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Back You are here: Home Sports Rugby Kwa Zulu Natal National School Rugby Preview: 29 May, 2010
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 20:09

National School Rugby Preview: 29 May, 2010

Most of the top teams are in action once again this weekend although many of the players will be hoping they can come through the remaining skirmishes unscathed before Craven Week kicks off at the end of June. A rejuvenated Maritzburg College have the potential to leap into the top 10 should the account for Affies who have lost their last two matches. However the standout match must be the Eastern Cape derby where Grey PE will look to end the great season that St. Andrews are enjoying...


It is often said that a school's pedigree is found in their old boys and quite simply, these two schools dominate the Sharks and Bulls regions in that regard. Having overrun their city rivals (Pretoria Boys') earlier in the season, Affies are coming off a 42-38 loss to Monument; their hoodoo team over the past seven consecutive seasons. Maritzburg continue to climb the rankings and could quite easily find themselves teetering on the edge of the top 10, come the end of the season. Real rugby connoisseurs would be advised to get there early for the under 14A clash, pitting the inevitable strong Affies youngsters against a College outfit that drew to Grey College earlier in the year.


If Bishops are to be truly recognized as a force on the national scene, it's imperative that they're able to compete with Gimmies. An 18-point victory over Wynberg (who suffered a hundred points drubbing to Paarl Gim the week prior) is simply not the margin that one would expect from a team near the top of the pile. Granted, Bishops are a talented squad which has had a standout year, but they could find themselves outclassed on the day.


The Midlands has its caviar & champagne derby, but in KZN there is one fixture that gets temperatures rising like no other. Durban is divided into Green Machine and Horseflies and you rarely find an emotionally detached spectator. Whilst most derbies are quite friendly, it's no secret that the two sets don't think much of the other, leading to brutal collisions at the breakdown. The match as a spectacle has waned over the past few years as Glenwood have overtaken DHS considerably. That being said, DHS have most certainly got their act together with an ever-improving 1st XV, littered with grade 11's. It will be a far tighter context than years gone by, but one feels that DHS will only pose a considerable challenge in 2011.


St. Stithians make the trip down the N3 to Hillcrest, where they face fellow Methodist school, Kearsney.  The Kearsney scrum conceded numerous tightheads against St. Charles over the weekend and has struggled with injuries to experienced players; but they face a St. Stithians outfit that has had much of the same this year. It's always difficult to gauge the relative strengths of schools in different provinces, but one would expect an evenly matched encounter. Keep an eye out for St. Stithians Lions' Academy Week player, Gamede.


Whilst the men from Grahamstown continue to impress this season, Port Elizabeth's superpower maintains a consistently solid top ten position in our rankings. Grey have just come off a 46-point stroll over Itembelihle; a development school oozing potential, but never quite able to match the big guns physically. St. Andrews on the other hand played to an awkward 17-3 victory over Daniel Pienaar. Much like Bishops, St. Andrews lofty position is constantly questioned by the traditional powers. Victory against a school of Grey's stature would go a long way to silence such critics.


Defeat for KES would spell their third loss to KZN opposition in as many weeks and a huge dent to a season that once looked so promising. Conversely, Westville come off a bruising draw to Maritzburg College. A beacon of hope for KES will be the untimely loss of Westville's flyhalf, Duncan Campbell (who damaged his hand against College). Despite his tendency to blow hot and cold with the kicking tee, he's undoubtedly a classy general who will be sorely missed. That being said, the largely incomparable depth that Westville possesses should be enough to fill any hole in their matchday 22.