vs Winner 43 (9th/10th); 09:40 – (50) Loser 44 vs Loser 45 (7th/8th); 10:30 – (51) Winner 44 vs Winner 45 (5th/6th); 11:20 – (52) Loser 46 vs Loser 47 (3rd/4th); 12:10 – Finalists line up; 12:20 – (53) Winner 46 vs Winner 47 (1st/2nd)

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.