KZN weekend – 22 April 2017

DHS vs Michaelhouse
This game could turn out to be a real goodie between two well-matched-up teams.

The off the field news from DHS is that long serving Glenwood staff member Tony Pinheiro has accepted the vacant headmaster’s position. Good news for old boys is that Pinheiro is quite big into his rugby but there is no denying that he faces quite an uphill battle if he hopes to improve School’s overall rugby outlook.

DHS will play their first proper match of the season on their Van Heerden’s home ground, having given up this advantage during the first term to play Hilton at Kings Park, an opportunity/decision head coach Scott Mathie correctly pointed out was for the benefit of the players. They narrowly lost to Hilton on neutral ground and have since incurred three further defeats to Tier-1 standard competition in Easter Festival matches. Now the Horseflies, who started the season as the most experienced 1st XV in KZN and have a number of SARU radar players in their team, find themselves bracketed as 2017 underachievers who need to get back on track. If they can win a minimum of three big KZN interschools derbies in 2017, they can at least claim to be a better team than their class of 2016 1st XV. The Michaelhouse game is winnable and at home one has to make DHS favourites.

Having watched the DHS game against SACS at Saints, it’s obvious that if DHS can build a few phases of front-foot play or even get the chance to react quickly in counterattacking mode to a turnover, they are a dangerous prospect, and although like other schools they look to a few key players, there are a number of others more than capable of influencing proceedings in a very positive manner like centre Asanda Kunene did against SACS. Players unavailable through injuries remain are a big concern and for this weekend highly rated half Sanele Nohamba is not listed in their run-on team.

Often under-utilised fullback Cham Zondeki is has the speed and skills to cause havoc but needs to get involved in a lot more gain-line threatening action and the abilities of wingers Tonderai Ndudzo and Luthando Buthelezi simply have to be worked into the execution of attacking plans. However it’s the battle up front that DHS has to master first to secure decent ball.

Off the field Michaelhouse news is that former 1st XV head coach Michael Schwartz, who was in charge back in 2015 when House went unbeaten for the first time in over 100 years, will be leaving in August to join St Alban’s as a deputy headmaster.

House are the KZN overachievers so far this season. They got blanked by Grey PE up at St Stithians but otherwise they should be relatively happy with their results, which include useful wins against Westville at home and Saints in Randburg.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where House’s strengths lie this season. They rely on cohesion but they is no mistaking that their star player is prop Rocky Knox. So far the school season has delivered eye-catching performances by two lively highly rated big tightheads in James Combrinck of Affies and Asenathi Ntlabakanye of Saints. Well Knox is right up there with these two and he’s certainly a player who should be attracting a lot of attention for union scouts. His workrate is high and willingness to get involved phenomenal. More performances on par with his form against Saints and he’ll probably make a very strongest case to be KZN player of the season.

Surprisingly House has five changes to the team that beat Westville. None of those changes are injury enforced either.

Kearsney vs Hilton
It’s been a while since Hilton last won on Stott field and they must be eyeing their chances of causing a bit of an upset this year in a match that could have spectators on the edge of their seats all the way to the end.

The Hilton white-wall defensive system that did such a good job against DHS and Affies, has gradually started to take the back seat as their attacking game comes to the fore but don’t be disappointed if you’re a Maroon One-Stripe fan on Saturday and the Stott looks half its normal size due to Hilton’s well structured D.

At around this time last year Hilton had picked up the pace during the SJC Easter Fest and went on to produce a praiseworthy unbeaten streak that included a surprise win against the more fancied Kearsney 2016 team. History sort of looks like it’s lining up to repeat itself, except that this time around Hilton has a better team while many should agree that Kearsney is not as good as they were in 2016.

There are a few Hilton players who continue to exceed expectations. The fullback Gareth Schreuder is one that automatically comes to mind. However a lot of love has to go the way of hooker Tim Densham and his lineout setpiece partner in crime no.8 Tristan Warren. When KZN looks to picking teams for the youth weeks later this year, they need to concern themselves with the importance of securing lineout ball. And if it’s not happening in the middle there is nothing better than having a hooker who can go long and find a jumper at the tail. Densham accuracy is capable of doing that and Warren in addition to the other contributions he’s making on the park, is right up if he’ not the best lineout jumper in the province at the moment. In the second row is another not so well-known yet forward Andrew James, another who’s going some sterling good work for his team. The lineout is definitely an area where Hilton can build a solid foundation and also cause Kearsney’s at times worrisome one some serious headaches.

Alert “Whites” halfback Graeme Curtis is a dangerman who the hosts will have to monitor closely, especially around the fringes of tackled ball play.

Kearsney’s team look quite settled except at 9 and 13 where unavailable players seem to have forced the coach’s hand resulting in positional changes. Pacey James Sutherland arguably the leading candidate fullback in KZN finds himself at outside centre once again, a move that potential limits Kearsney’s striking power. It’s suspected that the home team will need to come up with a few more creative options to unlock Hilton and they may have to do it while Sutherland is well guarded in midfield, opposed by his opposite number Chipo Mupeso among others.

There are a few other nice head-to-heads:

Wiry Warren’s been mentioned above and his style of play is different to talisman bulldozer no.8 Dylan Richardson in so many respects. Richardson will be the single biggest concern to Hilton, so he bound to be a magnet for two or three defenders at time, opening up opportunities for well-designed attacking play action off the Kearsney captain.

At no.4-lock two tough big ball-carriers in George Putter (Hilton) and Ross Taylor (Kearsney) are set for a metres gained in traffic showdown.

At the start of last year there was a lot of exciting around the KZN flyhalf battle  with the likes of quality 10’s like Angus Curtis, Cameron Ritchie, Gert Coetzee, Jerome Bossr and even Maarten Holtshauzen all vying top honours. This year so far the talent may not be of the standard to create the same hype but it is again very much an open race. One of two left-footed players who could lay down a marker are the Hilton captain Nicholas Winskill and Kearsney youngster Jacques Odendaal.

Glenwood vs Westville
Off the field: with Glenwood headmaster Trevor Kershaw now officially retired, the headmaster position is set to be advertised in the next gazette. So it’s potentially an exciting process ahead for Glenwood as they hope to land a top candidate to take on the job.

On the rugby field the unbeaten Green Machine is running smoothly and has passed a few tricky tests at the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival without seeming to undergo a major stress test yet.

Coach Grant Bell’s 2015 Westville team was the last KZN to beat Glenwood on Dixon’s but Bell is now long gone from Ville’s coaching brains trust and it’s been difficult times for the Highways team so far in his aftermath. So much so that WBHS are not being tipped to repeat their 2015 feat.

The victory is expected to go the home team’s way. The margin of victory might however be within Westville’s power to determine. If they pitch up as a committed unit, organised and prepared to make the vital game changing tackles, they should leave with their heads held high and the crowd would have been treated to a good contest.

The young Glenwood halfback combination are looking like they might prosper as their confidence and experience picks up and the Glenwood wings are proving to be good finishers.

Pretoria Boys High vs Maritzburg College
College should be well adjusted to the altitude by now having spent Easter on the plateau and should have too much firepower to lose this game but can’t afford to underestimate Boys’ High, who are trying to play an entertaining brand of rugby and may just click.

Jeppe vs Northwood
Dick Muir has officially taken over at Northwood now but not in the expected capacity of head coach. He is the Director of Rugby while former assistant Torsten Sorensen is promoted to head coach. Jeppe Boys are not enjoying the kind of highlight year they’ve experienced in 2016 or even 2015. It’s proving to be a difficult season for the Jozi school. Even so they should come away with a comfortable win against an injury ravaged Knights team.

43 Comments

  1. Wow some massive KZN games this weekend! Great match ups.

    On the NW front – is Torsten confirmed as Head Coach? So will Dick be involved with the coaching as well or will he just be more of a figurehead i wonder?

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  2. Westville team for tomorrow
    1. Jesse Golding
    2. Gustav du Rand
    3. Taine Redgard
    4. Sheldon Veldsman (c)
    5. Dylan Jung
    6. Dian Smith
    7. Etienne Roos
    8. JP Pelzer
    9. Jordan Phipson
    10. Reece Nyland
    11. Jaco van den Berg
    12. Brogan Boulle (vc)
    13. Dylan Labuschagne
    14. Jono Reineke
    15. Jaryd Lombard

    Luckless Taljaard out injured again along with Schráder and Slabbert

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  3. DHS team for Michaelhouse
    1. Tom Kempen
    2. Luthando Jojo
    3. Mthokozisi Gumede
    4. Celimpilo Gumede
    5. Chris Coleman
    6. Kamvelihle Fatyela
    7. Asande Mnguni
    8. Phendulani Buthelezi (c)
    9. Malusi Ntuli
    10. Lwazi Moletshe
    11. Tonderai Ndudzo
    12. Lwandile Menze
    13. Asanda Kunene
    14. Luthando Buthelezi
    15. Cham Zondeki

    Really sad news is that Sanele Nohamba and Sean Barnes are out for at least 4 weeks and maybe even the remainder of the season. Onke Jiba is already out for the season. All 3 were KZN youth week prospects.

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  4. Kearsney for Hilton

    Ross Parsons
    Daniel Cherry
    Matthew Heard
    Ross Taylor
    Torin Tedder
    Nicholas Baines
    Sibu Sangweni
    Dylan Richardson
    Taine Muirhead
    Jacques Odendaal
    Brendan Albertse
    Grant Sander
    James Sutherland
    Reece Daniel
    Robbie Koenig
    Taine Polzi
    Robert Lawrence
    Zwakele Mchunu
    Dylan Bissett
    Jared Williamson
    Ayron Kayser
    Jayden Proctor
    Gcina Gumede

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  5. Hilton for Kearsney game
    Jono Smit
    Timothy Densham
    Henty Beukes
    George Putter
    Andrew James
    Vaughn Williams
    Jared Venter
    Tristan Warren
    Graham Curtis
    Nicholas Winskill
    Thomas Fraser
    Heinrich Marx
    Chipo Mupeso
    Fadzai Mushonga
    Gareth Schreuder

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  6. Michaelhouse for DHS game

    Andrew Holt
    Solomon Marx
    Keynon Knox
    Luke Jonsson
    Oliver Calvert-Evers
    Ant Fleischer
    Nicholas Kershaw
    Fraser Jones
    Tom Price
    William Glassock
    Wesley Turkington
    Dane Fisher
    Marco Parau
    Kuhle Khumalo
    Troy Nijland
    Mpho Mthethwa
    Liam Friend
    Matthew Myers
    Christian Opperman
    Liam England
    Thomas Rorich
    Michael Gomes

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  7. @beet: Hello Beet. What happened re the Kershaw fraud case and why has it taken Glenwood so long to find a replacement for him? I presume that losing Pinheiro to DHS is a further blow, as he was the acting principle?

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  8. @Vleis: I’m not exactly sure. The last I heard was that the state was considering dropping the charges.

    Also from what I’ve been told, Kershaw was never released by the Dept of Education, so technically he was still the headmaster even though he was not serving and Glenwood could not appoint a new headmaster during that period as a result.

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  9. I know a few purist will say whadda-whadda-whadda about todays DHS vs Michaelhouse game from a defensive point of view but what an entertaining showpiece of advantage line breaking rugby these two schools put on today. Well done to both. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  10. I caught a great deal of the Glenwood-Westville second half. The quality of the handling didn’t look too great.

    What was great was seeing the Glenwood and Westville bands getting together to put on a joined effort. Was a nice touch. Those band kids must put in hours of practice every week to get that good and definitely do their bit to lift the players and entertain the crowd.

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  11. What a game of rugby. Well done DHS and House. Edge of your seat stuff for 70mins. On the day those 2 teams could have beaten anybody even GW?????????

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  12. @Bush: good for Kzn rugby. Bit disappointed with the feedback on GW/Westville. The bands were the main attraction. Battle of the Bands next year with the rugby game as a intro. :mrgreen:

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  13. @Greenman: Are you going to be at the GW vs GCB game? Spear and I are doing a road trip to come and watch. We will pick up some road kill for our braai at GCB

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  14. @Bush: @Bush: @Greenman: I thought that DHS looked very dangerous out wide and their counter attack was lethal. House seemed to lack the ability to make any headway in the midfield and the centers seemed to lose their way. DHS were brilliant on defense for the full 70 min. DHS 4 and 7 were immense. Greenman, tough battle for the KZN 7 jersey possibly between GW and DHS 7. Bleak and poorer after the Hilton loss.

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  15. @Bush: Ya Boet, that’s the problem with putting cash on a SBR game, who knows on the day, valour was the better part of discretion, and my bank account is feeling bleak. The rule of the road is – dont dop n dial and don’t dop n dobbel.

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  16. Spear, McCulley I know an oke that has a lekker sister and has his Black Fan Belt in street fighting. If you want me to get that cash back for you.

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  17. @Greenman: yeah sorry the game deserves better comments. It looked like as a who will win contest it was over by the time I arrived and perhaps that played a part in the level of urgency.

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  18. @beet: no problem. Will get feedback. GW need to put it all together and hopefully it happens next weekend. Joined the million in Bloem over the weekend. A day to remember!

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  19. @Greenman: I looked there and I think Spear had got there first, it was empty and I only
    found a program from the Monnas Garsies game.

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  20. Went into Westville facebook to see if I cant trace any photos of the game yesterday. Nothing unfortunately but a comment from a fan, I guess. Reads “well done boys. You played with more flair, talent and definitely more manners” That’s the problem with us human beings. Unnecessary!

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  21. @Bush: I was so excited that Hilton seemed to have the clear upper hand that I was keen to organise a SBR get together at the Great Midlands Derby. ( even inviting the Spear ). However after this last weekend I am feeling about as flat as McCulley’s wallet. :lol: Westville also did a lot of huffing and puffing with not much resolve or commitment on defence or attack. It reminded me of the Stormers /Crusaders game where the Stormers had the bulk of possession and territory in the 1st half only to be shut out by clinical and aggressive execution by the home side. I think GW had only 3 territorial raids and were 19 points to the good at the break. Westville had 2 missed penalties and it was game over. The only bright spark(besides winning more games overall) was the U14A side that beat GW 34-7. It must be years since this has been achieved and hopefully bodes well for the future :mrgreen:

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  22. @star: Whahahahaha I see McCulley is sulking so badly he’s not answering his phone. Would have been great to have received an invite. Only thing is that Spear would have insisted on a braai afterwards to show off his wors. Do the guys from HC do braai’s? Or is it a barbecue? I had to dispose of my gas Green Machine after KERF as the okes from the West Rand don’t do gas.
    I went through to watch the U16A game at GW. The Westville Boys didn’t pitch for that game. GW were very good on the day. The Under 14 result was a great result, that’s not just a lucky win it was a big win.

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  23. @star: Wow that is a massive result for your u14A’s. GW pride themselves on their u14 intake. Jeez where did your boys come from to make up that team? Are still a lot local from schools up the hill or also from out of town?

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  24. @Skywalker: Nothing out of the ordinary I believe. The usual intake plus some boys from Zululand. Maybe a different emphasis on philosophy. (That be the ” wors” of life.) :lol: This team has lost a game to Oakdale( 39-5) so that team must be something special.
    @ Spear- I was going to invite you to the Fleur De Lys club but Bluff wors is specifically prohibited. :mrgreen:

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  25. @star: Oh right. I don’t know the ins and outs so interesting to hear where boys come from for u14 level. From this blog I see that DPHS 13A rugby boys basically end up at MBC, MHouse, Kearsney and now a few at Clifton. Glenwood seem to have a lot from Gauteng? (apart from glenwood prep or penzance?), and Hilton have clearly raided JHB as well! Not sure how many Northlands, Virginia, Chelsea boys are still going to NW? What about DHS?

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