JUST 31-24 to Northwood on Old Orchards in Harwin Road. St Charles College first XV want to turn that result on it’s head come 3pm Saturday on Reece-Edwards in Durban North.
It’s Northwood Reunion Weekend & Old Boys’ Day, folks… read Knights’ head coach Torsten Sorensen & Saints’ director of rugby & 1st XV co-coach Petrus du Plessis‘s take on The Big Show that’ll play out on Reece-Edwards… with mascot Clive the Knight and his Saints counterpart Brak willing their heroes on.
In short, it’s Acquit ye like Men Quisque Sibi Verus (to thine own self be true) of Northwood versus Fideli certa merces (to the faithful one a certain reward) of St Charles.
Here’s Torsten – “Hi Jono, preparations this week have been a challenge with our fields being out of bounds due to preparations for the festivities but we have planned ahead and trained at Crusaders RFC.
“The boys are very excited, it’s been a great week building up… the Knights’ Old Boys have been visiting the school with words of encouragement and sharing some war stories from past years. The school is certainly buzzing a bit more than usual and today’s Old Boys’ Assembly was special.
‘We must ensure that both teams have fun, learn and enjoy’
“Some goose bumps and even a lump in the throat for a few who really enjoyed the war cries and school song. We look forward to a great day of sport against St Charles and look forward to welcoming them to our fine school.
“We’ve had to look after a few players who sustained bumps and bruises from last weekend’s match against Clifton. We are at full strength this weekend and are looking forward to a solid team performance.
“St Charles are a resilient team, well coached and mentally tough. Our win margin was close in the first encounter so they will have some confidence coming into this game. We expect a very hard game. We had a hard but honest review of our performance in the first game and we felt we were soft on defence at times, which gifted St Charles a few tries.
“We’ve worked really hard on a few areas of our game since then and have had to change a few things for this game. All we as coaches can ask is that each player plays to his best ability; that they stay true to our team values, protocols and goals, which were cemented in place at the start – and live those things each day.
“We’ve been really proud of the boys up till now. With the added pressure of a very large crowd and the expectation to win, Saturday will be a massive mental challenge. We’re in the business of education first and foremost, and it’s very important that we focus on processes and outcomes in a learning environment without a win at all costs approach.
“Win or lose tomorrow, we must ensure that both teams have fun, learn and enjoy the experience.”
The Blue & Silvers’ war cries can expect an equally spirited challenge from Brak’s Boys of St Charles, although Saints’ ranks – way smaller in numbers – will be far outweighed by the host school’s complement of 1 200 boys .
Co-coach of the SCC first XV Petrus du Plessis says the Saints’ flagship team’s trainings this week have been short, sharp and solid.
“With half term we only had three practices this week, but we did manage to lift the intensity a bit more. We are at full strength. Our outside centre Mark Tedder, who was out with a finger injury since the Easter festival, returns this week. Mark acquitted himself well for us last year.”
‘We need to be great in the little things’
As to what Petrus expects Northwood to bring to the party in terms of strengths? “They have a very strong wing, who runs hard and fast… we expect them to move the ball to his side quite a bit.”
And what are Petrus and first XV co-coach Nick Jackson asking of the Saints lads? “I’m looking for my boys to work harder in general play to get into position. We need to be great in the little things.
“The Saints boys are excited to play on Northwood Old Boys Day… Very excited! They want to rewrite the books for this game.”
To the Northwood Knights, their Old Boys and the travelling St Charles College contingent, KZN10.com says, “Here’s to a wonderful spectacle of rugby!”
140 Adelaide Tambo Drive here I come!!!