SuperSport Schools Plus

Michaelhouse, St David’s raring to go at Reef Cup

By CS Chiwanza , in Water Sports | Featured Water Sports | News , at 2024-02-28 Tags: , ,

All roads lead to St Stithians College, where 20 schools will make up the boys’ side of the competition at the 2024 Reef Cup Water Polo Tournament. First played back in 1980, it is one of the longest-running water polo tournaments in Gauteng. This year’s competition takes place from Thursday, 29 February, to Sunday, 3 March.

One of the teams making the trek to Saints is Michaelhouse, who made it all the way to the semi-finals last year. They won six of their seven games before going down to St David’s Marist Inanda in the final four.

Their team this year looks quite different. Coach Graeme Lucas-Bull leads a relatively young side, which features only two boys in matric, four Grade 11s and seven Grade 10s. Whatever the side may lack in experience, it makes up for that for with character, skill and enthusiasm.

It’s not only the personnel in the water that are different. Their coach, Lucas-Bull, took the reins this year, but he is not new to the trade. He comes with a wealth of experience and a very impressive CV.

He was the St Andrew’s College coach and Director of Water Polo, and has also coached St Stithians, Reddam House Constantia, Western Province, Nelson Mandela Bay, Gauteng, the National u17 side, the SA Schools girls’ team, and he served as an assistant coach to the SA Men‘s team.

Apart from the changes in personnel, there has been a shift in the culture, too, Lucas-Bull explained. “Michaelhouse is not known as a water polo powerhouse and we want to change that.”

He told Supersport Schools Plus that his primary concern is to help the players grow as individuals. For him, the pool is a classroom where the players learn life skills that allow them to develop good character and resilience.

At the St Andrew’s Shield, at the end of January, playing against some of South Africa’s elite teams, Michaelhouse played themselves into strong positions but struggled to close out games. In one of their matches, they led for three chukkas only to lose by a single goal at the end of the fourth chukka. In another game, they were edged out after a penalty shootout.

At the Reef Cup, the Luke Davidson-captained team will aim to be more ruthless and accurate, and to play with greater intensity.

According to Lucas-Bull, each team Michaelhouse competes against is in for a fair but tough contest, and one of those teams is going to be last year’s beaten finalists, St David’s Marist Inanda.

The Dean Whyte-coached unit is returning to the Reef Cup intent on finishing a job they just missed out on completing last year. “I think the team always wants to strive for perfection. It was their efforts that got them that far. I certainly think the boys are ready and wanting to go, more so go one further,” Whyte said.

Unlike Michaelhouse, St David’s boasts an experienced side. Almost half of the 2024 team played at the Reef Cup in 2023. They lost five senior players, who matriculated at the end of last year, and will be missing a handful of players who are out of action due to injuries. However, they bring a strong squad into the event, and their tournament experience is not limited to the Reef Cup.

“I’m very blessed at St David’s to have many high performing players, who have played at the provincial level, so their experience extends past our pool,” Whyte said. “And we all know that having experience in a pool certainly adds benefits. This year our team has had every player play at a provincial level at some stage.”

St David’s will dive into the pool with their coach’s motto ringing in their ears, “Play with heart and pride – for yourself, and your team.” They will be out to have fun and compete, a combination that could help them take that one step further to lift the coveted trophy.

Other teams to look out for at the Reef Cup are a resurgent Affies, who finished second at the Grey College ITEC tournament, losing out to Selborne College in the final, earlier this season. They reached the quarterfinals at last year’s edition of the Reef Cup. St Alban’s, who lost to Michaelhouse in the battle for third place in 2023, will be out for redemption, with designs on going all the way. 

If there is a dark horse side, it could be Kearsney College. Young, but experienced and confident, they’ve been playing some fine water polo this season.


Pool A

Beaulieu College (Johannesburg)
Grey College (Bloemfontein)
Michaelhouse (KwaZulu-Natal)
Reddam House Bedfordview (Johannesburg)
St Benedict’s College (Johannesburg)

Pool B

Durban High School (KwaZulu-Natal)
Falcon College (Zimbabwe)
St Alban’s College (Pretoria)
Reddam House Helderfontein (Johannesburg)
Steyn City School (Johannesburg)

Pool C

Affies (Pretoria)
Crawford College Lonehill (Johannesburg)
Kearsney College (KwaZulu-Natal)
Rand Park High (Johannesburg)
St Peter’s College (Johannesburg)

Pool D

Glenwood High (KwaZulu-Natal)
Parktown Boys High (Johannesburg)
Reddam House Umhlanga (Johannesburg)
t David’s Marist Inanda (Johannesburg)
Woodridge College (Port Elizabeth)



07:00 – (B#1) Michaelhouse vs Beaulieu; 07:00 – (B#2) St Alban’s vs Falcon College; 07:00 – (B#3) Affies vs Crawford; 07:50 – (B#4) Glenwood vs Reddam Umhlanga; 08:40 – (B#5) St Benedict’s vs Grey College; 09:30 – (B#6) DHS vs Reddam Helderfontein; 09:30 – ( B#7) St Peter’s vs Rand Park; 09:30 – (B#8) St David’s vs Parktown Boys; 11:10 – (B#9) Beaulieu College vs Reddam Bedfordview; 11:10 – (B#10) Falcon College vs Steyn City School; 12:00 – (B#11) Crawford vs  Kearsney; 12:00 – (B#12) Reddam Umhlanga vs Woodridge; 13:40 – (B#13)  Michaelhouse vs Grey College; 13:40 – (B#14) St Alban’s vs Reddam Helderfontein; 13:40 – (B#15) Affies vs Rand Park; 14:30 – (B#16) Glenwood vs Parktown Boys; 15:20 – (B#17) St Benedict’s vs Reddam Bedfordview; 16:10 – (B#18) DHS vs Steyn City School; 16:10 – (B#19) St Peter’s vs Kearsney; 16:10 – (B#20) St David’s vs Woodridge


07:00 – (B#21) Grey College vs Reddam Bedfordview; 07:00 – (B#22) Reddam Helderfontein vs Steyn City School; 07:00 – (B#23) Rand Park vs Kearsney; 07:50 – (B#24) Parktown vs Woodridge; 08:40 – (B#25) St Benedict’s vs Beaulieu; 09:30 – (B#26) DHS vs Falcon; 09:30 – (B#27) St Peter’s vs Crawford; 09:30 – (B#28) St David’s vs Reddam Umhlanga; 11:10 – (B#29) Michaelhouse vs Reddam Bedfordview; 11:10 – (B#30) St Alban’s vs Steyn City School; 12:00 – (B#31) Affies vs Kearsney; 12:00 – (B#32) Glenwood vs Woodridge; 13:40 (B#33) Grey College vs Beaulieu; 13:40 – (B#34) Reddam Helderfontein vs Falcon; 13:40 – (B#35) Rand Park vs Crawford; 14:30 – (B#36) Parktown vs Reddam Umhlanga; 15:20 – (B#37) Michaelhouse vs St Benedict’s; 16:10 – (B#38) St Alban’s vs DHS; 16:10 – (B#39) Affies vs St Peter’s; 16:10 – (B#40) St David’s vs Glenwood.


07:00 – (B#41) Group A2 vs Group B3; 07:00 – (B#42) Group B2 vs Group A3; 07:00 – (B#43) Group C2 vs Group D3; 07:50 – (B#44) Group D2 vs Group C3; 08:40 – (B#45) Group A5 vs Group B4; 09:30 – (B#46) Group A4 vs Group B5; 09:30 – (B#47) Group C5 vs Group D4; 09:30 – (B#48) Group C4 vs Group D5; 11:10 – (B#49) Group A1 vs Winner Game 43; 11:10 – (B#50) Winner Game 44 vs Group B1; 12:00 – (B#51) Winner 41 vs Group C1; 12:00 – (B#52) Group D1 vs Winner 42; 13:40 – (B#53) Loser Game 45 vs Loser 47; 13:40 (B#54) Loser 46 vs Loser 48; 14:30 – (B#55) Loser 43 vs Loser 41; 14:30 – (B#56) Loser 44 vs Loser 42; 15:20 – (B#57) Winner 47 vs Winner 45; 16:10 – (B#58) Winner 50 vs Winner 49; 16:10 – (B#59) Winner 46 vs Winner 48; 17:00 – (B#60) Winner 52 vs Winner 51; 17:00 – (B#61) Loser 50 vs Loser 49; 18:40 – (B#62) Loser 52 vs Loser 51.


07:00 – (B#63) Loser 53 vs Loser 54; 07:00 – (B#64) Winner 53 vs Winner 54; 07:00 – (B#65) Loser 57 vs Loser 59; 08:40 – (B#66) Winner 57 vs Winner 59; 08:40 – (B#67) Loser 55 vs Loser 56; 08:40 – (B#68) Winner 55 vs Winner 56; 10:20 – (B#69) Loser 62 vs Loser 61; 10:20 – (B#70) Winner 62 vs Winner 61; 10:20 – (B#71) Loser 60 vs Loser 58; 12:10 – (B#72 – Winner 60 vs Winner 58.


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