This was a bit odd. An email was sent out which basically picked on Hilton College, when the easily obtainable evidence seemed to suggest that a medical decision made by the Midlands private school to withdraw four of their eight players from the KZN Sharks’ under-18 Academy Week match against the Pumas in Piet Retief on 15 June 2017 was legit.
At the time Hilton had their biggest game of the season against rivals Michaelhouse coming up two days after the KZN game and they were hoping that a few of the ruled out players would be fit for the derby action.
The email went something along the lines of:
We are faced with another instance where the contents of official documents sent out by the KZN HIGH SCHOOLS CHAIRMAN/EXCO are not being adhered to. I feel that this is something that needs urgent attention and further action. Hilton has withdrawn some of their players from our friendly matches against the Pumas this weekend. This goes totally contrary to all protocols.
Below and attached is a mail I sent out to ALL schools prior to us even starting our final trials. Trial dates were also sent out on numerous occasions as well and adopted at the 2016 AGM. So there should no chance of anyone not knowing or being aware of these dates. Below is an extract from the letter (which is attached) :
- Players who attend the final trial automatically make themselves available for whichever team they may be selected.
- Players selected for one of the provincial teams will automatically make themselves available for pre- tournament games. 15 June vs Pumas (ALL TEAMS) in Piet Retief and 30 June (U18 Craven Week and U16 Grant Khomo Week teams) to play at Bondedag in Sasolburg
Failure to adhere to this now poses major problems for the EXCO. This is not the first time that such a situation has occurred with this institution. After the last occurrence, it was agreed on that it wouldn’t occur again.
These trips/matches are also used for team-building purposes, so any injured/sick players have always been requested to go along with the teams.
The big positive to take out of the email is that KZN are taking the all-important pre-Youth Week preparations matches seriously and making an effort to obtain buy-in from the key schools.
The unconfirmed results from 15 July were:
U18 Academy Week – convincing win
U16 Grant Khomo Week: Sharks 52 – 12 Pumas
U18 Craven Week : Sharks 32 – 23 Pumas (5-23 at halftime)