Anyone who has seen Philani Simamane play rugby will know the feeling: a quickening of the senses as one realises one is watching something special.
I, for one, will never forget the hat-trick of tries that centre Philani scored for the Maritzburg College first XV on a magical winter’s day against Westville on Goldstones back in 2019.
Feature image: Philani’s 2019 first XV rugby jersey. The names of all donors to his appeal are being embroidered on the jersey and he will be taking this keepsake with him when he departs for the States. A lovely reminder of all the people who are part of his adventure and whose best wishes he takes with him.
That College lost a 54-point thriller to a very good Westville side by 2 slender points (26-28) should not in any way detract a Maritzburg College supporter from the fact that this was a magnificent spectacle of KZN schoolboy rugby.
Philani, as is the case with all aspiring young rugby players, be they in-school or recently matriculated, is facing new challenges – but in this instance not of the Covid-related kind.
Andrew Soden, who was head prefect of Maritzburg College in 1991, is one of the directors of the Sikhona Foundation, a local non-profit organisation and has been pioneering an appeal to help Philani realise his dream of attending university and playing rugby in Georgia in the USA – and that dream is on the cusp of being realised.
Philani has been accepted at university but what remains is the nitty gritty of putting together the financial nuts and bolts to make this dream real, and to that end, Andrew (a College boy from 1987 to 1991) put out a recent appeal that is told in a delightful way – and goes to the heart of what Maritzburg College rugby – and being a Maritzburg College Old Boy – is all about.
Here is Andrew’s story in full, as addressed to the writer in an e-letter today (the bold text etc is mine):
“Hi there Jono
“Any theory on why College boys blacken out their boots?
“The generational re-tellings and the hand-me-down stories as to the origin of this tradition may have diluted the reason over the decades.
“But, for me, its real impact has been highlighted in the ongoing appeal for the young lad in the photo below, Maritzburg College Old Boy Philani Simamane (OC2019).
“We have been raising money and support to help Philani follow his dream of a university degree.
“This young man, from a very humble background, worked hard for his scholarships to primary school and Maritzburg College, but we know that the journey is not yet done and it is important to help Philani finish what he started.
“The blackening out of our boots makes us equal; none more important than the rest. It signals solidarity and directs our focus and energy towards a shared cause. It bonds us together, with the tacit acknowledgement that we are there for each other when the need arises.
“Over the past months the inspirational and humbling responses to Philani’s appeal for support has highlighted for me the extraordinary bond that Old Boys of this impressive institution share.
“This show of strength and unity has really restored my faith; a testament that when the situation demands it a College boy will always rise to the occasion.
“Along with Philani we are so very grateful for the encouragement and the support already pledged.
“I would love to share with you some of those interactions that have helped restore my faith:
“One of our supporters, a veteran College Old Boy, well into his 80’s, responded personally with words of encouragement for Philani along with a gift of R500 – which I know is a princely sum for this Old Boy!
“Even though he has never met Philani, or perhaps even heard of him until recently, he is just so excited for this young beneficiary of his support, and has asked us to keep him up to date!
“An Old Boy in the United States has generously offered to provide Philani with the sponsor’s letter which he needs to obtain his student visa.
“Other US expats have offered Philani weekend/holiday accommodation with them, some are helping find vacation work for him while another is putting together a small gathering to welcome Philani to the great state of Georgia!
“An Old Boy and 1st XV winger from 1984 got in touch this past month and offered his support. He has a son and daughter at the same university that Philani is heading to and both are also part of the rugby programme. He ‘is up there most weekends and looks forward to helping Philani out with whatever he needs’.
“In the midst of these offerings of support this familiar quote came to mind:
‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’
“I know that Philani’s journey still seems so ‘far’ but he has received wonderful support from his ‘team-mates’ and with your help he will achieve his academic goal of a university degree.
“If you are still a believer in why College boys blacken out their boots please join in and support Philani’s appeal.
“You can make your contribution through
1. a donation via Direct Deposit (bank details will be emailed to you once your pledge is made); or
2. our verified PayFast platform which allows for CreditCard, Masterpass and Instant EFT donations.
Every contribution, no matter the size, is gratefully received and appreciated.
Stay safe and take care of yourself.
(Blackened out boots from 1987 to 1991)
The above links refer to the (i) Direct Deposit and (ii) Payfast payment options.
Andrew Soden +27 (0)83 456 1092
Maritzburg College, the oldest boys’ school in KZN, continued its annual tradition recently by adding 4 new names for the year 2021 to its custom of honouring and celebrating its “Friends of College”.
Written by Maritzburg College
Maritzburg College has welcomed 4 new members into its “Friends of College” ranks. Started in 1994, this group was created to recognise, honour and celebrate people who, in a variety of ways, have given service to the school and to education. To date, there are over 120 members of the “Friends of College”, some of whom were present in the Victoria Hall on Friday evening, 4th June to welcome the newest members.
This year, Maritzburg College paid tribute to Dr Erna de Lange, Dr Lawrence Kriel, Mr Bruce Lesur and Mr Angus MacDonald.
Feature pic (from left to right): Maritzburg College headmaster Mr Chris Luman with the school’s latest ‘Friends of College” – Dr Lawrence Kriel, Dr Erna de Lange, Mr Bruce Lesur and Mr Angus MacDonald.
Dr Erna de Lange has spent a lifetime in education, obtaining her doctorate on the value of structured pre-formal education, which later became the Grade R model currently used in schools. She has served as a principal and later as a lecturer in the field of Education Management, Education Law and Professional Ethics.
Erna has also served as both Trustee and later Provincial Executive Officer of the KZN chapter of the Governing Body Foundation. She is known to be an outspoken advocate, championing and supporting Governing Bodies and principals, as they charter often complicated waters of leadership.
A font of knowledge and advice, an inspirational mentor and a voice of sound, calm reason for many principals, Erna has had a long association with Maritzburg College, providing incredible support and always having the school’s best interests at heart – a true “Friend of College”.
Dr Lawrence Kriel’s journey at Maritzburg College started in 2012 when his son Jared entered 2nd form (grade 8) and he began assisting at the first-aid facility at Goldstones, working with Sister Ann, Ms Greyling, the paramedics, and later Sister Kylie.
From stitching to diagnosing, Lawrence has looked after countless College boys over the years, mainly rugby players, but also sometimes the hockey lads and even a spectator or two, and continued to assist College long after his son matriculated in 2016, right up to 2019, before Covid put an end to school sport.
The high quality of Maritzburg College’s first aid service is the envy of many schools around South Africa and, at times has been the benchmark for many other schools. This is, in part, due to the input of doctors like Lawrence Kriel – a real “Friend of College”.
Angus McDonald arrived at Maritzburg College from Eshowe in January 1996 and, in time, became a prefect, represented the school at athletics and played for the 2nd cricket XI and the 2nd rugby XV.
Having successfully headed up the Zululand Rugby Academy for 4 years, Angus joined the College staff as the Director of Rugby in late 2008, holding the position until the end of 2010, when he returned to Zululand. During his tenure at College, Angus showed himself to be not only endlessly energetic and passionate, but also engaging and compassionate, and was well liked and respected by staff, Old Boys and parents.
Angus has remained a roving Ambassador-at-Large for the school in Zululand, regularly encouraging promising young men to apply to College, and has also been financially very supportive of various boys, as well as of the school’s Skonk Nicholson Rugby Festival – he remains a most worthy “Friend of College”.
Bruce Lesur matriculated from College in 1989 and is currently a farmer in the Umshwathi area, where he lives with his wife Michelle. Their son Gary matriculated from College in 2018 as a 5th generation College Boy. Bruce played 1st team rugby for Maritzburg College in 1989 and was fearsome in both attack and defence – a typical “College boy” trait that his son, Gary, emulated when representing the 1st rugby team himself.
It was during this time that Bruce showed his tremendous ability to lead, and his willingness to give of his time and expertise for College, both as a parent and Old Boy, serving on various committees and eventually as President of the Maritzburg College Old Boys’ Association.
Bruce has continued his involvement in the Association and currently serves as its vice-president. Maritzburg College recognises the loyalty, goodwill and incredible contribution Bruce has made to the school – a true “Friend of College”.
Maritzburg College hockey has long produced high numbers of schoolboy provincial players and this year is no exception.
Out of the total of 46 players named in the recently-selected 3 provincial age-group A teams (U14, U16, U18) in the KZN Inland hockey province, no less than 20 (or 43%) are Maritzburg College boys.
In the 2 KZN Inland B teams that have been chosen (in the U16 and U18 age groups) Maritzburg College boys make up 15 (or 48%) of the 31 players selected.
That is a total of 35 Maritzburg College boys (45%) out of the total of 77 boys selected for the KZN Inland provincial teams.
This achievement speaks volumes for the dedication of both the boys and their coaches.
Let us hope that the government will backtrack on the recently introduced ban on school contact sports in time for all the selected KZN Inland boys to experience the challenges of playing for their province in an SA Interprovincial Nationals Hockey Tournament.
MARITZBURG COLLEGE’S 2021 PROVINCIAL AGE-GROUP HOCKEY REPRESENTATIVES
KZN INLAND U18A
RF Marais, NL Khumalo, CD Osborne, RW Dobeyn, AT Mthalane, JCR Jansen, CJ Fulton, TS Conolly.
Coach: Robin Jones (Maritzburg College’s director of hockey)
KZN INLAND U18B
MR Ponter, GD Winlock, RJ Crookes , AT Chiliza,
Non-Travelling reserves: A Carter, J Lalor, C McKean
KZN INLAND U16A
MJ Barnardo, A Khumalo, GR Aranky, PA Dlamini
KZN INLAND U16B
NI Holmes, KH Dobeyn, LN Akerman, LD Armstrong, S Sithembu, IG Mosupye, BU Dlamini, L Seshemane, AO Sithole, JH Konigkramer, A Makhanya
KZN INLAND U14A
BJ Thornton-Dibb, DC Jackson, KHB Botha, A Mthalane, GA Askew, S Sithembu, A Dlamini, KR Jenkins
Non-Travelling Reserve: R van der Vliet
(Missing from the photograph: R Crookes, A Chiliza, G Aranky, L Seshemane, A Sithole, S Sithembu)
Brad Robinson, the Maritzburg College Old Boy and new finance manager at St Charles College, came within millimetres of winning the Bowls South Africa National Men’s Singles title in Cape Town over the weekend.
Feature photo: Brad Robinson in upbeat mood ahead of the singles semi-finals.
This tournament, along with the SA Masters and the SA Interprovincial, is in the top 3 most prestigious events in the country. And in terms of purely Club Bowls, is probably the number 1 event.
Brad, who is a Team Aero player was 18-13 up in the SA singles final on the picturesque Western Province Cricket Club greens.
If he had touched the jack with his next and final shot on that particular end, the necessary 3 points were in the bag to be crowned SA bowls singles champion with a 21-13 victory.
When approached by KZN10.com a few hours ago as to how close he got with that final shot, Brad smiled ruefully: “Jono I had to touch the jack for 3 and just missed by a few millimetres.”
Brad’s opponent, Niksa Benguric from Gauteng North bowls province, came back into this tensest of title showdowns… and the scores were locked at 20-20.
“Niksa saved game a few ends before the end,” says Brad, who predominantly plays out of Lynwood Bowling Club in Pietermaritzburg and represents the KZN Inland province.
“Then on that last head I narrowly missed the jack to win the final,” says Brad, who was also the runner-up in the 2017 SA National Men’s Singles final.
And the outcome was that Niksa won the SA National Men’s Singles title and gold medal on a 21-20 final scoreline with Brad taking the silver.
Must have been pretty tight out there, Brad?
“Yes Jono, it certainly was a tense game, yet played in a great spirit between old friends. I was relatively calm throughout and was backing myself all the way – even with the last bowl.
“One thing I stand by is that you have to trust your ability,” says Brad, who is a chartered accountant and previously a senior manager at Pricewaterhouse Coopers before taking up his new position at St Charles College.
Brad participated in 3 disciplines at Nationals in Cape Town, namely the SA Fours, the SA Pairs and the SA Singles – and it was most definitely a case of near-misses across the board for this Maritzburg College Old Boy of the Class of 2000 .
“In the SA Fours I played with Calvin Hollis [of Maritzburg Bowling Club] and Gerry Baker and Prince Neluonde [of Bryanston Sports Club in Johannesburg].
“We lost in the quarter-finals by 1 shot with the last bowl.”
In the Pairs, again playing alongside Calvin Hollis – a Glenwood Old Boy and owner of the popular Kick & Whistle Family Restaurant and Sports Bar in the KZN capital – the two good friends lost on an extra end in the last 16.
So near, yet so…
You can be sure that Brad will not be giving up his quest for gold anytime soon.
Take a look at this previous KZN10.com feature on Brad.
After a 21-month break it was with great anticipation and excitement that College hosted a full round of winter sport fixtures. Hockey and rugby matches were against Sarel CillierS and Clifton with filler games against Glenwood, Voortrekker, Hilton and Greytown.
Feature image: Maritzburg College 1st XV captain Corbin Thunder has just passed under the Nicholson Arch as he leads his team onto the Goldstones ground for the first match in 21 months. Photo Justin Waldman Sports Photography
On the hockey front, we played 15 matches, 11 of which were against Clifton. The #redblackwhite teams dominated winning nine of their games against Clifton with a convincing 2-0 win for the #redarmy 1 st XI.
College fielded 26 rugby teams this weekend, eight of which were against Clifton and five against Sarel Cilliers. Results showed 18 wins, seven losses and one draw.
Highlights were the U16 win against Sarel Cilliers 56-0, our 2 nd XV beating Clifton 1 st XV 31-14 and our 1 st XV win against Sarel Cilliers 1 st XV 83-14.
In the inaugural Wildey Cup Tournament this weekend, our 1st XI soccer team scored A 2-0 vs St Nicholas and a 3-0 vs MCS, while our U16A were rampant with results of 12-1 vs MCS and 5-0 vs St Nicholas, so that both U16A and 1st XI were crowned champions of the event.
College fielded 26 rugby teams this weekend, eight of which were against Clifton and five against Sarel Cilliers. This was the first time we welcomed Sarel Cilliers to Goldstones although the two schools have played each other in a number of friendlies in the past.
Results showed 18 wins, seven losses and one draw. Highlights included our U16 wiN against Sarel Cilliers 56-0, our 2 nd XV beating Clifton 1 st XV 31-14 and our 1 st XV win against Sarel Cilliers 1 st XV 83-14.
1 st XV match report: Cameron Fraser, 1 st XV head coach
On Saturday Maritzburg College took on Sarel Cilliers for their 5th fixture of the season and the first home games after 21 months.
Sarel Cilliers started like a house on fire and managed to get two early tries in the 1 st half. Thereafter it was indeed one way traffic for Maritzburg College and it was a tough afternoon for the young men from Northern-Natal.
College scored a battery of tries and won convincingly 83-14.
One could see how much it meant to the boys of College to once again jog out on their hallowed Goldstones and give it their all for the red, black and white.
Summary of Rugby Results
Played 26, Won 18, Lost 7, Drew 1
vs Sarel Cilliers; Played 5, Won 5
vs Clifton; Played 8, Won 5, Lost 3
Team Opposition Venue Time
1st Sarel Cilliers Goldstones 15:00 Won 83-14
2nd Clifton 1st Goldstones 13:30 Won 31-14
3rd Sarel Cilliers Goldstones 11:00 Won 41-3
4th Clifton 2nd Goldstones 10:00 Lost 5-22
5th Voortrekker 1st Goldstones 09:00 Lost 12-19
6th Glenwood Goldstones 08:00 Drew 7-7
7th Clifton 3rd Nicholsons 12:00 Won 50-10
8th Greytown 2nd Goldstones 16:00 Lost 10-17
9th Greytown 3rd Goldstones 15:00 Won 17-7
16A Sarel Cilliers Goldstones 12:15 Won 56-0
16B Clifton 16A Snows 11:00 Won 37-12
16C Voortrekker 16A Nicholsons 08:00 Won 39-0
16E Glenwood 16D Lamonds 11:00 Lost 5-22
16F Glenwood 16E Lamonds 10:00 Won 28-0
15A Sarel Cilliers Snows 10:00 Won 75-0
15B Clifton 15A Snows 12:00 Lost 10-12
15C Voortrekker 15A Lamonds 09:00 Won 41-5
15D Clifton 15D Nicholsons 11:00 Won 44-12
15E Glenwood 15D Lamonds 08:00 Won 34-0
15F Glenwood 15E Lamonds 12:00 Won 15-5
14A Sarel Cilliers Snows 09:00 Won 66-0
14B Clifton 14A Snows 08:00 Lost 14-17
14C Clifton 14B Leaches 10:00 Won 29-15
14D Glenwood 14C Leaches 11:00 Lost 7-55
14E Glenwood 14E Leaches 08:00 Won 39-5
14F Glenwood 14F Leaches 09:00 Won 17-7
College played 15 hockey matches this weekend winning 11, drawing 1 and losing 3. Eleven of the
games were against Clifton, with nine ending in victory for the #redblackwhite teams.
1 st XI match report: Kyle Emerson, 1 st XI coach
College hosted Clifton College in the first match on Pape’s in just over 21 months.
This fixture was always going to be a tactical battle between two teams who were organised on both offence and defence and the result would be decided by the team who was able to be disciplined in both facets of the game.
Clifton came out firing and asserted themselves with confidence and this was rewarded with an early penalty corner in the second minute. Ross Crookes did well to run down the attempted flick.
Clifton would continue to put pressure on College and accumulated a few circle entries after turning the ball over in their own half but weren’t able to create any meaningful chances.
After a slow start, College started to press better and turned Clifton over higher in the field and were able to test the Clifton goalkeeper who made some great saves.
Thomas Conolly found himself one-one-one with the goalkeeper twice in the first half and was unable to convert either chance. Crookes narrowly missed his diving effort on the far post after Conolly drew the keeper and tried to find his teammate.
College were reduced to ten men after a defender was given a yellow card for a miss-timed tackle in the third quarter, but Clifton were unable to use their numerical advantage and were only able to enter College’s circle once in the third quarter.
The third quarter was when College come into their own and this is when their dominance paid off and they began to make better use of their opportunities.
Clifton were happy to sit deep in their own half and try to catch College on the counterattack. As College moved the ball around with purpose they made it difficult for the Clifton defence to keep them out. The one penalty corner which College earned saw the Clifton defence run down the attempted flick by Conolly.
College continued to threaten the Clifton circle with many chances and in the sixth minute Crookes finished off a good passage of play as he rolled the ball into the goal to finally beat the Clifton goalkeeper.
Less than two minutes later Cameron van der Vliet would excellently stop a clearance from Clifton inside the circle and hit the ball into the goal to make it 2-0.
College had chances to take the game out of Clifton’s reach but were unable to again find the back of the net. Clifton pushed hard for a goal in the fourth quarter and earned a few penalty corners, but the College defence were equal to the task
College shot-stopper Roan Marais made some brilliant saves in goal late in the game to keep a clean sheet.
College would finish the game feeling that they should have done more with the possession and opportunities which they created, but would be happy with the clean sheet.
Summary of Hockey Results
Played: 15, Won: 11, Drew: 1, Lost: 3
Team Opponents Result
1st Clifton Won 2-0
2nd Clifton Drew 1-1
3rd Clifton Won 8-0
4th Clifton Lost 2-3
5th Clifton Won 3-0
16A Clifton Won 1-0
16B Clifton Won 3-0
16F Hilton 16E Lost 0-7
16G Hilton 16F Won 3-0
16H Hilton 16G Won 1-0
14A Clifton Won 3-2
14B Clifton Won 3-1
14C Clifton Won 1-0
14D Clifton Won 2-1
14E Voortrekker 14A Lost 0-9
Mid-week fixtures for our soccer teams saw 5 teams in action, winning 3 of their games and losing 2.
Our 1st XI played Alex winning 1-0 and the U14A side had a dominant win against MCS 10-0.
Team Opposition Score
U14A MCS Won 10-0
U15A Glenwood Lost 1-2
U16A Westville Won 3-0
2nd St Nicholas Lost 2-3
1st Alex Won 1-0
On the weekend, the U16 and 1st XI teams took part in the Wildey Tournament, a St Nicholas initiative, created in memory of the late Melvyn Wildey, former St Nicholas and Ixopo teacher and coach.
Our 1st XI scored 2-0 vs St Nicholas and 3-0 vs MCS, while our U16A were rampant with results of 12-1 vs MCS and 5-0 vs St Nicholas, so that both U16A and 1st XI were crowned champions of the inaugural Wildey Cup Tournament.
Team Opposition Result
U16A MCS Won 12-1
U16A St Nicholas Won 3-0
1st Team Division
Team Opposition Result
1st St Nicholas Won 1-0
1st MCS Won 3-0
Our boys took part in the Burman Bush event in Durban hosted by Savages AC and once again took the top three places in the senior event.
1 st Scott Harvey.
It has been an encouraging start to the 2021 year for Maritzburg College rugby. The leading players in the age-group teams have, through the recent Fichardtpark festival in Bloemfontein, got to know one another in a series of three matches apiece and the building of team spirit and cohesion is going to stand them in good stead as the domestic season hopefully swings into action without unforeseen outside influences this coming Saturday.
After a 2020 schoolboy rugby year that never was, the very fact that the Maritzburg College boys and their teams have actually been able to go away, bond together, and play actual matches is the biggest winner by far.
The Maritzburg College U14 group won their 3 matches comfortably; the U15s had 2 close matches that were sure to provide them with much food for thought, plus a comfortable win; the U16s had 2 tight matches winning by 11 points in one match and going down by 9 points in the other, plus a comfortable win (this group have been also given much match evidence to work with).
The Maritzburg College 2nd XV registered 3 sets of wins over 1st teams, one by 4 points, one by 7 points and the other by 15 points – the implication is that they were thoroughly tested.
The Red Black and White’s first XV (feature pic) earned 2 wins by 18-point margins and the third by 19 points.
So a thoroughly deserved congratulations to Maritzburg College director of rugby Hein Kriek and his coaches and support staff across the age-groups plus, of course, the boys themselves. Good on you. Very well done guys. It appears that a solid base had been put in place.
Wishing strength to build upon strength across the board as Maritzburg College rugby ventures further into 2021.
MARITZBURG COLLEGE FICHARDTPARK FESTIVAL RESULTS
U14 vs Welkom Gim 40-5
U15 vs Welkom Gim 42-5
U16 vs Grey College 17-26
2nd XV vs Sentraal 1st XV 28-24
1st XV vs Voortrekker Bethlehem 35-17
1st XV vs Diamandveld 26-8
2nd XV vs HTS Louis Botha 29-14
U16 vs Noord Kaap 43-17
U15 vs Noord Kaap 17-16
U14 vs Noord Kaap 48-7
1st XV vs Duineveld 24-5
2nd XV vs Fichardtpark 1st XV 31-24
U16 vs Fichardtpark 28-17
U15 vs Grey College 14-17
U14 vs Fichardtpark 66-5
Information sourced from Maritzburg College social media.
The Maritzburg College hockey season has got off to an exceptional start with 12 wins, two draws and 1 loss for its premier teams in the recent KZN Schools Hockey Festival.
And with six Maritzburg College Old Boys in the current SA men’s Olympic Games squad, the Red Black White hockey flag is flying high. Best wishes to former Maritzburg College captains Matthew Guise-Brown (also head prefect in his year), Taine Paton, Tyson Dlangwana and Tevin Kok, plus Siya Nolutshungu and Nduduzo Peabo Lembethe.
Siya, Peabo and Tyson are currently involved in the five-Test series against Namibia at Northcliffe High School in Johannesburg.
The Maritzburg College first team were treated to a capping ceremony (feature image) ahead of the KZN Schools Hockey Festival and this included a virtual speech from 2018 head prefect and Sharks rugby player Ntuthuko Mchunu, such an inspiration in leading by example.
Then it was the turn of the Red Army Class of 2021 to tackle St Charles College first team in match 1 of the festival. A 2-0 victory was achieved, with the U16A team winning 4-0 and the U14A’s 2-0 against their Saints counterparts.
The morning session on Day 2 of the festival saw College effect another cleansweep across the three age-group tiers, accounting for Glenwood this time, with a 3-0 victory at first team level, the U16A’s winning 5-1 and the U14A’s to the tune of 3-0.
Possibly the most-anticipated round of the festival was the Day 2 afternoon session involving Maritzburg College and Hilton College. The Red Black and White’s first team shaded their Hilton counterparts 2-1; the U16A’s played to a 0-0 draw while the Maritzburg College U14A’s edged their Hilton opponents 3-2.
The morning session on the third and final day of the festival saw an extremely tight round of matches, the Red Army of Maritzburg College first team drawing 1-1 with Northwood; the U16A’s edging the Durban north lads 1-0 in another close affair, while the U14A clash saw another 1-0 win going the way of Maritzburg College.
The last round of festival fixtures for the trio of Maritzburg College teams was against Durban High School (DHS) and one result that really stands out is the DHS U14A side’s 4-0 win over the Red Black and White, while at first team level College won 3-1 with the U16A’s prevailing 1-0.
So the Maritzburg College U16A team came away from the festival with 4 wins and 1 draw; the U14A’s with 4 wins and 1 loss; and the first team with 4 wins and 1 draw.
And as the winter hockey year kicks on to what we all hope will be regular and unfettered matches over the term, it appears to be very clear that Maritzburg College director of hockey Robin Jones and his coaches across the ranks are ticking the right boxes with their players.
In breaking news, Maritzburg College product Ryan Moon has landed a three-year contract with Swedish premier league club Varberg Bols FC.
The 25-year-old Moon, who is from Woodlands in Pietermaritzburg, leaves his current club Stellenbosch FC and is due to fly out on Thursday. The Sweden premier league, or Allvenskan, kicks off the new season next weekend.
Feature photo: Ryan is presented with a Maritzburg College Old Boys blazer by headmaster Chris Luman at a function in the school’s Alan Paton Hall in mid-2018.
Apart from his distinguished years at Maritzburg College, where he excelled in the Red, Black and White colours, Moon also learnt his trade at the Woodland and Pirates soccer clubs in Pietermaritzburg before making his debut for his local SA premier league club Maritzburg United in 2015.
Hardly a year later his exploits earned a move to traditional SA soccer giants Kaizer Chiefs.
In another local tie-up, Moon’s representative is fellow Maritzburg College Old Boy, the 29-year-old Gauteng-based attorney Modise Sefume, of Giyose Sefume Attorneys, who revealed to News24 today that negotiations have been ongoing in a bid for Ryan to realise his overseas dream.
“We’ve been working on it a couple of months now,” said Modise. “The guy is excited, it is a big opportunity and he really wants to get there, get going and prove himself.”
Ryan leaves with the blessing of Stellenbosch FC and his immediate goal will be to break into the Varbergs starting line-up and help his new club to improve on last year’s 11th-place finish in Sweden’s premier division.
Ryan’s older brother Bryce has, like his younger brother, also played for Bafana Bafana. Their dad, Patrick, was also a prominent footballer.
Read more about Ryan in this earlier KZN10.com article
In the first of what are to be regular monthly newsletters to Maritzburg College Old Boys and other stakeholders, the new Maritzburg College director of rugby Hein Kriek said that “in the long run 2021 will be a year of assessment, adjustment, alignment and recalculation with[in] the changing landscape of schoolboy rugby in a Covid-19 society.”
Hein enthused at the prospect of joining the College family and being an integral part of “the rich rugby history that runs through the veins of the school”.
“In these challenging times with Covid-19 looming over our heads around every corner, our beloved sport of rugby at schoolboy level has taken a massive blow. To start 2021 much in the same manner as 2020 ended is not the ideal situation…”
Hein said that the current circumstances would require a flexible approach and a determination to capitalise on whatever opportunities may arise during the year.
The new director of rugby complimented former director of rugby Kevin Smith (now director of College business) for the “excellent work” he had done and expressed a desire to build on what had already been put in place.
Hein said further that “the challenge and question is: ‘How do we take the next step to get to the next level?’ ”
The goals would be to build on the current College rugby model and tie that in with long-term player development. “Development for our coaches is also of the utmost importance; to equip them with the toolkit to guide our players.”
Hein also touched on an issue that is no doubt playing on the minds of his counterparts across the country. How to identify the young talent of soon-to-be high school age when there was no schoolboy rugby to speak of last year… and quite conceivably precious little this year.
Nevertheless, the new College rugby man said that every effort would be made to unearth a fresh group of youngsters to wear the Red, Black and White.
Hein cautioned that with the national school year’s commencement having been delayed to mid-February the short-term rugby programme for the boys did present a challenge.
“Our elite players will be active in the High Performance programme (strength and conditioning) with a skill session per week on the field run by the coaches.”
“Boys will be encouraged to participate in other non-contact sports that will be running in term 1 and this will also be the ideal opportunity to start the academic year on the right note.
“The holistic development of the boys is paramount in the success of our rugby programme.”
With a solid foundation having been laid, it is clear that the future of Maritzburg College rugby is in good hands.
* Hein is a teacher, an educator who among a host of sports-related qualifications, possesses a B.SC degree in human movement science, an honours degree in sports science (both from Pukke) and a masters degree in sports directorship from Salford University Business School in England.
Clearly a rugby man to the nth degree, Hein has attained a number of highly regarded rugby coaching qualifications at international level and attended numerous top-drawer rugby courses worldwide.
Hein’s outstanding rugby coaching history includes positions held at top club, school and senior level.
Here is a brief breakdown:
* Forwards coach and technical adviser to Hamilton’s Sea Point RFC, who became national club champions
* Western Province Craven Week coach
* Two years as South African Schools coach
* First XV coach and head of coaching at Paul Roos, who were crowned Sanix World Youth champions
* Forwards and defence coach with the Pumas Currie Cup team
* Forwards and defence coaching consultant in Europe with the Czech and Netherlands national rugby unions
* KZN10.com wishes Hein and Maritzburg College rugby everything of the best.
Maritzburg College Geography teacher, deputy headmaster and rugby legend J.M “Skonk” Nicholson passed on 10 years ago on Sunday, age 94.
While he co-authored Geography textbooks, was a teacher loved by his learners because he always had a story to tell that was laced with his trademark wit and often-subtle-but no-less-impactful meaning, it is his passion for coaching rugby that lingers longer in the mind.
This was a gift that surely comes from grace. It inspired generations of College boys who aspired to pull on the Red Black and White rugger jersey.
Skonk’s rugby passion was so strong as to be infused with a spiritual force. It generated an energy, a devotion among his players that few have equalled.
The “Skonk Factor” also served to create a rugby culture at Maritzburg College that forms a central tenet in the 158-year-old school’s ethos.
Maritzburg College is about so much more than a single sports code, but the role that rugby does play in the school’s existence deserves its due.
Skonk’s quietly spoken, measured words had a wisdom and authenticity that few could miss.
Allied to his understated yet plain-to-see charisma and presence, the distinguished DHS Old Boy also had an immeasurable understanding of the nuts and bolts that make up the sport of rugby.
It was a remarkable ability.
The intricacies of the game, a game that can be made incredibly complicated and convoluted in the wrong hands?
Skonk understood the complexities like a chess Grand Master; he understood the conundrums; he had an impeccable grasp of the technical detail in rugby, be it at scrum time (a guru he was), lineouts, positional play or speed to the loose ball and its all-important consequent recycling…
Yet perhaps Skonk’s greatest gift was his ability to simplify, get to the core point, and then relay it in clear terms to his young players.
Information overload is anathema to a teenage schoolboy. Skonk knew this all-too well. Clear, concise, instructions… every schoolboy can live with that.
The outcome was score upon score of devoted players who will keep the spirit of Skonk alive through the myriad stories they have to tell to the generations to come who are blessed to hear them.
What stories of Skonk do you have to tell?