11 Gauteng schools ask Hilton College to refrain from “poaching”

Following the meeting of the Gauteng Heads of Boys’ Schools held in November 2016, no fewer than eleven Gauteng high schools were listed on a letter sent as a collective to Hilton College in same month.

The letter expressed concern over the transfer of boys from several Gauteng schools to Hilton College. It emphasised the issue at stake, made mention of what constitutes good values, asked for mutual respect and most importantly requested that Hilton refrains from “poaching” their players.

322 Comments

  1. I see that Hilton are contradicting their own integrity that made them chicken out of playing against Glenwood , their reasons being that Glenwood have adopted a professional approach to SBR with mass recruiting and specialized training etc ….. they themselves have gone out and bought a new tight head prop for grade 12 in addition to a lions grant khomo loose forward of last year … to bulk up their pack ….. but the buying didn’t stop there … they have no less than four new u16 Rugga players and a handful of u15s join them this year …. all adding to the mass buying of an entire u14 side that must exceeed 10 mil in free education ….. let’s see if they get Glenwood back in the fixture list with their newly acquired rugby interests !!!

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  2. @oldschool:

    Jaaaaaaaaa…………. Bunch of hypos!! Guilty of the both the biggest poach of the millenium and the highest paid ‘professional’ coach.

    It was all about preserving their win/loss ratio – nothing else. We all knew that from the beginning.

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  3. @oldschool: 8-O ! You can’t have the scum from Umbilo catch up on the win ratio. Now they will play George Campbell, St Stithians etc to try and have an unbeaten season.

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  4. I think this Hilton thing is going to gain a lot of attention and affect their image for a few years to come.

    I’m following up to find out if there is truth to a suggestion that several independent schools in Jozi and Pretoria are in fact unhappy with HC over their recruitment strategy and if they have sent a joint letter to the HC head.

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  5. This was the reported reasoning for Hilton suspending rugby fixtures against Glenwood a few years ago:

    ‘After careful consideration [we have] decided to discontinue all rugby fixtures against Glenwood High School for the foreseeable future,’ said Hilton headmaster Peter Ducasse in a statement. ‘The simple reason for this decision is that Glenwood’s fairly recent strategy has, in our firm opinion, now moved them into a different league. Apart from the increased risk of injury, which is associated with such mismatches, we see no educational value [for any of the players] in playing matches where the contest is decidedly one-sided.

    ‘I have spoken openly to the headmaster of Glenwood about this and have made it clear that these are the only reasons for our decision. There is no animosity between our two schools. Hilton College would welcome, should Glenwood so choose, continuing to play fixtures against them in other sports.’

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  6. @beet: I spoke to a very senior Hilton chap shortly after their decision to stop playing rugby v Glenwood and I can tell you that he was not a happy camper. Perhaps now that Ducasse has left, HC will resume fixtures with Glenwood?

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  7. @Vleis: I imagine it will be very hard to justify not playing rugby against Glenwood now. Glenwood are also set to welcome a new headmaster so there is potential for a let bygones be bygones.

    On a related note. Without knowing the personal circumstances and challenges, it does seem like a tough a gig being the Hilton Headmaster. Since Nicholson, the father of the well-known in KZN midlands circles former SBR ref, left in 2007 Hilton are onto their 4th head in just a decade. Ducasse looked like a perfect fit: old Hiltonian, son of a former headmaster and decent former Hilton 1st XV rugby player. He’s gone into retirement after 4 years at the helm.

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  8. @beet: heard a rumour old Mike Fennel left the CEO role at DHS and applied for the Headmaster position. I wonder who will get the Glenwood job, Pinheiro must be the front runner but I know the Dept don’t always promote from within. The schools are bigger than individuals & should bury the hatchet…

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  9. @Grasshopper: From what I heard Mike Fennell’s contract was up and was not renewed by DHS SGB or whoever had a say in his contract. I imagine he would be a leading candidate at any state school where he applied for a vacant headmaster’s post.

    Six months are up so Glenwood could easily have had Pinheiro as their official new headmaster by now if they pushed for it. Perhaps they are holding out for someone else or there has been a complication. The recent DHPS incident proved that things don’t necessarily go according to plan for an SGB when working with the DOE on a new appointment.

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  10. @Grasshopper: why – he’s a professional and left a lasting legacy at KES. Schools (like businesses) need to move forward. If he is appointed at Glenwood, best of luck to him. He’s a KES old boy so will always hold KES in high regard and vica versa.

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  11. @Vleis: I believe lots of shenanigans at Hilton. Stern words between headmasters of JHB schools (state and private) and Hilton etc etc – Beet’s investigation will reveal all :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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  12. @Roger: said tongue in cheek, I’m sure he will be snapped up by any school. Just thinking he might want a fresh challenge so Glenwood could provide that. Who knows..

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  13. @Roger: This is going to be interesting to watch unfold. Does the new head do the Garsfontein – deny deny deny – or the Glenwood – ignore ignore ignore. It’s interesting to note that this didn’t transpire while Ducasse was Head (unless Cameron Wright was under his watch). If you have Greg Miller as director of rugby, and McLeod Henderson as 1st team coach, you are taking things pretty seriously and need quality stock to do justice to the heavy machinery that’s in place.

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  14. The schools effected by Hiltons revived passion with win at all costs are …. Helpmekaar, Jeppe , St Stithians and I believe Kempton park ??

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  15. @GreenBlooded: Ducasse has retired , I believe the new Hilton headmaster is a guy by the name of Harris , who had been involved in setting up a school for the Royal Bafokeng Tribe in Rustenberg .

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  16. @McCulleys Workshop: Hilton are going all out with the pro sports coaches , with Dale Benkenstein as the 1st team cricket coach and one of the Kirsten brothers as the director of cricket . There has also been a massive investment in their hockey programme, with a second astro field put in place.

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  17. @beet: Beet, let’s hope you produce as interesting a read as Stoop crafted. That was almost a “who done it” at its best.

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  18. After Hilton got pasted 69-6 by Paul Roos last year and 67-7 by Glenwood in 2014 they probably had so much heat from Old Boys they said enough is enough, we have to focus all our efforts on this……tut tut tut…

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  19. @boerboel: They kept playing them until they got victories….

    Vs Affies Won 24-7 (H) 2008
    Won 24-10 (A) 2009
    Won 36-22 (A) 2014

    Vs Monnas Won 25-18 (A) 2012

    Vs Grey College Won 14-10 (H) 2006

    And will keep playing them until they withdraw from them, never give up…

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  20. @Roger: I thought as much ! as they are desperate to find success for the old boys whom have invested millions into scholarships …. Im sure the boys whom have been affected by the new recruits aren’t happy to be shoved aside for a mercenary disguised as a Hilton boy !

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  21. @beet: I know of at least one Helpmekaar rugby player that was offered a full scholarship by Hilton. Don’t know if it was accepted though. Other Helpies can maybe fill in.

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  22. @boerboel: Dale College ended up in Top 10 in most rankings, beat them convincingly. Roturua in NZ never a poor side. Played 19 won 16 ain’t bad. It certainly wasn’t our strongest team ever, far from it. Kearsney also ranked Top 10 in most rankings. So beating 3 Top 20 teams and ending up ranked 12th, not bad for a soutie school. When combining the age group rankings, Glenwood ended up 3rd in SA; http://www.saschoolsports.co.za/rugby/national/rugby-the-combined-1st-xv-u14-u15-u16-rankings-2016.html

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  23. @Grasshopper:

    Ed Zachary!!!! Kept playing – didn’t tuck tail and run like a bunch of girl scouts. Face the challenge and grow through the experience rather than protect a win/loss record.

    We should try and find the journo who wrote the original article when Hilton woesed out and ask them to do a follow-up piece…… :mrgreen: :roll:

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  24. @GreenBlooded: Apparently he retired, but four years seems like a short time period…so maybe he was pushed? I’m not close to the inner workings at HC at present, but if I find anything out I’ll let you know.

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  25. The old Hilton calls it quits on Glenwood rugby interschools fixture blog is here:

    http://schoolboyrugby.co.za/?p=9406

    One thing is for sure. Hilton’s approach has been inconsistent over the years. It’s good to have Old Boys actively involved but when they have too great a say, operating conditions must start to become extremely challenging for the educators.

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  26. @Bush: good for him. I never particularly liked him as a teacher, but he is ambitious. I would prefer fresh blood in….

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  27. Where is old Star? Would love to hear his opinion on this. Maybe the journalist should try chat to Gary Teichmann on it too. Maybe he is driving the push!

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  28. @McCulleys Workshop: It’s amazing that you think that he would involve himself, I think you’ve picked the wrong candidate. He has his hands full at the Sharks. You’ll note that the recruiting has mainly taken place in JHB, and I would guess MH and Miller are able to drive the process along with the support of the Board and management. As discussed before, these post grade 8 entrants are often paid for by Old Boy benefactors. Certainly this was the case at House in the 90’s.

    It’s plausible that Ducasse could have parted company with the school after only 4 years as head, if he was under pressure to concede to the acquisitions/poaching/renting/hiring of post grade 8 rugby players, after he had so firmly closed the door on Glenwood for what we could assume were similar antics to those being employed by Hilton now.

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  29. @McCulleys Workshop: It was a thought and he would want to keep a finger on the pulse of schoolboy rugby. Like John Allan at Glenwood he does have a good relationship with Hilton. He obviously wouldn’t be directly involved but surely would be aware of it. I bet he has regular chats with Brad Mc. I have seen Bob Skinstad, Hentie Maartens, Wayne Fyvie and Gary T watching at Hilton & House previously…

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  30. @McCulleys Workshop: it is well known whom is driving the donations !! ask any Hilton old boy of the 80s and they will know …..
    having chatted to some current Hilton boys and old boys , there is a definite divided opinion …. some boys are very unhappy with the new recruits as these mercenaries are taking the place of their mates …. and as we know private school rugby success is built on brotherhood and building a team through hardship in u14 and improving along the way …. Im sure many parents wont be quaffing their Moet in pride after victories , as victories are hollow when you have had to buy them !!

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  31. @oldschool: So there were many hollow victories in the 80’s and 90’s with Post Matrics. This is almost going back to those days. I don’t remember Kearsney ever having Posties, maybe just Etienne Fynn?

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  32. @Grasshopper: we had our first post matric sin 1992 …. Ettiene matriculated at KC in 89 and did post at Alex or St Charles ? Our post matric programme only lasted a few years before all schools scrapped it ….

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  33. @oldschool: Ah OK, similar to Glenwood then. They started Post Matric in about 1995 and it finished in about 1998. Initially it was only about 5 and then went up to about 10. The guys were doing UNISA as their studying bit.

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  34. @McCulleys Workshop: If the HC chap that you’re talking about finished in 1980, then he’s probably the same chap that I was talking about earlier.

    @BrotherBear: Teichmann’s brother’s son completed his matric at HC last year.

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  35. @McCulleys Workshop: it’s no secret – and I’m not sure it’s the right strategy either – bit of a dick measuring contest really. Getting big push back from the JHB schools and making Hilton look a bit silly ….

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  36. @BrotherBear: Gary does not have a son. The nephew was a pretty decent lock last year. I think I will do a bit of homework to rebut what may come out in Beet’s comprehensive review :lol:
    The problem with Hilton at the moment is that they are giving out too many mixed signals. The buck really stops with the Board and they need as with the case of GW and the TK matter to show leadership and a united front. I know several of them quite well and am sure that will be the case.

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  37. @star: I wouldn’t say mixed signals …. they have a very clear strategy which has obviously been approved by the powers that be …. receive money , apoint specialist coaches across all sports and recruit talent using old boys donations …. grade 8 9 10 and 11 …. basically a win at all costs mentality …. and in doing so , move your parameters of integrity to suit the new strategy!

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  38. @oldschool: let’s see if other schools refuse to play them now too or will there be the usual double standards. Northwood’s recruitment policy a few years back barely raised an eyebrow…I bet Glenwood would still play them….

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  39. @Grasshopper: We are playing Hilton on our OB day :lol: Great for me as I am able to do a bit of “swinging”
    @ Old School- it might be clear to you but if you asked a Hilton OB whether the schools new philosophy was “win at all costs” he would throw his ” Moet” in your face. :mrgreen: Hilton is the most expensive school in the country and to have specialist coaches should be non negotiable. A few years back Westville had Hugh (ex Sharks coach) as the 1ST team coach and the ex Dolphins coach for cricket. It was a major draw. That surely does not imply a win at all costs mentality but rather a marketing response to expectation. I am sure it is the same reason that GW have Graham Hill on their books. Aggressive recruitment practices are another issue but I am sure my ” Gentlemen” friends will come up with a suitable response in due course.

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  40. @Grasshopper: We are playing Hilton on our OB day :lol: Great for me as I am able to do a bit of “swinging”
    @ Old School- it might be clear to you but if you asked a Hilton OB whether the schools new philosophy was “win at all costs” he would throw his ” Moet” in your face. :mrgreen: Hilton is the most expensive school in the country and to have specialist coaches should be non negotiable. A few years back Westville had Hugh (ex Sharks coach) as the 1ST team coach and the ex Dolphins coach for cricket. It was a major draw. That surely does not imply a win at all costs mentality but rather a marketing response to expectation. I am sure it is the same reason that GW have Graham Hill on their books. Aggressive recruitment practices are another issue but I am sure my ” Gentlemen” friends will come up with a suitable response in due course.

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  41. @star: Yeah, will be great for you, interests on both sides. On the coaches, see Chad has dropped Graham Hill and moved to Cape Town, some new training group. Also Nantie Hayward is at Westville as a cricket consultant. Schools are getting pretty serious now…

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  42. @Grasshopper: Hopper tell me, there was a Front Row forward that played Border Schools in 1988 and he came to GW in 1989. What was his name, he was a beast.

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  43. @Bush: Greenblooded will know, his era. I only started in 92. Nic Strauss joined Glenwood in 94 from Dale College, great lock/flank/No8. I do know the 1990 props were Ivor Wynne, Lawrence Quarmby, Clinton Edwards and Paul Turnbull. 1989 Natal Schools players were D. Holmes, D. Richards and P. Senekal…

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  44. @Grasshopper:

    88 was my matric year – not sure who arrived in 89.

    Richards and Senekal were both post-matric – from my matric year. Senekal actually started a year before me – so spent 7 years at Glenwood!! Lawrence Quarmby played 2nds with me in 88. I knew Wynne and Edwards.

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  45. @oldschool: as you probably know his lighty went to Westville Senior & then Kearsney, but not heard of him at all recently. Supposed to be a big running No8 at primary school level..

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  46. @GreenBlooded: Classic! My dad reckoned Barker at DHS was there about 7 years too! Dom Sjunka was the big prop of 91…maybe played lock too, he ended up owning 80’s and bouncing there playing Collegians 1st team. Watched him buckle a few props in his time…beast!

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  47. @Grasshopper:

    Yes – I knew ou Dom. His older brother Peter played 1st or 2nd – a few years ahead of me. His middle boet Chris and I were in the same class and good mates. He wasn’t much of a rugby player though – they lived in MacDonald Rd opposite the Jnr Primary. We used to go to his house at break for a smoke….. :mrgreen: :roll:

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  48. Where’s old Gungets ? Heard Lwandiswa Zuma interviewed by David O Sullivan this evening. Impressive youngster and 21 wickets in 6 first class matches!! Hope he stays fit – Proteas fast bowling stocks look healthy. Rabada, Ngidi, Zuma, Olivier – diamonds!!

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  49. Heh @GreenBlooded: think I may have asked you this before but:
    Were you part of the squad at Saints Week in 88?
    Were you in the swimming team in 88?
    Do you remember Craig Elgar/Edgar?

    If true for a or b we may have crossed paths – albeit briefly!!!

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  50. It is quite interesting to read that a few schools had their own “Post Matric” system running. So what was the big hang up about HC, House and various other schools officially having Post Matric????? What really pissed everybody off????

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  51. @Playa: 94 was a good side if I remember correctly. Also had Mike Burgess. My mate captained the side. Dave Beckley then moved up to PMB and and did a post in 95′

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  52. @Slam: Yeah the 94 side was unbeaten at Craven Week.Didnt make the final though.Michael Burgess then captained Dale and Border in 95.Awesome talent.Career ended tragically with a boken let while playing for Natal under 21.

    @Bush: How did I forget Like Smith and Mark Andrews being in that 90 side.
    Interesting question re post matrics

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  53. @Bush: these other, mostly Gov schools, kept getting pulverized for years so started to try and counter it to a degree. I think College had it for about 2 years, 95 & 96. Glenwood 95,96 & 97. Hilton & House had it for years, that is the difference. That Grey Bloem House side with Herkie Kruger was the straw that broke the camels back….just ridiculous…

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  54. @Playa: gosh, didn’t realise Mark Andrews was only 44. Seems like he has been retired for a decade. I know he was an excellent polo player too…

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  55. @Grasshopper: Reading above the Gov Schools had “Post Matric” in the 80’s and 90’s. Officially the Post Matric thing started in 92-98. Surely guys weren’t that doff and had to truely repeat Standards over and over. It’s like HC and House announced that they had Post Matric but everybody else just kept quite.

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  56. @Grasshopper:

    College had it for way longer than that. Well into the 00’s. Hilton actually did away with post-matric a few years before College, Kearsney and MHS. Of course the rules were changed in ’01 such that post-matrics had to be u18 to play 1st XV.
    Kearsney had plenty of sides stacked with post-matrics but MHS set the standard for imports.

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  57. @SJ: interesting, but rules are now can play as under 19 but can only make Craven Week as under18. I think that’s fair maybe with a cap of 5 under19’s max. I remember a Noord Kaap side of a few years back with 8 or 9 under19’s, crazy! I do remember in my time Rudi de Vry doing post at College in 96 & Luke Lotriet from College going to House, I think it was.

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  58. @Grasshopper: What’s the story?

    It’s a great read and certainly the advent of professionalism in school rugby a concern for many of us, along with the parent, teacher old boy ego that is attached to it, as he so aptly describes. Neil’s a great guy and was an amazing educationalist and headmaster.

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  59. @Slam: And can you believe he came to House from Kearsney. He was Captain of SA Schools. Great rugby player.

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  60. @SJ: Kearsney only had a post matric programme that lasted eight years , which teams were stacked with post matrics ?

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  61. @Grasshopper: Great read and as McCulleys says a great headmaster. There was not one person’s name that he could not remember.( A great skill in engagement) I am actually interested in his comments about when he arrived at House in 1978 as my brother was a postmatric in 1979 and he was certainly not brought although the Hilton OBs were up in absolute arms , He also mentions that a Hilton OB was in communication with an All Black star to coach the Hilton 1st team. Well if that star was Murray Mexted then I can debunk that right now. Murray worked for my old man and in 1982 while I was a postmatric ( also not brought :lol: ) he organised for him to spend some time with the 1st team. The Hilton coaches were maybe a bit threatened and Murray spent most of his time in the pavilion.( Neil might have heard through the grape vine and based his conclusions on that)

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  62. @star: if it did maybe the privates were sick of playing the ‘druipers’ at the Gov schools like Barker. I also heard La Marque was 19 in matric. Over time these sorts of ‘druipers’ reduced at Gov schools and the privates then gained the advantage….? Just a theory…

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  63. I actually don’t have a problem with Post matric, but with an age cap eg Under19. I was 17 when I left matric so maybe an extra year would have helped me sports-wise, better chance of playing 1st team as my classmates were mostly 6 months to a year older than me.

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  64. @Grasshopper: I think it started before 79, @Meadows may be able to help with the exact date.

    There is no doubting that certain talented sportsmen remained for a post Matric, often appointed as school prefects, 1st rugby and cricket captain etc, and that there was the addition of talented sportsman who came just for a post matric. In my Matric year we had 3 post matrics in our first side. I remember in Bush’s Year house beating college, on Goldstones, and the ensuing outcry in the stands “red white grey” with what was assumed to be 8 post matrics in the side. Bush can tell you how many posts their were and how many of them only came for a post. In my opinion, that side, along with the controversial 99 side which had 4/5 imported post Matric of which 2 had played craven week the previous year for FS, were the best sides house has produced, along with 07/08 and 2015. My point is that House has produced some very competitive sides since the post Matric era. As an aside Hilton refused the return game against us in 99 due to our post Matric acquisition strategy.
    I don’t think the wheel of professionalism in school boy rugby can be reversed, those schools who are opposed to it or who have elected a different focus, will just steer clear of playing the schools that have adopted it.

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  65. @oldschool: “loads” was slightly hyperbolic but 2001 sticks out for one. They were all u18 that year though. No issues with it, it was a response to Grasshopper saying he can’t remember Kearsney having any other than EF.

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  66. @SJ: didn’t Fergus Pringle do a Post Toastie, as it was affectionately known as back then?

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  67. @beet: Interesting new title story to this thread.
    I can only assume that Ducasse had a difference of opinion with the Board on the issue of professionalism and player acquisition. Hence Ducasse is no more after 4 years as head. I think Hops can expect to see GW back in favor.

    What’s very interesting is that the letter from the 11 schools had a significant bearing on the Hilton powers, not.

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  68. @star: Ya, that’s true, both had played CW the previous year, but Nick was out most of the year with a broken leg.

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  69. Who are the 11 Gauteng schools who signed the letter? I find it so weird in these modern times for letters to still be sent…

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  70. @SJ: no worries ! that 2001 side was captained by Matt Stevens I think ? he was 19 in matric though …..

    @star: got nothing against bringing in specialised coaches if its limited to say the 1stXV or 1stXI , however , as a traditionalist I still believe keeping your school masters as coaches , as I feel that if we are to continue attracting great teachers to our schools they need to feel that they have the opportunity to coach at the highest levels , as many of our male teachers have a passion for sport and a huge part of the enjoyment in their chosen profession is the coaching aspect of it ….. I don’t think it has got to this point yet , but we need to be aware that if all schools follow suit , we may see a decline in male teachers …..

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  71. @Rugbymal: ah Glenwood doesn’t really play Gauteng schools, well English schools, unfortunately. We only really play Monnas, EG Jansen & Affies up that way. Menlo added this year. I would love to see Glenwood play more Gauteng English schools like previously. We used to have an annual derby with St Stithians I believe. Jeppe, KES or PBHS would be awesome.

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  72. @Rugbymal: also, I believe Glenwood’s recruitment has tapered off a bit, focused more on the grade 8 intake. I Stand to be corrected though as I’m not in the weeds of it…

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  73. @Grasshopper: Also understand that recruitment is focused on the Gr8’s. Glenwood’s U14 team 2017 will not disappoint with Dean Sibson coaching them

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  74. @McCulleys Workshop: If my memory serves my correctly , there were 3 regular members of Bush’s 1991 team that were post matrics who came for the year only. One came from St Stithians, there was Bush ( who came from the bush ! ) and one came from Australia. ( there was one other , who was on exchange for the year from Monmouth in Whales , but he was not a regular in the team )

    There were also the post matrics who had spent their whole schooling career at MHS , namely Davidson and Zungu ( captained the KZN team that year ).

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  75. @McCulleys Workshop: Harvey was brilliant. Correct , he played Aus schools the previous year.

    I matriculated in 1990, so Bush arrived after I had left , a few of my mates did post matric that year so I got to know him through them. He was a tough as nails ( and a pretty decent rugby player and cricketer ). I see that his son is a regular in the 1st X1 cricket team this year.

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  76. @Buddy: old Sibson, still there? Decent player himself. Do you know what the grade 8 intake is like? Numbers?

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  77. @BoishaaiPa: But he can be if you want him to be.
    He’s now responsible for Pilates Classes at the sisters of mercy in between playing rugby for Toti and rolling …
    His bakkie.

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  78. @Far Meadows: Don’t make him sound too good, you’ll mess with his rep. His son is playing his second year 1st xi.

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  79. @Far Meadows: shot …. I played against that’s side … I thought that Stu Butcher was very unlucky not to make Natal Schools , him and Ross Saayman from Westville were stand out loose forwards and didn’t make it …,

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  80. @oldschool: Stu Butcher was unlucky , Guy Manson-Bishop from DHS had made the side the previous year in Std9 , so they were never going to leave him out.

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  81. @Far Meadows: That year was the best year of my life. If there was one year to relive it would be that year not including the loss to HC?. Ground Hog Day. House is an amazining school. My son is loving his time at the school.

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  82. @Bush: at 250k a year I could stay at Granny Mouse for the year in luxury, it must have been great!

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  83. @Far Meadows: stuff the original Mad Dog – I want to know who the original art teacher was who got it on with the original Rambo :twisted: :wink:

    My House mates from that era tell me she did exist!

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  84. @Grasshopper: if I could guess I would say the 11 schools are:

    Saints
    St Johns
    St Albans
    KES
    Jeppe
    PBHS
    St Benedicts
    St Davids
    Parktown
    Helpmekaar
    Affies

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  85. @Roger: Your “old” se ma se pension man.

    I’m here, just don’t feel obliged to “claim”. Some things speak for themselves.

    About Hilton, well. While I agree that parents of boys displaced by the hired guns might be ticked off, I reckon the buying for wins is supported by a lot of the parents. Let’s face it, you can’t be taking a bun from the plebs hey, just won’t do. Publicly running away was way too humiliating and the writing was on the wall for ou Ducasse immediately.

    But the boys will feel very differently. They aren’t different to any other kid who’s disappointed for himself and his mates. A new grade 12 boy might not find an open arms welcome. I wonder if the KZN schools will allow him to play?

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  86. @Far Meadows: During the final trials Possible vs Probables Manson-Bishop withdrew himself from the trials on the day at Woodburn. I thought that was very poor of him, as it didn’t give the next guy a chance at all. Stu was a machine, great all round sportsman and a great bloke.

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  87. @oldschool: Ross what a top class bloke, overrated rugby player :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
    He was a great flanker almost as good as the German Milling Machine from Westville Dieter

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  88. @Roger:

    No. Only played 2nds. Didn’t go to Saints.

    Hell No! I was useless in water.

    Craig Edgar – remember him well. Good bloke. Played 2nds with me and in many of my classes.

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  89. @Roger: I think you can exclude Affies since it is an Afrikaans meduim school and the boys struggle a bit to speat the english tale deliciously.

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  90. A little late into this – but I spoke a while back with a senior staffer at St Davids who raised his unhappiness with both Privates in the Midlands.

    Apparently their good hockey boys get approached after all numbers are decided (so school term has already – or is about to start) – and parents are offered a rate in the Midlands for the same (or slightly lower) than they are paying in Jozi.

    Of course with all the marketing and prestige bumf that goes with such an offer. So not a full scholarship – but a discounted fee for the boys to board.

    this has been going on for a few years already – and not an isolated incident. Parents are woo’ed by the names and opportunity for little Johnny to be out of Gauteng and regular weekends down in the Midlands – sounds like a good wicket for the parents – but frustrating the GP schools no end.

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  91. @Rugger fan: I stand to be corrected but only the major scholarships are full scholarships, which applies to 2 or 3 kids in total. I agree it’s a minefield.

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  92. @Bush: off topic, found a few old brochures, not as far back as 91 though. House 1993 team;

    Homer
    Frey
    McGhee
    W Smith
    Witherspoon
    Koza
    Wilson
    Collins
    Davidson
    Knight
    Macquet
    Bluett
    Pitts
    Band
    Bold

    1991 game write up (04/051991 – Home) – losing against Michaelhouse was no disgrace. The Glenwood side, outgunned in most departments, never gave up. It was a notable performance against what was probably the strongest side in Natal. Lost 9-15. Glenwood lost 10-13 to Hilton that year, but beat DHS & College. Lost heavily to Dale 9-38 in the 1st game of the season then lost 17-21 to Queens. It must have been an Easter festival.

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  93. College 1995 team, for me the best KZN team I have ever seen play;

    A Steele
    G Van Vuuren
    G Appleford
    D Beckley
    R Wilson
    Z Aszalos
    T Botha
    Richard Kelly (absolute freak)
    Peter Dixon
    K Coertze
    L Lotriet
    M Malherbe
    Trevor Boynton
    D Galtrey
    G Laue

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  94. @Bush: the guys said you were a decent cricketer too, do you remember guys like Duncan Turner, Greg Nicol, Gareth Madsen, Shane Morrow, Lyndon Millard, Garth Marnoch, Michael Mallet etc? Shane Morrow ended up captaining SA Schools hockey & Greg Nicol ended up being one of SA’s best hockey players of all time…

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  95. @Grasshopper: Hey Hopper my best buddy. I remember Nicol, his dad I think was a teacher at Richmond Primary. Look those are tall stories of me been a cricketer. I played most my games in the 2nd team. I felt terribly sorry for Greg Nicol and that SA team that had qualified for the Olympic Games and they never went. A few of those guys gave up hockey.
    That 1991 game against GW was tough. Only sad part was the GW parents didn’t enjoy the loss and called us the Balgowan u20 side.
    That 93 side was a great side. Simon Bold I have no idea how that chap never went to greater things. He was about 5m tall and had great ball skills. 1991 House 2nd team the best lock combination Simon Bold and Hayden Pooke. Hayden played for Collegians. That 2nd team of 1991 was unbeaten quite incredible.

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  96. @Bush: yeah, I think Greg is now coaching the NZ ladies side, gave up on SA hockey. Haha! The midlands derby must have been super close! Hilton sounded strong too.

    Yeah I remember Pooke at Collegians. I was called in for under20 trials, BJ Botha was too, he was training with the 1st side. I just wasn’t up to the pace of the game at No8, so ended up in the B side at lock. After 1 season I then played Varsity Under21a with Toppy as the coach. I then moved to Westville and played 1 season 1st team. Major injury stopped me playing at 22.

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  97. @Grasshopper: That ’91 Dale side was strong…lost 1 game to Selborne and drew with Grey PE. Beat Boishaai 24-3,Maritzburg 13-9,Hilton 31-7,SACS,St Andrews,Wynberg,Glenwood and doubled Queens.They came off the back of the unbeaten 1990 team so they weren’t Mickey Mouse.

    That College 95 team made half of Dale Junior want to go to College.

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  98. @Playa: it must have been strong with those results. Funny enough Glenwood played Grey PE that year too; here is the write up;

    This was a marvelous game of rugby. Played at 9:00 o’clock in the morning, it lacked the pre-match tension, build-up and nonsense of later games. Both sides played with abandon & although we win the try count 2-1 we lost the game. But who cares?! The game was a lot more enjoyable and worthwhile than many that we’ve won. Lost 10-15.

    A typical Toppy write up ?

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  99. @Playa: 1991 was also the end of an era at Glenwood, the Baronet era. Firstly Dennis Baronet who played SA Schools rugby at centre in the early 80’s then his brother Trevor who held 11 sprint records at the school leaving. I think 8 of those records still stand. His Open 100m record of 10.64 on grass still stands. Trevor played in the 1st team rugby too…

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  100. @Playa: those games vs Dale & Queens were at the Dale 100 years of rugby celebration tournament in KWT. Toppy reckons the Selborne vs College opener was the game of the tournament…

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  101. @Grasshopper: Wouldn’t grass be a performance enhancing drug?????. No wonder his time was so amazing.
    Quiet sad his sister was married to the College Old Boy that was murdered in that home invasion in Toti. I’ve met Dennis a few times, hell of a character.

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  102. @Playa: I think Selborne won as Toppy went on to say;

    Magnificent hosting and organisation, plus the unbelievably good display of running schoolboy rugby put on by Selborne in their opening game against College were the highlights of this excellent festival. Although none of the five Natal Schools participating received any ‘Easter Eggs’, all greatly enjoyed the week and our thanks and congratulations are extended to Dale College on a fine effort.

    It really enlightening reading an English teacher explain the season. Even back then he was concerned about the modern game, what he called ‘direct rugby’.

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  103. @Bush: Bush , that ’91cricket side was quite handy with the likes of Dale Benkenstein , Craig Sugden, Lloyd Ferriera, Kipper Kerr, Greg George , Craig Fellowes , Andrew Gettliffe etc.

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  104. @star: I’m surprised Toti old boy Clyde Rathbone wasn’t enticed into a Post Matric year…

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  105. @Far Meadows: Yes it was a great side, I think 3 SA Schools players that year. Benks, Suggers and Lloyd. They all went on to play Provincial and higher after school. Great sportsmen.

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  106. @star: Hi Star, no not even close to been a bought scholar. I had this opportunity presented to me by the community of Ixopo. Which was an opportunity of a life time. They banned together to send me to do a Post Matric at House. I think some members are still paying off their bonds. As they say the rest is History. If House opened the doors for Post Matric I would apply again for myself?????

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  107. @Bush: I had a great year as well. It was also the first time Hilton had girls at the school and they stayed in the Annex to the headmaster’s house. Myself and a good mate(Dave Pfaff) decided to visit them after hours which was punishable with 40 lashes. Our time was interrupted by the head and we ended up under the beds while he pontificated about what would happen if any boys were found in the room. If felt like he knew we were there and he was talking directly to us.The only other time I almost got expelled was in Junior school when I took live bullets to exchange for marbles. :lol:

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  108. @star: Our biggest Motto while at the BE. Do what you can-don’t get caught. If you are, it had better be worth it. Sort of sums up life. Take the risk and enjoy it.

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  109. @star: Eish we were close but not that close. When the matron of school started to look hot, it was time to go home??. Or visit Black “Shag” Stag in PMB

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  110. @Bush: That’s a very cool story. Do you still visit Ixopo? Maybe one day you can help pay it forward?

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  111. @Vleis: The Ixopo OB’s thing died many years ago. I try and pay it forward in other ways and with other kids sort of in my position.

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  112. @Bush: Please don’t tell me you’re an Ixopo high boy. If you were, depending on when, you’ll know my in-laws, and my missus. But I think they might have been ahead of you.

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  113. @Bush: I have a mate I’ve known all my life who went to Ixopo. He was in the matric class of your 10 year reunion. While the rest of us were gunning for the boys’ schools (Dale, Queens, Graeme ect) in the early 90s he chose to go to Woods Prep, then headed to Ixopo for high school.

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  114. @Bush: Like I said, perhaps a little ahead of you. Farmers in Highflats, surname Austin. My brother in law went to College though. The 3 girls are all Ixopo. I’ve obviously a lot of mates from there and from Creighton.

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  115. @Gungets Tuft: The only Austin I know is Bertie Austin who did a Post Matric at Hilton from College. The Roseaveares, Coles from Highflats then the Mundells and Eaglestones from Creighton. Flip you an old toppie???That area and community unbelievable.
    You must know Flinky Dreyer.

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  116. @Bush:

    Norman and Wallace Roseveare – a generation older than me – distant relative via marriage not blood. Have a holiday mansion a Pennington. Or maybe had. Don’t even know if they are still alive. They would probably be in their 80’s if still alive. Might be the same family though……..

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  117. @Bush: In 1982 we ( Hilton) lost to Ixopo. Respect. Still trying to gain access to the Creighton Classic. Any contacts. :lol:

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  118. @star: I played a few of those Creighton Classic myself. The last I heard the Creighton Golf Course closed down. I think that team of 1982 had Dave McNicol playing on the flank. Absolute animal.

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  119. @Bush: Flinky’s son was in my boys dorm for 2 years till he left College. His sister is married to a good Creighton friend. Know all those people, Linda E was a good friend of my wife. Knew the Roseveares. Wallace died not too long ago, maybe early last year.

    It is a brilliant spot Creighton, we go there often. Very good friends have a dairy farm there. He’s a 3rd generation farmer and his wife’s dad was in the forestry business there.

    1982 would have been around when Plank Atherton was there, or maybe he’d left already?

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  120. @GreenBlooded: You are correct, they have a son Charles. His son is at Kearsney College. If my memory serves me correct they have 3 boys. Donald, Trevor and Charles.

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  121. @Gungets Tuft: Small world we live in :wink: Bruce E was in Matric when I was in Std 6. From Creighton you have Hayden Stokes a very successful diary farmer, Hilton Old Boy. Russel Leahy played craven week also from Hilton. We were spoilt growing up there.

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  122. @Bush: We may have unknowingly had a pot or two at the same location when the Creighton Hotel was still a spot to go, or at the club at a Blarney concert. You never know.

    My Creighton farmer mate and Hayden or good mates. In Creighton everyone is friendly.

    My wife and her two best friends were at Ixopo from Grade 1, more than 40 years later they don’t go a week without chatting and we all go away at least once a year together.

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  123. @Bush: I have very close family friends from Richmond, maybe not close enough for you to know. The kids are all fluent in IsiZulu…

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  124. @Gungets Tuft: Could have, we use to catch the police van when it did it’s run to Creighton. Have a opskop in Creighton then catch the van back in the morning.
    You can’t beat those communities.

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  125. @Gungets Tuft: I don’t do Facebook but there is a Facebook Page-Ixopo High School Reunited. You must tell your wife to join if she’s not on the page already.

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  126. @Bush: Yeah, they’re all on there. Had a reunion at Valhalla a few years ago, more than 1/2 their matric year was there, came from UK, USA, Aus, New Zealand, Canada.

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  127. @Grasshopper: WJ Ward his dad was the war hero. You will know them, they lived on the Bluff. We became good friends in the army and ended up playing Eastern Transvaal together.

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  128. With all this moaning, it sounds like the old womens knitting or bridge playing clubs. The question I have is this. Would the players be poached from schools if they were happy there? Rather than complaining, the schools where players are poached, should rather make an effort to get their own houses in order. I cannot recall when last, if ever, a GCB player was poached (not talking about post matrics) or one from VREDE, for that matter. But then again, as it was suggested here recently, if GCB is the only school in Bloemfontein which plays rugby, then, by the same token, perhaps Hilton now seriously wants to introduce schoolboy rugby into KZN?

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  129. @BOG: All respect – but for a Grade 8 or 9 boy – being happy and staying at a school is not really his call – probably the parents.

    And being woo’ed to a school like the 2 privates in the Midlands with the “mystique and tradition” is a very tempting offer (even for the boy).

    So I personally do not believe it is only about unhappy chaps moving to a new school that suits them better.

    I believe it is a focused marketing approach that is working well and getting the desired results for the schools involved. As a parent I’d certainly serious consider a Midlands education with all the bells and whistles attached.

    2 great schools – so no worries about that – and I’m sure as a boy – if I was happy at St Johns or St Davids – I’d probably fit and be happy in the Midlands too.

    So I do think the Gauteng schools have a good case – but then again – as you say BOG – its a free world and the parents and boys are actually free to move anywhere for the perceived value and bang for their buck.

    My final comment is that no school is Lilly white on this poaching story (or drugs, or parent conduct or ……) – so be careful about throwing stones because every school is likely to end up on the receiving end of a “bad news” story sooner or later.

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  130. @Rugger fan: agreed, it’s like a bursary to Oxford or Cambridge, hard to turn down. We all know in life it’s sometimes who you know rather than what you know. Being in the private school ‘network’ opens many doors. I certainly wouldn’t say no if it was my son, even if he was at Grey Bloem or any other school in SA.

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  131. @Rugger fan: @Grasshopper: In my opinion, lots of the poaching of schoolboys is less than ideal, however as stated by Riempies on the Noordvaal thread, parents get to choose whether they apply and/or accept the bursary, and all it’s entrapments and or benefits. If the contract is performance based and Jonny loses the bursary after a poor u14 year, it’s tough. Even worse if he loses it in grade 12 and has to change schools because of costs, and the schools in the area don’t offer the same subject streams, it’s tough. Educated and uneducated parents have the right to choose and receive the benefits or suffer the consequences of a failed move. What level of poaching is acceptable will never be agreed and can only be regulated at a government or sports body level which will never happen either. From what I’ve seen historically, this happens in waives as schools try to bolster their marketability and then generally suffer some fall out, and revert to the median. This is never a cheap option for a school and not easily sustainable financially.

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  132. @Grasshopper: I challenge you on that. Its very unlikely- probably impossible, that you would entice a Grey boy to transfer to ANY other school, including one in the Midlands. Perhaps if you catch him in his first week. And the past is proof of that. And the less I say about the “network”, the better.

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  133. @BOG: dude, have you been to House or Hilton? No other school can match their facilities, not even Kearsney or Bishops. No other school could match the location either. It’s sounds like Grey do some hypnotherapy with boys after a week there. I have only seen two schools in the UK similar to them. Kearsney, House & Hilton for me are top three schools in SA, SACS the best Gov school with Grey Bloem 2nd.

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  134. @Grasshopper:

    Hops – I’ve been to all of them and I honestly can’t imagine a boy established at Grey giving it up for anything. Facilities are one thing. The tradition that goes with Grey would trump it for me.

    I went to one primary school and one high school. My boys – the same. To move schools would need a very compelling reason for me. And money just isn’t it. I do agree that House or Hilton (OK maybe not Hilton :mrgreen: ) would be worth it from the beginning of it was an option – but I certainly wouldn’t move there…..

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  135. @GreenBlooded: maybe, but it’s not as if Hilton and House are one of these new age private schools popping up everywhere. Hilton established in 1872 & House in 1896, both have plenty of tradition. Yes Grey has far more success on the sports field & international sportsman, but with far larger numbers. House & Hilton both write the IEB so that would be the main difference for me.

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  136. @GreenBlooded: I agree. Walking around Grey College certainly gives you a sense of history. There are aspects of Grey which give me pause, you know what those are.

    As for Hilton or House, Michaelhouse would have been a very serious consideration had our family not had the College history – nothing could match that, with your lightie sleeping in the same dorm as his great grandfather. I like the ethos of House, we’ve had this discussion too. Hilton leaves me stone cold.

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  137. @Gungets Tuft: agree on the ‘feeling’ at Grey, also prefer House to Hilton, just seems friendlier. Kearsney is brewing something special too. The Joburg privates just lack that history for me.

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  138. @Bush: It’s hard to extract the bratwurst from bratwurstville. Just don’t swap it for polony.

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  139. As a former student at Hilton, I have my fair share of criticisms of the place, but some of the criticisms I see here aren’t fair.

    In terms of history, culture and tradition, there aren’t too many schools that can outshine Hilton. In fact, most of my problems with Hilton lie with its over-reliance on its tradition and, consequently, reluctance to move forward with the times.

    Regarding this poaching phenomena, I don’t think you guys fully understand the marketing value that a good rugby team has. A nice campus and education is great, parents love that stuff, but nowadays that isn’t really a source of competitive advantage; but a really good rugby team and sports atmosphere plays a huge role in a boy’s final decision.

    I remember a few years ago, we played Kearsney at Kearsney on their Open Day. Their SA Schools centre Sandile Kubeka and the Du Preez twins absolutely tore us to shreds. Any boy witnessing that would choose Kearsney over Hilton, simple as that. When boys debate which school is better, they say “our rugby team is better than yours” rather than “we got more distinctions than you”

    This year, Hilton has a new Headmaster and Director of Sport, and it’s great to finally see them taking steps to move with the times. I understand the accusations of hypocrisy, but Ducasse really was against this whole investing in rugby students thing, but he was under a lot of pressure. When the Kriel twins were in U16, they wanted to come to join Calvin Smith at Hilton, but Ducasse was against it.

    The problem is getting the right players who can adapt best to the environment. From what I’m hearing from the boys, one of the Helpmekaar boys is quite arrogant, refuses to speak English and is rubbing the boys the wrong way. So in this case, is taking a boy from an environment like Helpmekaar most likely to the best fit for an environment like Hilton? Probably not. So if this the approach that Hilton wants to take, they’re going to have to invest in some onboarding programs to reduce any friction.

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  140. @RuggaZ: jong, w.r.t. the boy not wanting to speak English, maybe the stiff upper lip English is a bit tough to understand, what, what.
    “Julle engelse” is mos very good with the assimilation thing. We “Afrikaners” need to work very hard at the “group think” idea – does not come naturally. Be patient with the boy. Rugby players are supposed to have a bit of GRUNT.

    Would be interesting to understand your view on difference between Hilton and Helpmekaar “environments”, or maybe not. I cannot comment on the Hilton “environment” and unless you are really close to Helpies, your comments will probably be hearsay and at best speculation.

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  141. @RuggaZ: it’s the hypocrisy of it all, saying one school is too professional to play but then have a professional coach & poached players. Hilton could have started with a concerted effort at the grade 8 intake only. To bring an Afrikaans kid into an English school is just wrong. People will say Glenwood did that, but Glenwood has always had an Afrikaans home language intake both for day boys & boarders. The Bluff, a feeder area, is very Afrikaans. The Bluff used to have two large Afrikaans schools in Dirkie Uys & Andries Pretorius, both no longer & Port Natal & Gelofte have dwindled in size. Sporty Durban Afrikaans boys go to Glenwood, so boys coming from Pretoria can fit in quicker.

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  142. @Grasshopper: WTF has Glenwood gotta do with the top heading. Jeez oke, you just can’t help yourself can you?

    It’s always about Glenwood this and Glenwood that.

    Find a new hobby brother, get a real job but jeez spend less time telling us about *** in Umbilo!!!!

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  143. @BrotherBear: My son found the cultural differences too much for him in a similar situation back in grade 8 and moved on to a school where he thought he would fit in better and it made a world of difference to the kid who was suddenly smiling again after a miserable previous year. Its not so much which school is the best (to us) but rather which school is best for the growing child. Be that as it may with Hilton getting some quality rugby players in, I just hope they have a suitable program in place to make these boys feel at home and fit into their way of doing things.

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  144. @BrotherBear: Helpies is a great school , great athletics , great rugby and even better academics …. I cant see how a boer seun would leave there , especially a good sportsman , to go to a soutie school ….. unless the offer included free schooling , VIP parking , weekly flights , luxury accomadation every weekend for Parents and ouma en oupa , dedicated physio , *** *** every Saturday night and a wardrobe of pink polo shirts to help fit in at the Hilton MHS ……

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  145. @RuggaZ: The Kriels would have been u16 around about 2010, when Thomson was the Hilton headmaster. I fondly remember the kind words Ron Jury, the former College headmaster said about Thomson at the staff gathering after the latter’s last rugby/hockey interschools day at College. Mr Jury always struck me as kind man so I could have been mistaken but there seemed like great mutual respect built up over time between the two gentlemen. Although the twins wanting to move from MC to HC seems far-fetched to believe, Based on the relationship I’d like to think that Thomson would have had a troubled time even entertaining such a suggestion. But it was a period during which several top players joined HC from other KZN schools and also when BMH first got appointed as what was alleged to be a seven figure earning coach but never verified.

    The circumstances that led to the 11 schools letter and the appointment of a few pro coaches must have all been concluded while Ducasse was in his final year of 2016, so without knowing the behind the scenes goings on, it is hard to absolve him of a part in what has transpired.

    I think in any top school anywhere in SA there is an ongoing battle between the teachers of the different facilties/departments and those heading up mainstream school sports. Sports like rugby can generate a lot of negativity in the staff-room because of perceived preferential treatment. It always helps to have levelheaded headmaster and heads of department that work towards a good balance.

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  146. @BrotherBear: Of course, no offence was meant from that comment and I apologise if that was the impression I gave. I was speculating purely on what I was hearing. I have no knowledge of the Helpmekaar boys, and I have no comprehensive knowledge of the environment at Helpmekaar. I don’t have a single negative word to say about the school.

    If an English Hilton boy went to Helpmekaar, I can confidently say he would also struggle to assimilate. That’s why I said that Hilton must invest in an onboarding programs to help new members of the community to integrate and familiarise themselves with a new environment. That said, I absolutely can’t wait for the Hilton/MHS games this year.

    @Grasshopper: I agree it is very hypocritical, but I think it should be noted that it’s an entirely new leadership this year. I don’t think it’s fair that the new leaders be criticised by comments the past leader made. There has been a lot of pressure by Old Boys (the ‘network’) to get the rugby team performing, at any cost, and I think that’s what has supported this decision.

    Regarding the new boys, when you’re a new rugby player, you’re almost a celebrity, so they will definitely settle in eventually and they will enjoy their time at Hilton. I can’t think of anyone who joined Hilton and had to leave because they weren’t happy there.

    @Quagga: Not a chance, we’ll all be screaming his name when he scores tries and puts in big hits for The White. :lol:

    @beet: I agree, Thomson seemed to be generally well-liked by his colleagues, and the KZN community as a whole. Of all the Hilton headmasters we’ve had since Lovatt, he would probably be the most liked. Regarding the twins, the captain of the Grant Khomo team then was a Hilton boy, and if those close to him said that’s what the twins told him, I’m inclined to believe him because he was definitely not the kind of guy to peddle lies.

    But for every boy who wanted to come to Hilton, there were some that didn’t. I remember that Hilton wanted to get either Stapelberg from Framesby or Radebe from Saints. Stapelberg was the preference because he was a good cricketer too, but for some reason that didn’t materialise. Radebe came to look around Hilton on a typical, misty and rainy day in the Midlands. If I came to look around Hilton on a day like that, I certainly wouldn’t have left my school to go there.

    Regarding the politics and the preferential treatment rugby got, that was one of my problems with Hilton. It was a big debate, not only in the staff-room, but amongst the boys as well. If you’re a soccer player, for example, you will have no support.

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  147. @RuggaZ: good point, so hopefully the new management decide to reignite rugby with an old traditional rival in Glenwood, played since 1911, even if it’s a stagger after A vs A to ensure its competitive. The current Glenwood boys are missing something special playing on Gilfillan vs the boys in white. I’m sure Bob Skinstad, Hentie Maartens, Wayne Fyvie & Gary T would like that too.

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  148. Jis, I’ve been away for a few weeks and this is what is cutting. What’s with these Private Schools gooing money around like peanuts you feed the squirrels in Central Park. Just catching up it looks like Hopper is going to get a Woody if GW play this Private very expensive (most expensive nogal) Hilton
    Maybe there will be more comedians on the blog now I’m back.

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  149. @GOB: Or I’m sure I will hear on the Blog from Grasshopper. I hope you will still be GW’s Buddy when the complete school comes 2nd to all the STIFF opposition they are going to face. Host families going to have to keep all doors locked or the Silver Spoons are going to be missing.

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  150. @RuggaZ: Dan and Jesse matriculated in 2012, they were U16 in 2010. Ducasse became headmaster in 2013.

    I’m calling BS. Dan and Jesse had offers from the usual suspects, they were College boys.

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  151. @RuggaZ: @RuggaZ: Dan and Jesse matriculated in 2012, they were U16 in 2010. Ducasse became headmaster in 2013.

    I’m calling BS. Dan and Jesse had offers from the usual suspects, they were College boys.

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  152. As a Northwood supporter I can understand the need for improved 1st team rugby results! No matter how good other aspects of the school are – if your rugby is seen to be weak, it impacts severely on the image of the whole school.

    Difficult to play catch up without the right calibre of player. Schools have no choice now but to look outside of KZN and even SA. Its a vicious cycle.

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  153. I suppose if you have a top line coach he will need the necessary tools to do the job. The problem I have got is the possible push back. House has by far the biggest war chest in SA. What if their OB’s want the school to flex their muscles( especially after a few big defeats against Hilton).Where does it all end. It is all about balance and boundaries. GW pushed those with the various “gates” but seem to have settled on a more reasonable stance. As with Trump, there are interesting times ahead. :roll:

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  154. @star: I think most schools have had a ‘gate’ of some sort, although College & House seemed to have been relatively clean. I think if schools could have a proper open & transparent agreement to cease poaching past grade 10 most will live with it. The genuine family moves are tougher to police. Although if the boy is staying in a BE that is an obvious non family move.

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  155. @Gungets Tuft: I may have mixed up my headmasters. But the captain of their Grant Khomo team was a Hilton boy, and my classmate, so whether you believe it or not, it’s true. Or he lied, which I highly doubt. Whether they meant it or not, is another story.

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  156. @star: Agreed. It becomes a real war, but boundaries become blurred when you have to produce results. As Grasshopper said, maybe no poaching past Grade 10? not sure. How could you stop a family or boy choosing to move to another school?

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  157. @Bush: Well, I have news for you. GCB produced their first German international, either last year or year before- Adriaan Thessinger, that great number 8 in the 2007 side. Where do you say, is that settlement? All the Germans or even their descendants, have left the original German settlement areas in SA- Stutterheim, Dohne, Berlin in the EC. Those places have been destroyed by a force far more lethal than a nuclear device.

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  158. @Grasshopper: Have you seen the facilities at GCB? They dont have good surfing conditions, but the rest, compares with the best available, where the modern blends well with the traditional. If you have sat through some hall sessions in the historic Reunion hall, filled with all the memorabilia , its unlikely that they will leave- unless their parents move. I remember watching the funeral of Hansie, but noticing the visitors wondering eyes. They were clearly in awe by their surroundings. Those beams in the hall, are solid stink wood beams. And remember, GCB is in a unique situation. It is funded by government insofar as the teachers are government paid, but the assets, are all privately owned,(The Jock Meiring Trust) which includes the 62 hectares in the centre of Bloem. Im not sure if there is any other school in SA which is in a similar situation.

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  159. @BOG:

    I doubt all the teachers are government paid. As far as I know, it is a staff member (including headmaster, secretary, ground staff etc) per 45 pupils – so the teacher pupil ratio is probably closer to 50. Hence governing body posts are required to keep the class numbers down.

    In the case of Grey which owns it’s assets, it begs the question as to why the governing body doesn’t tell the government to “gaan kak in die mielies” and go it alone as a private school? I’ve heard that Grey have the lowest fees in the country for comparable schools – funded by profit generating businesses such as service stations etc. That could carry on and keep the fees down.

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  160. @BOG: yep I have been a few times, it’s an amazing school, hence why I say with SACS is the best gov school in the country. BUT really it can’t touch House or Hilton for location & sheer opulence/money. I mean I remember seeing parents arriving by helicopter! There are only 550 boys with probably only 15 per class, no Gov school can compete with that. Best coaches, teachers, facilities etc. in terms of aura, I think Hilton has that. I certainly know about history and aura from being in the UK, we talking schools over 600 years old!

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  161. @RuggaZ: You made it sound as if the only thing preventing the move was a disapproving headmaster. Since it was around then that Cameron Wright was poached, and then repeated a year to get past the headmasters agreement, I very much doubt if Hilton were suddenly going to let morals stand in the way. So what did stop it then, other than Dan and Jesse not wanting to move and your classmate perhaps presenting some alternative facts … :roll:

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  162. @BOG: the key thing keeping an aspirant sportsman is Grey do play the best! To be the best you need to play the best & the privates in KZN certainly have a well manufactured fixture list, no real tough opposition in the mix bar a draw in an Easter Fest.

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  163. @Grasshopper:

    Hmmmmm dunno. I get a very different vibe at House than I do at Hilton. House has one. Hilton – ou GT put it best – stone cold.

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  164. @Gungets Tuft: There’s a lot of planning and factors that have to be in place for moves like that to happen. You don’t just say you want to come with your bro, snap your fingers, and get two full scholarships.

    I’m more inclined to believe someone who captained them, knew them well,, and would have absolutely no reason to lie. On top of that he just isn’t the type of guy to tell ‘alternative facts’. But anywho, there’s really no point in this discussion, we are allowed to have differing views :)

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  165. @BOG: Well GCB is very slow in comparison to KZN. Frank Goedeke is a retired South African-born German rugby player. He gained selection as a utility player in the German Sevens team and as a centre for the German national team in the late 1990s. And the Germany areas in KZN are beautiful

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  166. @Grasshopper: Does the manner in which the kids arrive at the school, have any baring on the quality of the school? I reckon there have been a few parents at Grey who also could have arrived in a helicopter, if they wanted to. But thankfully, there is no difference between that kid and the one who is there on a bursary. Its the nature of the school. Hopefully that has not changed. After driving down Che Guevara Rd/St/Lane in Glenwood, I really dont share your enthusiasm for KZN. I know that the privates are hidden somewhere in the midlands, but hell, Im still in a state of shock. It reminded me of Maputo when I arrived there during the war. Other than the class sizes, I dont think that the school, stands back for any other in SA, ito facilities, including the privates.@GreenBlooded: Im sure that there are teachers who are paid by the governing body, but you know what I mean. I think that “going private”, has been debated over years, but that would. however way you look at it, have serious financial implications. Not being arrogant, but with the schools stature in the province, they probably are left alone with minimal interference. But,— that is always an option, if circumstances dictate it.

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  167. @BOG: eish, big difference between Umbilo & Balgowan, two ends of a spectrum. Yes, Glenwood is unfortunately being surrounded by slum areas, a bit like DHS & College too. No matter what GT says, PMB is stuffed. BUT these schools can try and create bubbles within these communities behind big gates & alarm systems. Westville is better but the ‘creep’ is happening there too. Bloem is very different, seems like the 80’s never moved on when you get there. Location, location, location they always say. The thing is to get your kid into Grey Bloem is virtually impossible unless they play provincial sport, so average kids have to look elsewhere. If I could afford it my boy would go to Kearsney, House, Clifton or Hilton in that order…

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  168. @RuggaZ: I don’t know hey, plenty of snapping of fingers going on then, with Cameron and then a few others poached in Grade 10 from the like of Westville and Glenwood. Maybe they turned down Hilton and Glenwood because their choice was College. Hard to believe hey, that someone would resist being dragged up from the gutter to Hilton?

    Plenty of finger snapping now too, have you checked what the new coaching staff and scholarship boys are costing Hilton. Not to be sneezed at bro, a bunch of people sitting on the grassy knolls going without the foie gras this season, but needs must, so tally ho and all that.

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  169. @Gungets Tuft: it’s not only the draw of College, it’s ones mates. My dad moved us to Westville when I was going into standard 8, he offered Westville to me. I said no chance, all my mates were at Glenwood and I liked my teachers & coaches…

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  170. @Grasshopper: Some people are more mercenary than that, the prospect of personal gain is enough inducement. Good for them, it’s their choice. Nothing would have made me leave College, nothing would have stopped my lightie from going there. I’m sure it’s the same for most of our traditional schools. It’s the insinuation that the only reason that the Kriels didn’t jump to Hilton was because Hilton turned them down. It is amusing, and a little deluded. The subtle disdain is not lost on me. What would Wayne, Bobby and Gary think ??

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  171. @Gungets Tuft: agreed, there is enough splitting with friends in grade 7, more disruption ain’t good. I mean imagine being at DPHS or Highbury with boys going all over the shop, a boy going to Hilton from Highbury might be the only one going there. I would have said no to Kearsney, House & Hilton going into std 8, friends were that important at that age. With some Scottish blood you must have been super excited by the Scots win over the Irish!

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  172. @Grasshopper:

    “a boy going to Hilton from Highbury might be the only one going there”

    Why would you think that? Highbury is upper crust bru. Most of them go to Kearsney. House and Hilton are the other top destinations. I sat on the pleb side of the fields there – government school types you know.

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  173. @BOG:

    Please come and drive here down Adams Road in Toti…..the green green grass of home……or the promenade on Beach Road….. Indian Ocean views and smells at it’s extreme best

    KXN truly a lovely place to be

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  174. @Speartackle: except when you own a wedding venue in Umhlali and a bunch of numbskulls cut your electric wires and gun you down in cold blood when having a Braai with guests…

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  175. @Grasshopper: That might be the current situation because of the recent development of Hillcrest. My cousins the McMilans who founded Highbury went to Hilton and numerous other family members went through Highbury and then on to House.Not as clear cut as the current “mob” make out :lol:

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  176. @Speartackle: I know that area better than what you think. I lived “just up the road” from where you are, for 7 yrs. My son matriculated there in a “private”- when his dad still had some cash to spare. One of the very good reasons why I can compare the “privates” with GCB. I would have sent him to Grey, but he had his share of living in hostel as a small boy, at Uplands in White River when we lived outside of SA. But he enjoyed that too- the wildlife of the Lowveld, including private game parks of wealthy friends, and during weekends and holidays, diving and fishing off the Mozambican coast- all as a small boy. Those memories will remain with him forever and sustains him during the winter months in London.My daughter is living there- for one more year to complete her studies, and then she too, will be abroad. Thanks, but no thanks for the offer.

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  177. @BOG: my father in law is in Cape Town now, he studied medicine at UCT in the 70s. He is super impressed with the DA run Cape Town, he reckons best he has seen Cape Town, ever. He reckons if the Cape could organize a Capexit with a wall on top of Sir Lowries Pass he would move back. The problem with these bubbles is the bath is dirty, no point as they will pop at some point..

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  178. @star:

    “My cousins the McMilans who founded Highbury”………bru, Highbury was founded in 1903. How old are you? :?: 8-O

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  179. @beet: The only recourse schools have is to write letters and convey veiled threats. Every year we see similar incidents, but the offending schools face no sanction.
    School Boy Rugby is so far out of control with no regulator and no regulations.

    BTW – One of the Gauteng schools who co-authored and signed the letter to Hilton allowed a boy, who tested positive, to play first team rugby two years back. Amazing how they see no fault in their actions but are immediately offended when they are wronged.

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  180. @RuggaZ: Can you confirm with your mate what year he captained Grant Komo. Doing a bit of research, need to narrow the year down. 2010 seems odd.

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  181. @Playa: you are so right – was going swimmingly (even Hopper had calmed down) and up pops Bog, drags Hopper along for the ride, and here we are again discussing the end of civilization as we know it!

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  182. @GreenBlooded: Granny Mac founded Highbury. Her offspring are my cousins. They went to Hilton. I am old but not that old :lol: Talking about Chris De Beer , he was another Highbury OB that went to Hilton. My nephew was the same Highbury vintage and went to House. The point being that the connection between Highbury and Kearsney is not as set in stone as some make out.( Certainly not from a historical perspective.)

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  183. @Tang: there is quite a bit of the pot calling the kettle black in KZN, it’s part and parcel of every year. I bet if you tested most 1st team squads in the off season, Sept to Jan, there would be quite a bit of shock! Boys benching 180kg, squatting 200kg & deadlifting 300kg is not normal. I remember in my day the most we would do is down half a bottle of bioplus before the game. Some started on Creatine then too…

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  184. @Gungets Tuft: You seem a bit preoccupied with the possibility that the twins could be lured to the great white castle in the sky :lol: My nephew played GK with them. I suppose I could ask him and put this dastardly affair to bed once and for all. :mrgreen:

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  185. @Roger: He’s on the wrong blog, blogs away on his “other” blog and then copies and pastes into this one.

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  186. @Grasshopper: Unfortunately, you rate a place on more than just cleanliness. It may be clean, in some areas, but it is also rated the third most violent in the world. Some would argue that its just confined to certain areas, but you cannot deny your “misbehaving children”. All cities would like to do that. I loved CT 30 yrs ago, but was very disappointed when I went there a few yrs ago. Half a bottle of bioplus? In my days, we lifted a full bottle of brandy.

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  187. @BOG: well he is there on the pound in the middle of summer, maybe he is in a holiday blaze. I think he forgets the real cost to live there. I honestly don’t know how people live having a great lifestyle on less than a bar a year combined income. Look on Bizcommunity, digital Account Directors are being offered R30k a month, that wouldnt even pay for rent & food after tax…

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  188. @star: Howzit Star, your finishing school look they could be building for a good few seasons ahead, they made some solid u14 acquisitions, and have been bolstering their u15/16 stock, as well as plugging a few holes for the first side. Interesting to see the Miller/MH magic kick in at some point, wasn’t evident at 1st level last year. All my bets for the season are off, except the one I have with Bush. If we lose he buys the drinks.

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  189. @McCulleys Workshop: Have you heard of such a thing as the “spread” :lol: As they say the proof will be in the pudding(and eating thereof) but things definitely looking in the right direction.In the last decade House have had some exceptional sides and there is no reason to believe that the “magic” won’t burst forth once again .

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  190. @Grasshopper: Hopper, I’m not fussed if they do or don’t. From a House perspective I would like to see the benefit of Schwartz moving to u16’s kick in as well as the new 1st coach settle and produce the goods with the brand of rugger House is inclined to play. It would be encouraging to see them play a slightly longer season, we have historically also played at the Grey week, as well as test themselves against some of the stronger sides. That being said, some of our rivals have applied great rugby resources to their program which should pay off, with St Charles getting the services of Braam van Straaten and Clifton getting Bell. It can only be a good thing.

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  191. @Skywalker: There was a list on this thread of the 11 schools that were signatories to the letter, that Roger posted earlier. Omkeer 2, 3..

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  192. @star: Yeah, why not. Find out what position Jesse played at GK please. Jesse doesn’t remember playing there, seems he thinks he wasn’t picked for the side. He’ll be pleased to add it to his CV, thinks it might help him to higher Honours in SA rugby … :roll: :roll:

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  193. @Gungets Tuft: I actually have seen a picture of him and the nephew in the U13B KZN side(Surely that is where the CV kicks off :lol:) . It seems like they were captain and vice captain. Another person in the picture is Mxoli who now is in the Blue Bulls Super Rugby squad. If he was not in the GK team then surely everything falls a bit flat and the College boys are vindicated.

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  194. @Roger – Re post 130. I have not heard of any Boys High pupils being lured by Hilton. I could be wrong, but I haven’t heard any rumours circulating at PBHS.

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  195. @beet: I keep saying this whole process is a zero sum game. Schools are under so much pressure from parents and old boys. Too many schools feel the only way to compete is to succumb and start recruiting.
    The more schools do it, the more demand rises, and hence the more will be offered.
    Where will it end?

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  196. If you are a school who recruits or subscribes to offering bursaries, how can you complain when one of your pupils is offered a bursary by another school? Surely this is part of the process.
    Next thing we are going to hear is that Hilton have an unfair advantage since they have more money.
    When supply is limited, and demand increases, who will the winners be?

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  197. @Tang: I see that Pretoria Boys came 3rd in the Allan Burt Gala. ( beating out GW :mrgreen: ) Not bad for a school with zero recruits.

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  198. @star:

    Lungi Ngidi. Bobby Skinstad. Mike Proctor. And countless others. Plenty of them go to Hilton and House every year. Highbury is probably a Top 5 primary school in KZN so it stands to reason that many of their boys would go there.

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  199. @star: seems Glenwood have given up trying to catch up with Westville in the pool, can’t compete with Westville Swimming Club and recruiting every SA Schools junior and below…although waterpolo should be good for us…

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  200. @Grasshopper:

    1 from my lighties year that I know of. 4 to College. A few to Curro Hillcrest. Most went to Kearnsey as always. Quote a few to Hilton and House.

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  201. @star: I see St Davids were second – I wonder why St Benedicts don’t swim in that gala – I think it will be touch and go as to who wins the Gauteng schools inter high gala. St Davids, St Benedicts and PBHS all stand a chance.

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  202. @Roger: Westville write up;

    WESTVILLE BOYS’ HIGH RULES THE POOL AT ALAN BURT INTERPROVINCIAL INVITATIONAL GALA FOR 10th CONSECUTIVE YEAR

    The 51st running of the Alan Burt gala was hosted by St Stithians. Swimming at altitude is always a bit more taxing for the coastal schools. That is always of some concern to Westville’s coaches as most of their swimmers compete mainly at sea level.

    The gala was first swum in 1966 by Parktown, DHS, Maritzburg College and King Edward and has grown to a 10 school gala with five schools from KZN and five from north of the Vaal river. Over the years the gala has been won by King Edward and DHS fourteen times each and by Maritzburg College, nine times. Newcomers to the gala, Westville, were invited to participate 11 years ago and after finishing second in their initial appearance, have won the gala 9 times in a row.

    Westville has remained unbeaten in South Africa in team relay galas since 2008 and was hoping to make it 10 successive undefeated years in a row. The Alan Burt gala furthermore is always a good tester regarding a school’s swimming depth as the programme is longer with extra events compared, to traditional relay galas
    Westville started off well winning the 10 out of the first 12 events, losing only in the open age group to Pretoria Boys on both occasions. Westville won ten out of the next 12 events to build up a bit of a lead in the gala.

    St .Davids won the open Freestyle relay and WBHS won the rest of the races to claim their 10th consecutive win in this traditional gala. They were presented with the trophy by outgoing St .Stithians Headmaster, David Knowles.
    Westville u14, u15 and u16 age group did not lose a race at the gala and the u17s only lost one.
    The short but intense boys’ high school swimming programme continues this week with the top KZN schools competing against each other on Wednesday at Kearsney. This is followed on Friday 10th by the Westville Invitational gala which pits the likes of Grey College Bloemfontein ( who would dearly like to beat the hosts) against the top KZN schools lead by Westville and also top Gauteng schools including St David’s who came second to WBHS last weekend. This gala is probably the most fiercely contested and exciting boys’ high school relay gala in the country and certainly a most to watch for any swimming fan.

    Results of the Alan Burt Gala – 2017

    1. WBHS​​​ – 292
    2. St David’s ​​– 255
    3. Pretoria Boys’ ​​– 221
    4. Glenwood- 198
    5. St Stithians ​​– 178
    6. Kearsney ​​– 146
    7. Maritzburg College ​– 136
    8. KES ​​​– 127
    9. Parktown ​​– 59
    10. DHS​ ​​– 39

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  203. @Grasshopper: wouldn’t mind watching that Westville Invitational gala – my guess top five will be:

    Westville
    St Benedicts
    St Davids
    Grey College
    PBHS

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  204. @Grasshopper: I suppose you are going to use this article to support your altitude hypothesis and mitigate the GW result against Affies last year. :lol: It does seem that the Westville Juniors U 14-U17 are pretty strong as they only lost one race. Westville’s water polo seems to have taken a bit of a hit as their results against Hilton were not great. Hilton seems to be putting emphasis there as well.

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  205. @Grasshopper:

    Hell No. I once mentioned that I went to GW and was relegated to sit on the grass. It makes it all the more pleasurable when GW wallop them on Meadows, Gillilan and Stott in layer years although Hilton have conveniently avoided their come-uppance recently……. :mrgreen:

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  206. hmmmm – I notice 2017 Craven and Academy week to be held at St Stithians – well worth the visit for any out of towners – even if it is just to marvel at that campus – mind blowing!!

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  207. @Roger: went to Saints Festival last year, nice campus but lacks history, all newish buildings and I don’t like a co-Ed campus, too much distraction for boys.

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  208. @GreenBlooded: I’m surprised they didn’t call the cops, us Scumbilo okes are rof man. I love it when the cucumber sandwich & Moet brigade are silenced…

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  209. @star: Glenwood’s first team polo have put on 20 in each of their games so far, a good start to the season…

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  210. @Grasshopper: Other than me not being able to understand most of that due to a NSC education ….. well ….. nothing. So many homilies in one speech. Impressive.

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  211. @GreenBlooded: Watch this space. Hilton will show Garsfontein how to deal with these complaints. It’s multiple choice:

    A. Get a blogger to respond for you on schoolboyrugby.co.za
    B. Send an updated defense to Ruggas
    C. Get your Old Boys and supporters to fight everyone on every social media platform and deny deny deny
    D. Ignore it
    E. Send a well worded and factual non defensive nor accusatory response to the M&G

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  212. I see ol’ Hopper elicited a response from Bobby Skinstadt on twitter and it was non too friendly :mrgreen:

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  213. the gist was ….. “not involved so leave me the f### out of your twar with Hilton College” :mrgreen:

    Hopper desperately trying to get some response from Hilton’s twitter feed and they are quieter than a church mouse :lol:

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  214. @Roger: Lol – I’ve just read it, Hops must have eaten his wheaties that morning and pulled his undies up extra tight for bravery, or he’s senseless, The Beast could tell us.

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  215. @The Beast: Lol – I think Hops has been coaching the bloggers in Northvaal on the C strategy, he is a one man demolition machine.

    Would be great to get a snap of your 96 year book 4th and 5th rugby sides. I think there is a Jihadist lurking in there…

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  216. @Bwana: if you think what I did 21 years ago reflects on my knowledge now, then go for it?! As they say in Ireland, ideeit!

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  217. @Grasshopper: But it’s you that feels what you did in U13 is a reflection of you now. We never stop hearing about how you hurt your shoulder in U13

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  218. @RUGBYMAD: They Glenwood 2nd XV went up to Hilton last year as well for pre-season chukkas. The rugby people don’t seem to have to much of a problem with one another .

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  219. Happy to have my Man back after 3 months of breakup, ..,.🥀☺️🍟🍟

    thanks to E-mail: Robinson.buckler (@) yahoo com…..

    I love this..

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