2018 Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival wrap

A highly successful 11th Standard Bank Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival wrapped up with three teams ending the festival unbeaten and the announcement of four players who each received bursaries to the Sharks Academy for 2019.

Two KZN teams, Durban High School and Glenwood, as well as Hoerskool Framesby from Port Elizabeth, were unbeaten at the festival.

The bursary recipients are HTS Drostdy centre Christie Grobbelaar, Glenwood flank Lindokuthle Luthuli, and two Kearsney players, flank Sibusiso Sangweni and fullback Jacques Odendaal.  The bursaries, each valued at over R100 000, include a contract with the Academy next year, accommodation and a tuition bursary with one of its education partners.

Photo Tracey van den Aardweg. Kearsney’s Sbu Sangweni against PBHS.

Glenwood was presented the floating trophy for having played the most attractive rugby at the festival.

Photo Tracey van den Aardweg. Glenwood captain Conan le Fleur scores in the win against HTS Drostdy.

Announcing the awards, Sharks Academy managing director Etienne Fynn said spectators had been treated to some outstanding rugby over the weekend, with many evenly matched teams which made for exciting games.

“The results from DHS were a great surprise, with the team remaining unbeaten against three traditional Eastern Cape powerhouses,” Fynn said.

Photo Tracey van den Aardweg. DHS try scorer and prop Mthokozisi Gumede in the game against Dale College.

DHS beat Selborne College from East London 16-13, Queen’s College from Queenstown 24-7 and Dale College 39-0.  Glenwood’s victories were against DHS Drostdy (29-26), Dale College (39-0) and Welkom Gimnasium (24-10).  The third unbeaten team, Hoerskool Framesby beat Dale College 5-15, Pretoria Boys High 13-10 and Hoerskool Noord-Kaap 30-8.

In a cracker final game of the festival, Kearsney dominated the match against Pretoria Boys High.  With a half-time 19-7 score in the hosts’ favour, they won 40-33 after Pretoria scored a converted try after full-time.

Since its inception 11 years ago, many gifted players have been discovered by talent scouts at previous Kearsney rugby festivals and they have now progressed to playing for the Springboks, SA Sevens, Sharks and other provincial teams, becoming household names in South Africa and even internationally.

Fynn said the festival played an important role in exposing the quality of available young talent from around the country.

“The Sharks Academy is proud to be associated with the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival. The length of our involvement is testament to its on-going high standards and continued focus on the camaraderie and ethos of the game. Only at these festivals is the weekly grind of school derbies removed, and players can be allowed the freedom to play the game without that very obvious pressure,” he said.

Handre Pollard represented Paarl Gimnasium at the 2011 and 2012 festivals, where even then his brilliance entertained spectators.  He played against Jan Serfontein (Grey College 2010 and 2011) and Robert du Preez (Kearsney College 2011) at the festival.  Others who played at Kearsney festivals are Sbura Sithole (Queen’s College 2008), Fred Zeilinga (Glenwood 2010), Paul Jordaan and Johan Goosen (both Grey College 2010), and SA 7s player Warrick Gelant (Outeniqua 2013).

In 2008 Dale College eighth man Lubabalo ‘Tera’ Mthembu impressed, returning the following year to captain his school’s 1st XV at the festival.  He was awarded a bursary to The Sharks Academy which, he says, provided a kick start to his life and career.  “It gave me an opportunity to express myself, but also a lifetime opportunity to study and do what I love – which is playing rugby – at the same time.”


Day 1 – Thursday 29 March

Kearsney College 25 – 26 HTS Middelburg; Queen’s College 10 – 14 Pretoria Boys High; Glenwood 29 – 26 HTS Drostdy; Dale College 5 – 15 Hoërskool Framesby; Selborne 13 – 16 DHS; Welkom Gimnasium 28 – 3 Hoërskool Noord-Kaap

 Day 2 – Saturday 31 March

Hoërskool Framesby 13 – 10 Pretoria Boys High; DHS 24 – 7 Queen’s College; Kearsney College 20 – 11 Hoërskool Noord-Kaap; Glenwood 39 – 0 Dale College; HTS Drostdy 22 – 14 Welkom Gimnasium; Selborne 33 – 19 HTS Middelburg

Day 3 – Monday 2 April

Glenwood 24 – 10 Welkom Gimnasium; Hoërskool Noord-Kaap 8 – 30 Hoërskool Framesby; HTS Middelburg 35 – 17 Queen’s College; DHS 39 – 0 Dale College; HTS Drostdy 29 – 26 Selborne; Kearsney College 40 – 33 Pretoria Boys High

Text & images supplied by:
Kearsney’s Sue Miles
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