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The Great Trek 2019… Schoolboy Rugby on the move 12-04

This weekends KZN schoolboy rugby takes on a feeling of reprising the great trek as Monument and Jeppe head down to Durban to take on Glenwood and Westville respectively whilst Martizburg College head out of Province to take on Pretoria Boys. Northwood take a short trip to take on DHS.

On the U15 front all the Private schools in the KZN10 have sent teams up to the St Benedicts U15 ISRF.

Brief previews

Glenwood versus Monument

This should be a great clash between Monument and Glenwood. Depending on which rankings you follow Glenwood(7) sits three places above Monument(10).

Though Monument come into this clash having lost 2 games already their overall play has been impressive and it seems like Monument have finally got back line players to complement their always beefy pack of forwards.

That their two losses this season have come against Paarl powerhouses Paarl Gim and Paarl Boys and one in the last play of the game at that shows they can hang with the best around. Last weekends victory against Menlopark should fill the men from Krugersdorp with a fair bit of confidence.

No school should be surprised by the other as the coaches from both teams would have had a close look at teach other at the recent World schools festival in Stellenbosch.

What can be said of Glenwood as they remain unbeaten at this stage of the season. This is probably Glenwoods greatest test this season so the result on Saturday will go a long way in gauging just how good this team is. That the teams seem to be very evenly matched this year should make for great rugby but playing at home in front of a expectant, partisan crowd should tilt the game in Glenwoods favour.

In the age groups the advantage should lie with Glenwood as their under 14’,15’s and 16’s all rank considerably higher than Monument. The Glenwood U14 and U16 remain unbeaten this season so far.

Westville versus Jeppe

Jeppe sits 13 places above Westville at 27 whilst the later comes in at 40. Westville should have won last weekend against DHS so the general mood is that the schools are allot closer than the rankings suggest.

Jeppe’s last match a was narrow 19-18 victory at St Johns College last weekend and Westville lost 26-27 to DHS. Westville are due a complete performance, however, and hopefully they have settled on a pack configuration that suits their personnel because they certainly have the play makers to score points.

In the age groups Jeppe does seem to have an advantage at U15 level whist in the U16’s Westville seems to hold the advantage.

Northwood versus DHS

DHS lost a few influential players from last year and it does seem that they are lacking some experienced leaders in their team to make the right decisions at the right time. Their 2nd half performance against Framesby would be a case in point where they shipped almost 50 points in 30 minutes. Perhaps its just highlights just how inspirational Celimpilo Gumede and Phendulani Buthelezi before him were in galvanizing their teams.

The rankings do place Northwood higher than DHS due to their great early season form and some impressive outings at the Grey festival.

The game will be won and lost amongst the forwards though as both Northwood and DHS have skilful, elusive backs that can create chances from no where.

In the age groups DHS should win their matches, of particular note will be their more capable U14 outfit.

Maritzburg College versus Pretoria Boys

From all accounts this is PBHS’ strongest side in a while, though their 41-27 loss last week against KES doesn’t seem to suggest so. Their attacking back line play speared headed by Mikhail Edwards could cause the boys from KZN a few headaches.

As is the case with fixtures against these two schools the margins will surely be tight. Maritzburg College who played with great commitment last weekend against Glenwood, in a 7-15 loss, are due a win and get their season on the road. College will look for Siya Ningiza to continue his play from Glenwood.

At age group levels Maritzburg does seem to have the edge with their unbeaten U15 group leading the charge.

It promises to be a great weekend of rugby action as the teams all seem to be very evenly mathched.

Thats all for now, till next time,

Zeke

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