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Favourable draw for favourites at u19 Boys IPT

By Brad Morgan , in Water Sports | News , at 2023-11-21 Tags: ,

Arguably the most interesting game of day one of the 2023 Schools Water Polo South Africa Inter-Provincial Tournament in Gqeberha, on Saturday, 9 December, features a clash between two teams that are very familiar with one another, Western Province A and Western Province B.

While Western Province A are the favourites to win the boys’ u19 title, based mostly on the outstanding successes of SACS this season, and the fine performances of Paul Roos, who pushed the Cape Town school hard throughout, contests between teams from the same region, who are very familiar with one another, are notoriously difficult to predict, much like traditional rivalries, where previous form often counts for nought.

Giving Group B a bit of a hometown vibe and joining the two Western Province sides in the group, are Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay. Central Gauteng B completes the group.

Neighbours Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay meet in the last match on day one. It starts at 19:35 and should draw a bit of a crowd.

Group A has six sides, one more than Group B, and features the KwaZulu-Natal A and KwaZulu-Natal B teams, along with Eastern Gauteng, Northern Tigers, Zimbabwe and Central Gauteng A. One imagines the battle for the top spot will be between KZN A and Central Gauteng A.

KZN A features players from only three schools – Clifton College, Hilton College and Westville Boys’ High – but that could well be an advantage for the team from the east coast. Combinations and familiarity among the players should prove to be a positive for the side.

Central Gauteng A, meanwhile, features six players from St John’s College, who proved that they remain among the country’s elite teams with a string of strong performances at the Clifton Water Polo Tournament, SACS Water Polo Tournament and St Stithians Invitational.

Of course, SACS stole the show in those three, capturing the silverware on each occasion. In the first two, they beat Paul Roos in the finals, while they narrowly defeated St John’s 7-6 in the latter event. That’s why Western Province are the favourites.

Six players from SACS are in the Province A team, including Nicholas Fall and Noah Bigara, who will give their team a sharp edge on the offensive end. They’ll surely have a big role to play in their team’s challenge for the honours.

Throughout the season, and consistently just behind the Western Province big guns of SACS and Paul Roos was Clifton, who placed third in their home pool and third in the SACS’ pool, where they also handed SACS their only defeat in the three events during a clash in the group stages. Much of the reason for the Durban powerhouse’s successes during the season was their cohesion and familiarity with one another.

Hilton College twice had to settle for fourth after losing out to Clifton, but they contribute four strong players to the KZN squad, while Westville brings five players into the mix, including goalkeeper Nathan Jacob, who has the ability to be a match-winner on his day.

Much like day one’s clash between the two Western Province teams will be a fascinating showdown, so, too, will day two’s meeting of KZN A and KZN B.

Day three, Monday, 11 December, will feature the biggest of the group stage matches, when KZN A and Central Gauteng A meet at 11:00. That duel will likely decide who tops Group A and who finishes second. The runners-up will then have to play the third-place team from Group B for a shot at the Group B winners, which will likely be Western Province A.

That, of course, is if the expected results unfold. On paper that’s what should happen, but games are played in the pool and not on paper, and predictions seldom prove 100 percent accurate.

The Inter-Provincial competition wraps up on Wednesday, 13 December, with the final being played at Grey High School at 13:25.

FIXTURES

(First teams mentioned in white caps. All games at Grey High unless otherwise stated)

Saturday, 9 December

B1 – 12:00 – Eastern Gauteng vs Central Gauteng A, Group A
B2 – 13:05 – Central Gauteng B vs Buffalo City, Group B
B3 – 14:10 – KwaZulu-Natal A vs Zimbabwe, Group A
B4 – 15:15 – Northern Tigers vs Central Gauteng A, Group A
B5 – 16:20 – Western Province B vs Western Province A, Group B
B6 – 17:25 – KwaZulu-Natal A vs Eastern Gauteng, Group A
B7 – 18:30 – KwaZulu-Natal B vs Zimbabwe, Group A
B8 – 19:35 – Buffalo City vs Nelson Mandela Bay, Group B

Sunday, 10 December

B9 – 07:00 – KwaZulu-Natal A vs Northern Tigers, Group A
B10 – 08:05 – Central Gauteng B vs Western Province B, Group B
B11 – 09:10 – Zimbabwe vs Eastern Gauteng, Group A
B12 – 10:15 – KwaZulu-Natal B vs Central Gauteng A, Group A
B13 – 11:20 – Western Province A vs Nelson Mandela A, Group B
B14 – 12:25 – Zimbabwe vs Northern Tigers, Group A
B15 – 13:30 – Western Province B vs Buffalo City, Group B
B16 – 14:35 – KwaZulu-Natal A vs KwaZulu-Natal B, Group A
B17 – 15:40 – Central Gauteng B vs Nelson Mandela Bay, Group B
B18 – 16:45 – Northern Tigers vs Eastern Gauteng, Group A
B19 – 17:50 – Zimbabwe vs Central Gauteng A, Group A
B20 – 18:55 – Western Province A vs Buffalo City, Group B

Monday, 11 December

B21 – 08:50 – KwaZulu-Natal B vs Northern Tigers, Group A
B22 – 09:55 – Western Province B vs Nelson Mandela Bay, Group B
B23 – 11:00 – KwaZulu-Natal A vs Central Gauteng A, Group A
B24 – 12:05 – Western Province A vs Central Gauteng B, Group B
B25 – 13:10 – KwaZulu-Natal B vs Eastern Gauteng, Group B

Tuesday, 12 December

B26 – 10:40 – Group A 6 vs Group B 5, progression qualifier
B27_CO1 – 11:45 – Group A 2 vs Group B 3, Crossover 1
B28_CO2 – 12:50 – Group B 2 vs Group A 3, Crossover 2
B29_SF1 – 17:35 – Group B 1 vs winner game 27 (CO1), semifinals 1
B30_SF1 – 18:40 – Group A 2 vs winner game 28 (CO2), semifinals 2
B31 – 18:50 – Group A4 vs loser game 27 (CO1), middle qualifier 1, Newton Park
B32 – 19:55 – Group B4 vs loser game 28 (CO2), middle qualifier 2, Newton Park

Wednesday, 13 December

B33 – 10:10 – Loser game 29 (SF1) vs Loser game 30 (SF2), 3rd/4th, Newton Park
B34 – 11:15 – Winner game 31 vs Winner game 32, 5th/6th, Newton Park
B35 – 12:20 – Loser game 31 vs Loser game 32, 7th/8th, Newton Park

13:15 Introduction of Boys’ u19 Tournament Finalists

B36 – 13:25 – Winner game 29 (SF1) vs Winner game 30 (SF2), Final
B37 – 13:25 – Group A 5 vs Winner game 26, 9th/10th, Newton Park

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