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Preview – KwaZulu-Natal Schools Rugby

By Hannes Nienaber , in Rugby | News , at 2012-05-12

The KwaZulu-Natal weekend gets started on Friday evening with a rematch of the Durban Night Series final when then winners George Campbell host Port Natal.

Campbell will be desperate to make amends after their narrow defeat at Northwood last week, which all but put pay to their hopes of ending the year as the seventh best team in the province. Port Natal will arrive at North Beach in a confident mood, having seen off the huge challenge from high-flying Suid-Natal in an 11-8 victory.

With Michaelhouse looking certain to be the best represented school in the local Craven Week team, their profile on the rugby front has just shot up, meaning a lot more attention will be focused on their achievements from here on out. The boys from Balgowan will be expected to achieve convincing wins beginning with the Northwood match, in order to justify their numerous Under-18 selections to some often tough to please local followers of the school game. Northwood is already known for putting up spirited performances on their own home turf. Now adding to the equation for this game is that it’s their Old Boys Day, suggesting they will be that much more pumped up to do well in front of the a large and loud crowd.

The Maritzburg College versus Kearsney game is an FNB Classic Clash and makes for an interesting match-up. The two teams have started peaking in recent weeks. Also as far as strengths and weaknesses are concerned, they appear to be complete opposites. College should dominate scrums and play out wide, while Kearsney should control the lineout and be marginally better in and around the rucks. However this is rugby and sometimes the form book simply has to be thrown out the window. College players will also be able to feed off that special energy that can be felt all around Goldstones on their Reunion Day.

DHS’s best form this season has come on their own home ground. It’s therefore hard to imagine them pulling off a win against Hilton 100km away from Durban. The feeling is always there that School can be very influential in a slow or a start-stop type game though. Hilton has a good pack but they might find an expansive game more to their liking against heavier DHS forwards.

Westville are a safe bet to be too powerful for Empangeni from the onset. Nevertheless the game might be a good occasion to experiment or develop a good game-plan ahead of Westville’s final big challenge of the season in the form of Kearsney.

Sarel Cilliers who has pretty much sewn up the unofficial Northern Natal title this year plays next door neighbours Dundee.

Elsewhere in the country there are some huge games on.

Port Elizabeth schoolboy rugby fans look set to be treated to an action-packed match when home team Grey High meets undefeated Border region heavyweights Dale College. It wasn’t too long ago that Grey High was being mentioned in the same breath as the leading contenders for top spot in the national rankings. Things have gone awry since then for Grey and they will see this game as a vital opportunity to get back on track. Watching Dale run the ball is a sight for sore eyes for any rugby lover. At their very best the King William’s Town boys execute with a high degree of precision at such tremendous pace that even the best organised defences can be made to look weak.

Garsfontein and Centurion might not be the first two Northvaal rugby teams that come to mind when discussing the region’s usual cream of the crop in any given year. However, in 2012 both sides are right up there amongst the best not just in the region but also in the whole country. Saturday’s match-up will be nothing short of an absolute humdinger.

KES gets a chance to extract some revenge for an early season shock defeat at the hands of Pretoria Boys High. That result has been the only real blemish in an almost spotless record for KES, arguably one of the best teams in the country going by the talent in the team, the form shown and most importantly the result achieved.

As mentioned in another article on this website, there are also some thrillers down in the Western Cape as well.

Enjoy the rugby and remember to be a good sportsman in the stands as well.

By Beet

1

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