The magnificent Maritzburg College 1st XV of 1972

Legendary coach JM “Skonk” Nicholson’s 1972 Maritzburg College first XV is widely regarded as one of the half-dozen-or-so best rugby teams the school has produced in its ever-distinguished 159-year history.

I had just turned 8 at the start of the 1972 schools’ winter sports season and that year is my earliest – and most vivid – memory of watching College on Goldstones although my late dad, Roy (Maritzburg College Class of 1944) recalled taking me along in 1970 and 71.

Skonk’s 1972 team featured a remarkable 10 Natal Schools’ Craven Week players and, had it not been for untimely injuries, a few more names might have been added to that illustrious list.

And, as was Skonk’s wont, this Flagship Rugby Team of The Year 1972 epitomised what is a mastery of the game’s fundamental elements, the increasingly unfashionable but ever-necessary platform skills that lay down the framework for the eye-catching fancy stuff that captures the hearts and minds of the myriad schoolgirls (who are also catching the eye) in the precinct of Basher Ridge.

And to cap it all, the 1972 Boys in Red Black and White – astutely captained by the little general, scrumhalf Roy Davidson, enjoyed all the other hallmarks of the renowned Maritzburg College rugby sides from both earlier and, there after:

A rampaging machine-gun-efficient ruthless tight five who took no prisoners before or after the game – I spot the broadest shoulders in the team in prop forward Pip Anderson (second from left, back row) though for some reason I can’t recall right now whether Pip was the this celebrated team’s loosehead or tighthead(?). Peter Rodseth, Colin Heard, John Nolte et al perhaps you can enlighten me?

The trademark marauding Red Black White loose forwards fed a surfeit of quick, clean possession to a classically nimble of-thought-and-invention halfback combination in Messrs Davidson and his Perfect 10 – the most natural athlete of all natural athletes – one helluva flyhalf, Neville Daniels, whose tactical acumen with ball in-hand-and out- orchestrated the Grand Show that thrilled the Goldstones Faithful to the end.

And then came the Rolls Royce moments… what a joy it was to see the likes of Top Gun winger Laurie Sharp and Silky Smooth 15 Mark Hedley at their schoolboy peak; sublime skill-sets that were an ace-of-base MasterMix – a fabulous salad dressing of no-frills economy of movement sprinkled with the most sophisticated motor skills yet seen on the schoolboy stage.

Aaaaa-aaaaah it was good.

So good.

Magnificent Maritzburg College embellish the Red Black White ethos at Westville

It isn’t always a simple matter to show, in the space of a few hours, what one stands for and what one is made of. But the collective attitude, aspirations, community, culture and spirit that is Maritzburg College could never have been so brightly to the fore than it was this weekend at Westville.

To witness something so vividly and emphatically come to fruition must have been a special treat for those who labour over these ideals while teaching in the classrooms and on the playing fields day in and day out.

With Maritzburg College first XV staging one of the greatest comebacks in its long, proud history and capturing 14 victories overall in 17 matches against Westville, it was a day never to be forgotten for the Red Black White.

Feature photo caption: Maritzburg College number 8 Sphephelo Mbonambi lunges for the try line to score. Photo: Dan Becket

College’s 1st XV were 7-26 down at one stage, before scoring 35 unanswered points in the second half and winning the match 42-26, an outstanding performance.

College first XV head coach Tim Orchard reports on what went down in Westville:

“On Saturday, Bowden’s was the venue of a mouth-watering encounter between Maritzburg College and Westville. Both sides were looking to get a vital win before the end of term, with this being Westville’s last game of the season.

“Westville started the match the much better team and raced away to a comfortable 26-7 lead at halftime with College looking all but dead and buried. The expectant Westville crowd were relishing the opportunity to get one over their rivals from Maritzburg but one must never underestimate a College team with their backs to the wall.

“The first half of the fixture was all Westville as they had the wind at their backs, which allowed them to pin College deep in their own half. This territorial pressure paid off handsomely as Westville were allowed to accumulate points at ease through some very basic College errors.

“College did score a try of their own, when in the 18th minute Sphephelo Mbonambi broke off a rolling maul to score in the corner. The try was converted but that was the only real attacking College had the entire half.

“Westville entered halftime 26-7 up and looking all set to score a big win against their rivals.

“The second half was an exact mirror image of the first, but now with the College team with the wind at their backs, having the ascendency and playing all the rugby.

“In what was to become a famous come-from-behind victory, Liam Prinsloo barged over to get the ball rolling with a wonderful solo effort, which was converted by AJ Knoetze.

“In the 50th minute, Kuhann van der Berg scored the first of his brace of tries to put in motion a juggernaut performance by the College team, who now smelled blood and were dominating proceedings.

“Keagan Goddard scored next after coming on as a second-half replacement to put College in the lead for the first time during the match. The score, incredibly, now stood at 28-26 and College looked set to score more points in the half.

“Kuhann van der Berg scored his second try to further extend the lead now to 35-26, with AJ Knoetze in fine form with the boot. College carried on hammering away at the Westville line with Sphephelo Mbonambi scoring at the death to silence the Westville crowd, to place the score at 42-26 with AJ Knoetze kicking over the conversion to end the match and to bring down the curtains on a fine College second-half performance.”

College won 14 of the 20 rugby matches they played on the weekend, losing 6. Against Westville, College played 17 games and won 14, losing just 3. Apart from the electrifying 1st XV comeback, the College 2nd XV – after being 19-0 down, fought back magnificently to secure a 29-24 victory.

College 42
Tries: Mbonambi x2, Prinsloo, Goddard, and van der Berg x2
Conversions: Knoetze x5

Westville 26


Summary of Scores

Team Opposition Venue Result Score

1st Westville Bowdens 1 Won 42-26

2nd Westville Bowdens 1 Won 29-24

3rd Westville Bowdens 1 Won 31-27

4th Westville Bowdens 1 Won 24-5

5th Westville Bowdens 1 Won 34-5

6th Westville Bowdens 1 Lost 7-8

16A Westville Bowdens 1 Won 25-15

16B Westville Commons 1 Won 6-5

16C Westville Commons 1 Won 29-17

16D vs Michaelhouse 16C Tarpeys Lost 5-28

15A Westville Commons 1 Lost 5-12

15B Westville Commons 1 Won 28-19

15C Westville Commons 1 Lost 12-19

15D Westville Commons 2 Won 50-7

15E vs Michaelhouse 15D Baileys Lost 0-15

14A Westville Commons 2 Won 25-8

14B Westville Commons 2 Won 55-0

14C Westville Commons 2 Won 28-0

14D Westville Commons 2 Won 56-0

14E vs Michaelhouse 14D Far Meadows Lost 0-50

Rest in Peace, British Lion #506… My boyhood hero, Welsh wizard Phil Bennett

Surrounded by family, Welsh rugby legend Phil Bennett (73) passed away peacefully at his home last night, and with his departure from this earth, brings closure to the spark that ignited my love of rugby.

It was 1974. I was a tender 10. Main beach at Ballito; a balmy winter’s day, as only our KZN coastline can so effortlessly provide. On the back of a Peter Stuyvesant 30’s pack, my maternal uncle Graham was busy scribbling my dad Roy, and his, Springbok team for the third Test match against the British Lions…

“The Lions are already 2-0 up in the series; the series is just about lost, how are we going to stop Bennett?” said my Dad. “Damned if I know,” was uncle G’s forlorn response. “The way he ran rings around us with that second Test try was incredible. He is capable of scoring tries from deep inside his own half!”



“Uncle Graham, who is this guy?” was my enquiry, as the Ballito surf pounded in just metres away.

“My boy, Phil Bennett is the Welsh wizard, he’s a flyhalf, same position you play at Merchiston, and he’s just unstoppable.”

That was the magic moment.

We didn’t have TV in SA in 1974. I spent unforgettable time with my dad, Uncle G and my brothers at the Ballito cottage, glued to the radio, listening to the third and fourth Test commentaries.

We were already 3-0 down in the 4-Test series when we somehow managed to snatch a highly controversial 13-13 draw in the fourth Test to prevent a whitewash. The Cook/Dockray family were delighted. Me even more so: “At least we stopped Bennett from winning, Dad!” I shouted: “We did it!”

But Phil Bennett, aka “Benny”, was secretly “My” player.

Just 25 then, Benny possessed a blindingly deceptive, thrilling sidestep that was poetic in its execution, leaving seasoned tacklers grasping at thin air as he waltzed his way away.

Threading through despairing posses of defenders. I was mesmerised by the seemingly effortless (as is the wont of all great sportsmen) ease and grace of the man.

When television and TV sets arrived in 1976, I got my mom Alicia to take me to Dicks Radio in Longmarket Street in Pietermaritzburg, as they showed reels of the ’74 British Lions Boks series in the shop window.

Every day I was there, glued to the window. It got to the point where the manager told my mom that he would call the police unless she kept me away.



Aah, but Phil Bennett, what a player!

Bennett played his part (see video above), too, in what is widely considered “The Greatest Try Of All Time”, scored by the Barbarians against the All Blacks in 1973, collecting the ball in his own 25 (now 22) and producing a couple of astonishing sidesteps to start the move, which rooted defenders to the spot, and led to Gareth Edwards’ famous try.

As quoted here from The Telegraph, Phil’s motivational speech to his Welsh teammates ahead of a Five Nations game against England in 1977 is considered one of the “fire-and-brimstone” greatest.

Ordinarily a man of great warmth and generosity, this was fiery Phil at his best: “Look what these bastards have done to Wales! They’ve taken our coal, our water, our steel! They buy our homes and live in them for a fortnight every year! What have they given us? Absolutely nothing! We’ve been exploited, controlled and punished by the English! And that’s who you are playing this afternoon!”

Bennett, along with his halfback partner, the legendary scrumhalf Gareth Edwards were pivotal in Wales’s dominance of the Five Nations in the 1970s. Phil Bennet made his first foray into Welsh folklore at the age of 20, yet he might have had to wait years longer had arguably the greatest Welsh flyhalf of them all, Barry John, not retired at the young age of 27 while at the peak of his powers, citing the unwelcome media attention of “living in a goldfish bowl”.

One can only wonder what Barry John would have made of the media attention today. I actually met Barry in the early 2000’s when I was working at the Western Mail in Cardiff, for whom he wrote a weekly rugby column. A good bloke, Barry John.

1974 British Lions captain Willie John McBride once described his key teammate Phil Bennett thus: “He was to rugby what Ian Botham was to cricket, Johan Cruyff to football and Ilie Nastase to tennis. He had a certain magic, an undefinable quality. He had the audacity to attempt the unusual and to lift spectators out of their seats.”




Go well, Phil Bennett. Thank you for inspiring a wide-eyed 10-year-old Natal boy’s love of rugby.

Some Phil Bennett Facts

Played 413 times for his beloved Llanelli Scarlets (the Welsh valley where he was accorded an almost messianic status)

Phil scored 131 tries and 2 535 points overall, and was in the famous Llanelli team that beat the 1972 All Blacks

He captain the 1977 British Lions to New Zealand

There is a statue of Phil Bennett in Felinfoel, his home village

In the 1979 Queen’s Honours List, Phil was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

In 2005 Phil was accorded a place in the World Rugby Hall of Fame

* What a man! What a player!




Hilton win the big one but Maritzburg College dominate overall

The Hilton College first XV beat the Maritzburg College first XV 30-11 on a jam-packed Goldstones Saturday afternoon 28 May 22. Hilton deserved it. They were more efficient in exploiting opportunities.

It was not a match that reached any great heights of skill and/or drama as per the many encounters over the decades since the first-ever match between these two great schools in 1875.

Hilton’s win takes the overall records to Matches Played: 172; College Won 116; Hilton Won 45; Drawn 11.

The outcome was disappointing for the hundreds upon hundreds of Old Boys who had come from far and wide to celebrate the 125th Reunion of Maritzburg College Old Boys Association (established 1997) but there was great pride, too, in witnessing the current first XV boys putting every ounce of effort into this match.

It has been a long road since the establishment of Maritzburg College in 1863 and, at 159 years, the oldest boys’ high school in KwaZulu-Natal is proudly standing the test of time.

Indeed, it is excelling, stronger than it has ever been.

An occasion like no other… the biggest crowd I have seen on Goldstones in the 52 years I’ve been watching the first XV.

Overall, it was a rousing day for the Maritzburg College rugby fraternity with a gross scorecard reading, Played 16 Won 13 Lost 3; a gross “Points For” tally of 513 compared to 151 “Points Against”.

At U16 level versus Hilton it was 3 from 3 for the Red Black White in scoring 136 points with 14 against.

In the U15 age group another 3 from 3 with 113 for and 19 against.

And in the U14 category another 3 from 3 with 118 points overall to 24 (which included a D team versus C team stagger match).

There were also notable Maritzburg College wins in stagger matches against others schools; notably the 22-14 U16D versus Howick U16A, U15E 10-7 vs Linpark U15A, and the U14E 17-15 vs Howick U14A.

Versus Hilton
Played 16 Won 13 Lost 3 (Points for 513, Points against 151)
1st Hilton Goldstone’s lost 11-30
2nd Hilton Goldstone’s lost 17-29
3rd Hilton Goldstone’s lost 14-19
4th Hilton Goldstone’s won 22-13
5th Hilton Goldstone’s won 17-3
6th Hilton Goldstone’s won 10-0
7th Hilton Snows won 55-0
16A Hilton Goldstone’s won 36-14
16B Hilton Lamond’s won 50-0
16C Hilton Lamond’s won 50-0
15A Hilton Snow’s won 31-11
15B Hilton Lamond’s won 32-8
15C Hilton Nicholson’s won 50-0
14A Hilton Snow’s won 22-14
14B Hilton Lamond’s won 56-5
14D Hilton U14C Leaches won 40-5
8th Michaelhouse 7th Snows won 26-5
9th Linpark 2nds Snows lost 5-34
16D Howick U16A Hill’s won 22-14
16E Michaelhouse U16D Leach’s won 24-5
15D Howick U15A Hill’s lost 12-19
15E Linpark U15A Nicholson’s won 10-7
14C Michaelhouse Hill’s won 38-7
14E Howick U14A Leaches won 17-15

Errors cost Kearsney on Meadows as House make it count

Mistakes aplenty led to the Kearsney College first XV’s undoing as an alert, more polished Michaelhouse made the most of opportunities to record a welcome 22-9 victory on the 126-year-old midlands school’s Founders Weekend.

Attempting to relieve early pressure in the opening couple of minutes on the splendid Meadows field, Kearsney played into Michaelhouse’s hands and the outcome was a converted try for the hosts as big House eighthman Wandile Mlaba crashed over into in-goal area.


Feature photo caption: Since 1896… Michaelhouse’s current boys commemorate Founders’ Weekend celebrations ahead of the first XV kick-off with many Old Boys of House, Men of House, in attendance around Meadows.


Subsequently, in a rousing House segment of play, the Kearsney defence was put to the test and not found wanting. The visitors regathered in the rugby-friendly conditions and enjoyed some time in the attacking zone but try-time did not materialise and their 6 pre-halftime points came via the penalty-goals brace by scrumhalf Matt Bergset.

To compound the frustration, Kearsney overcooked a lineout throw and House pounced with centre Campbell Ridl finishing off for the home side’s second, much-appreciated, 7-pointer of the half. Hosts Michaelhouse duly went into the changeover with the scoreboard reflecting two converted tries and a penalty goal (17) to Kearsney number 9 Bergset’s set of penalties (6).

Cognisant of the 11-point deficit with half of the match still to play, Kearsney knew they still had plenty of time to win this match. With flanker and captain Jason Brien leading by example, Kearsney proceeded to express themselves, but it was as if the rugby gods were conspiring against them.

More accurately, perhaps, vital passes went astray through poor cohesion, while other attacking forays found fault and the sum total of the admirable determination of the Kearsney side was a lone Bergset penalty goal.


Kearsney outside centre and co vice-captain Ayabonga Mngaza appears to just about evade the attentions of opposite number Campbell Ridl, who scored one of House’s tries on the day. Photo TRACEY VAN DEN AARDWEG


Towards the end of the match a field kick went off-point and extreme pace over 50-plus metres in the form of left wing Kevin Smith burnt away any thought of interference for the third and final Michaelhouse try of the match (22-9).

With many Men of House of yesteryear in attendance, in celebration of Founders’ (1896) Weekend, the Class of 1947 (75 Years) deserving special mention, it was appropriate that the magical KZN midlands conjured up the most special of Autumnal days together with the gorgeous colours which are a signature therein.

It’s always interesting to see what has happened in previous first XV matches of recent times:
On the 8th May 2021 Michaelhouse beat home side Kearsney 26-24 on Stott field; the 2020 match was cancelled due to Covid; the 11 May 2019 match window slipped outside the confines of the Covid nightmare and visitors Kearsney won 23-20 on Meadows; on 10 May 2018 home side Kearsney beat House 27-17; on 29 April 2017 home side Michaelhouse beat Kearsney 26-24; and on 30 April 2016  home side Kearsney beat Michaelhouse 62-22.

So, in the last 6 meetings it’s been 3 wins apiece, both first XVs having once put one over their opponents away from home during this time period – House winning by 2 points at Kearsney in 2022 and Kearsney winning by 3 points at House in 2019.

Long may this wonderful contest continue.


Great KZN10 first XV rugby & hockey match-ups Saturday

There is a full-house of Saturday afternoon 7 May 2022 first XV rugby team match-ups between the 10 schools that places its focus.

I will be in the Kent Pavilion enjoying the 23°C forecasted dry weather for the 3pm kick-off on Goldstones at Maritzburg College when the pride of the Red Black and White take on Northwood.

Feature photo caption: Can the DHS first XV repeat the quality of performance on Van Heerdens (where they take on Hilton Saturday) as they did here on Goldstones a few matches ago; a memorable 38-14 win over The RBW?

Both sides have had their moments this year, and their share of disappointments. So, consistency will be the primary focus along with an emphasis on playing controlled, constructive rugby in minimising the needless errors and maximising opportunities when they inevitably will present themselves.

For the 2022 Northwood first XV the unforgettable memory of the 9 March 2019 golden-Goldstones 30-26 victory over the premier Maritzburg College rugby team of that year will still be fresh in the minds of those fortunate Knights who were in grades 6, 7 and 8 those three years ago.

The 14-14 first XV draw in 2020 against College firsts at home on Reece-Edwards will also be close to the Knights’ hearts, so history and the incentive will surely be there.

For the impressively talented 2022 Maritzburg College first XV there is no greater incentive than getting back on the winning trail as the countdown nears for Reunion Day 28 May versus Hilton College. Now just 3 weeks away, it is time overdue to become more “Team” rather than just the mixed sum of their parts.

The most widely regarded match of the day would have to be that at Van Heerdens in Durban where the Old Gold and Navy Blue of the DHS first XV tackle the White with Black Trimmings of Hilton College.

The Durban High School first XV clash with Hilton College on Van Heerdens has the ideal kick-off conditions of 24°C on their splendid turf in what, as said in the previous par, is shaping up to be the marquee Match of the Day.

Not since 2018 have DHS parents and supporters been allowed to watch rugby as a combined force while sitting around Van Heerdens at School! And to this end video messages from esteemed members of the DHS rugby brethren have been flighted, urging the School family to come together as one for this momentous occasion against a fabulous Hilton College celebrating its 150th year.

DHS have played some champagne rugby this season and the consistent Hilton first XV are surely going to test their mettle to the fullest extent. Indeed, the side that is better able to cope with the inevitable match challenges may well come away with the spoils of victory.

Sufficient spirit and resilience is at a premium. It should be an absolute cracker of a contest.

The scene at Bowdens will also reflect the balmiest of dry, solid underfoot conditions and perfect rugby temperature to deliver a classic contest between the pride of the Gryphons and the Green Machine of Glenwood.

Expect an extremely physical contest – that is a given.

And on the picturesque Meadows of Michaelhouse one can expect hordes of House and Kearsney supporters cheering on the respective schools’ flagship rugby teams. It would take a brave man to predict the outcome, but I suspect it will be House by a whisker. But, hey, I freely admit that sometimes I am wrong, wrong and wrong.

The final of the school first XV matches takes place in Durban where Clifton College host long-time friends and rivals St Charles College. And once again I could suggest a winner but, hey, I did that in the paragraph above and that is enough sticking my neck out today.

Needless to say, the 5 first team hockey matches between the KZN10 schools in the late morning Saturday are also sure to provide much in the way of fierce competition and close contests. I will be firmly in place around Papes Astro at Maritzburg College come the 10.20am push-back when the Red Army take on coach Justin Collins’ Knights of Northwood.



KZN 10 schools weekend rugby wrap

The Hilton College first XV ensured that the Michaelhouse first XV will have to wait a bit longer to secure their 100th win in this generations-old friendly rivalry, winning the 203rd match between the two schools’ first rugby teams 32-17 at Hilton on Saturday.

Michaelhouse’s director of the Old Boys’ Club, Admissions & Marketing, Murray Witherspoon, reports that the occasion was worth the Covid-enforced three-year wait.

“There couldn’t have been a greater sense of occasion on the back of the host’s 150th birthday celebrations, and bonhomie and friendly banter on the banks were as much a feature of the day as the rivalry on the field.”

Murray reports that Hilton started strongly, and proceedings could well have turned into a rout had it not been for excellent Michaelhouse defending. House then scored twice before halftime to stay in the match.

Tracey van den Aardweg feature pic: Kearsney number 8 Cameron Roache’s try makes the game safe for the home side against Northwood.

Hilton scored on two occasions in the second half after House had been on the attack and the brace of tries secured the Hiltonians’ 94th win over Michaelhouse.

The return match at Michaelhouse is on 18 June.


Photo Maritin Ashworth: The action was unrelenting at Gilfillan Field on Saturday in the 203d match between the Hilton College and Michaelhouse first XV’s.


Meanwhile, at Botha’s Hill, home side Kearsney hosted Northwood for their annual FNB Classic Clash in what were ideal playing conditions.

The Kearsney report herewith:

“Kearsney dominated play in the first 25 minutes, enjoying the lion’s share of the territorial battle. The pressure ensured three converted penalties by Matthew Bergset for a 9-0l lead within the first 15 minutes.

“The hosts were rewarded with an unconverted try in the left corner by winger Lihle Maqhugula after some good work by the attacking team and good interplay between the forwards and backs. Maqhugula still had a lot to do after receiving the ball and showed good pace to dive over for a 14-0 lead.

“Northwood kicked too long from the ensuing kick-off and Kearsney used the possession well to get back into the attacking zone. The hosts were awarded another penalty from a breakdown infringement, which Bergset converted for a comfortable and deserved 17-0 lead.

“Kearsney then seemed to lose focus and Northwood found renewed intensity, to eventually find themselves deep in Kearsney territory. The visiting captain elected a scrum from an awarded penalty. The desired outcome was achieved from a well-rehearsed backline attack move, to score close to the upright for a converted try to decrease the deficit to 7-17.

“The last few minutes of the half saw a territorial kicking battle, which did not lead to much and the halftime whistle followed soon after.

[Into the second half and] “Northwood produced a purple patch, scoring two tries from good tactical play and some poor tackling by some of the home team defenders. The first try came from a poor exit kick by Kearsney and hard running by the counter-attack backs.

“From the breakdown close to the Kearsney line the visitors moved the ball to the blind side and dived over for an unconverted try.

“Soon after that, Kearsney launched a superb attack from a lineout from their own 22m and progressed close to the opponents’ 22m, but the ball was turned over at the breakdown.

“Northwood kicked the ball to escape the pressure, and it bounced favourably for the chaser after some poor defence by the Kearsney players. Northwood’s player ran 40m to score an unconverted try to level the scores at 17-17.

“Kearsney regained composure and soon an opportunity was seized by flanker Salu Mqobongo who outsprinted the defence for a good 60m, for Bergset to convert and regain the lead at 24-17.

“Some exciting, although error-ridden, passages of play followed as both teams were motivated to clinch the match. Kearsney used their opportunities better and eventually eighthman Cameron Roache displayed some power work from a breakdown close to the visitors’ line when he picked from the base to dive over. The lead was now extended to 29-17 with only a few minutes left on the clock.

“Northwood didn’t give up and attacked up until the last minute, but the hosts’ defence held and they remained victorious 29-17.

“Outstanding players for the Kearsney team were the inspirational captain Jason Brien, Cameron Roache and Salu Mqobongo.”

The other KZN10 match in KZN saw Westville beat hosts St Charles College 46-17.

It was a set of tough matches for the three KZN teams at the Wildeklawer Festival in Kimberley with DHS winning the lone match of the six matches played by DHS, Glenwood and Maritzburg College.

Inter-KZN10 results in KZN
Saturday, 30 April 2022

Kearsney 29 Northwood 17
Hilton College 32 Michaelhouse 17
St Charles College 17 Westville 46
KZN results at Wildeklawer Festival in Kimberley
Saturday, 30 April 2022

DHS 31 Menlopark 15
Paarl Boys’ High 38 Maritzburg College 3
Paul Roos 43 Glenwood 20
Monday, 2 May 2022
Helpmekaar 25 Maritzburg College 16
Oakdale 20 DHS 12
Affies 49 Glenwood 14

Much food for thought last Saturday on Goldstones

Looking back at the premier rugby match on Goldstones last Saturday afternoon, the on-song Durban High School (DHS, School) first XV had too much armoury for the Maritzburg College first XV, winning 38-14 – School’s biggest ever winning margin (by 24 points) – after leading 19-7 at halftime.

Saturday, 30 April sees DHS tackling Menlopark at 9.10am, Maritzburg College facing Paarl Boys at 3pm, and Glenwood up against Paul Roos at 6.30pm – all at the 2022 ABSA Wildeklawer Festival in Kimberley.

Also tomorrow, 30 April, Kearsney host Northwood at 3.30pm, St Charles College are at home to Westville at 2.30pm and Hilton College host Michaelhouse at 3pm, while Clifton College have a bye.

On Monday in Kimberley, Maritzburg College face Helpmekaar, DHS meet Oakdale and Glenwood tackle Affies. Kick-off times on Monday still to be determined.

Feature photo caption: Few things sweeter for a DHS rugby first team than to win on Goldstones as the 2022 side did last Saturday.

Back to last Saturday on Goldstones, the outcome also earned DHS the Skonk Nicholson Trophy, which is played for on each occasion the two teams meet.

It was an exciting game to watch, that’s for sure. Sitting where I was, in the Kent Pavilion, gave a panoramic view of the action-packed proceedings.

Six tries to two is an emphatic margin and the boys in Navy Blue and Old Gold were full value for their success, albeit College were their own worst enemies, too many relatively basic errors that played right into the alert visitors’ skilful hands.

In short, the DHS basics were superior on the day, as was their speed of thought. School were very quick to pounce on College mistakes and one had a strong sense that headboy, captain (in 5th form and, now, 6th form) and number 6 flanker Own Morgenrood’s side inherently knew what was required.

As School pointed out on the DHS Facebook page, “Well done to Maritzburg College who won the majority of sporting fixtures. Thank you for hosting us.

“Whilst all local fixtures are of utmost importance, College are by far our biggest rival and we couldn’t be happier with this result!”

DHS had come off the back of the Standard Bank Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival having won the Most Attractive Team Play trophy, while College had a lukewarm St Stithians festival over the same period.

The sizeable crowd engendered a great vibe, the atmosphere and camaraderie in keeping with the unique ethos of KZN rugby and doing justice to the longstanding shared history between the oldest boys’ high school in KZN (1863) and the oldest boys’ high school in Durban (1866).

College left two tries on the table, thanks to the final pass going astray, while DHS left one on the table – due to the final pass not being gathered.

Three of the six DHS tries came from attacking lineouts and this area was a feature of their play.

I thought experienced referee JP Pretorius had an excellent game, managing the players well and thereby allowing the match to flow.

Maritzburg College

15 Luyanda Kunene
14 Ezra Everton
13 Lithelihle Bester
12 Liam Prinsloo
11 Kuhann van den Berg
10 Spha Ngcobo
9 AJ Knoetze (capt)
8 Sasha Kadira
7 Keagan Goddard
6 Kyle Wilken
5 Kuhle Mtimkhulu
4 Sphepelo Mbonambi
3 Pieter Brits
2 Elbie Mouton
1 Diego Antoniades
Head coach: Tim Orchard

15 Minenhle Ngcamu
14 Hopewell Nthsangase
13 Tholithemba Sibisi
12 Dwight Pietersen
11 Maurice Willemse
10 Deano Boesak
9 Zak Smith
8 Siseko Mani
7 Connor Carson
6 Owen Morgenrood (capt)
5 Weilhrich Basson
4 Sybrand Erwee
3 Lwandile Mshengu
2 Christian Everitt
1 Simphiwe Ngobese
Head coach: Peter Engledow

Maritzburg College (7) 14
Tries: Luyanda Kunene, Keagan Goddard
Conversions: AJ Knoetze (2)
Durban High School (19) 38
Tries: Maurice Willemse (2), Christian Everitt (2), Tholithemba Sibisi, Deano Boesak
Conversions: Deano Boesak (4)


#RedBlackWhite #CollegeSport #GoCollege  #DHS #School #Horsefly #BlueTyphoon

#InCaseYouMissedThem Schools’ 1st XV Results (23April 2022)
(Home teams first)
Maritzburg College 14 DHS 38
Hilton College 66 St Charles College 3
Jeppe 0 Westville 15
Michaelhouse 38 Northwood 18
Glenwood 31 Kearsney College 10
St Andrews School Bloemfontein 7 Clifton College 40


And what a thrill for DHS U14A to beat their College counterparts 26-0 on Snows.


Skonk Nicholson U14 and U16 rugby festival on at Maritzburg College

Then Skonk Nicholson U14 and U16 Rugby Festival returns to MaritzburgCollege today (Wednesday) after a long and frustrating interlude caused by the pandemic, much to the joy of many a young schoolboy rugby player, parent and spectator.

There is another round of matches tomorrow (Thursday) and Saturday.

Feature image caption: What every Maritzburg College U14A and U16A rugby player dreams of happening to them one day soon… the Basher Ridge faithful on Goldstones showing their appreciation for another Maritzburg College first XV try.

The wonderful programme for the festival, including the fixtures, can be found on the Maritzburg College website at…/uploads/2022/03/SNRF.pdf which includes, among other enlightening historical pieces on #RedBlackWhite rugby, a host of fascinating details about the indomitable doyen of schoolboy rugby coaching, JM “Skonk” Nicholson, as well as an address from acting headmaster of Maritzburg College, Matthew Marwick, and a message from director of rugby Hein Kriek that encapsulates the fresh new hope after 30 months of inactivity-born frustration.

The Maritzburg College media release says that all the fixtures and results will be on the College Sport App, which can be downloaded for free from your favourite App Store.

Further, Maritzburg College is excited to be partnering with SuperSport Schools who will be live-streaming the games. To access the matches, download and register on the SuperSport School app to enjoy all the action.

Maritzburg College wishes all the teams the very best for the festival and trust that all the games will be played and watched in a spirit of camaraderie and good sportsmanship.


Remembering one of Durban High School’s finest rugby teams

Who, who watched them play, could forget the scintillating and successful rugby delivered by the 2018 Durban High School first XV.

Head coach Scott Mathie, forwards coach Ronnie Uys and manager Lyle Matthysen were gifted with a remarkably talented, enthusiastic and dedicated group of DHS rugby boys, but their guidance was surely the catalyst that set up the consistently high quality of play through the season.

Here are just some of the milestones I gleaned from the DHS archives of the compilation by Mr Matthysen.

The DHS 1st XV was unbeaten at home in 2018, the first time since 2003 that a DHS 1st XV was unbeaten on Van Heerdens.

The 60-10 victory over Westville was the first time that a DHS 1st XV had scored 60 points against Westville; this also resulted in the greatest winning margin (50 points) since this particular inter-school match began.

The 2018 “Double” was achieved over Westville; the last time back-to-back victories were recorded against the Westville 1st XV was in the 2002 and 2003 seasons.


Extreme right Scott Mathie DHS 1st XV head coach with forwards coach in white shirt Ronnie Uys


The 50-27 victory over Northwood was the first time a DHS 1st XV scored 50 points on Northwood’s main rugby field, Reece-Edwards.

The 2017 season was the first time a DHS 1st XV had scored more than 40 points against Maritzburg College – and this was achieved on Goldstones. The 2018 season saw another win for DHS – and on this occasion it was the first time that a DHS 1st XV had scored more than 40 points on Van Heerdens against a Maritzburg College 1st XV.

Although DHS no longer play College twice a year, the 2-17 and 2018 victories ensured the first back-to-back victories against College since 1999

The 41-34 win over Kearsney College 1st XV in 2018 was the first time that a DHS 1st XV had scored over 40 points against Kearsney. The victories over Kearsney in 2017 and 2018 made it the first back-to-back victories over Kearsney since the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

The two victories over Michaelhouse in 2017 and 2018 also ensured the first back-to-back victories since 2010 and 2011.

The DHS 1st XV was unbeaten at the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival, winning their games against Selborne College, Queens College and Dale College.

This was the first time since 1995 that a DHS 1st XV were unbeaten at an Easter Rugby Festival, and only the second DHS 1st XV to do so. They 2018 side were also the first DHS 1st XV to beat Selborne since 1996.

The boys of School, in their Old Gold and Oxford Blue colours… a mighty long way since modest beginnings with 7 boys in 2 classrooms in Smith Street back in 1866.