1. I was at the Vories NS on Friday. Had my doubts about the venue change from Vories to the UKZN ground but was pleasantly surprised by how nice the set up is at UKZN. The field in good condition, good seating, ample parking (not that this was a problem at Vories although it not having to contend with the muddy path between the parking and bridge over the stream to main field was a blessing :mrgreen: ) . The letdowns were the traffic jam getting into the grounds and the even longer one (30min to 45min) to get out of the premises. The food queue was long and missed was the great variety that Vories at their school when they hosted. The weather was great and I shared good company with some knowledgeable parents so all-in-all a great evening.

    In the context of the time of the year and format of the matches, the games were good. I think all the coaches are now at the level that they send their boys out to play well and get a result but don’t place overdue emphasis on results. Rather its the preseason objectives being achieved that are the main focus.

    Ferrum 1st from Newcastle were surprisingly good against the Glenwood squad B team and it will be worthwhile to see how they perform in their Northern Natal league this year.

    College and Westville u16s was a ding-dong battle and revealed a few very promising players.

    Westville opens field what looked like a relatively strong team for their first run out of the season. Comparing this Glenwood game to last year’s game against DHS at Vories, they look better prepared already and I suspect that a lot of the unhappiness surrounding limited game plans of the last few seasons is quickly going to become past tense now that McLaren is in charge. The backline play already looks more vibrant and it’s a pack of forwards capable of laying good platforms.
    The memorable moment of the match and possibly the evening was outside centre Labuschagne’s try. It was well setup with 12 de Kock impressing with his quick hands and layoffs to put the impressive 13 into space. He still had work to do but showed a nice set of wheels, balance and a bit of power to finish the job. There was a bit of a Tyler Fisher like ability in his try.

    Later we were not all happy with Forsyth taking a drop goal (given the occasion) but it was beautifully struck kick to account for 3 of his teams points and certainly the flyhalf looks like a player to keep an eye on this year in what might be a crowded KZN market for that 10 jersey come youth week trials in May.

    Glenwood have had a couple of preseason outing against club u19 teams Collegians and Rovers. They were very good against Collegians winning easily and word was that they beat Rovers 14-0, and that was just 2 nights before the Vories game, it it was clear they have longer term objectives in mind. Their team was far from the strongest they will put out this season but it was still a useful one and I suspect they are going to have decent depth once the season proper gets underway.

    Against Collegians, Glenwood’s counterattacking speed and execution was really good and it proved to be the catalyst for their only try as well. A good run up the left by their pacy wing got them into the Ville 22 and on the recycle, creative (fill-in) flyhalf Jonker, who looks like an outstanding propect in that role given his exceptional distribution skills and ability to use the boot in clever ways, held up play before popping a perfect flat-ball for the Glenwood 12 to breach the D wall and score. Earlier Jonker had landed a penalty as well.

    So that game ended 10-10.

    The College- Voortrekker game is becoming a traditional annual affair at the night series. Vories really seem to thrive on the honour of playing their fellow PMB school and lift their game every time. They have run College close in the past but as hard as they tried particularly in the 2nd half, they could unsettle the MC defence. There was a lot of play around the fringes and the Vories hooker was a livewire who tier-2 schools will do very well to shut down once their regular season kicks off in a couple of weeks.

    College fielded a team missing all their summer sportsmen and received their money’s worth in the workout without being too stretched. The highlight moment which in my humble opinion was just-just overshadowed by the Westville try was when no.8 Mchunu, who is looking bigger and hungrier than last season when he impressed, picked up a ball at the base of a scrum somewhere in midfield and showed speed, positive aggro and power to either get away from or knock off anything that stood between him and the tryline. It was one of 4 tries for College on their way to 24-0.

    Next week’s match between College and Westville also promises to be top entertainment and it’s great to see St Charles participating, something that Hilton and Michaelhouse should consider doing as well to help them partly overcome the huge disadvantage they both always seem to have coming into the regular season without enough preseason game-time

  2. @beet: Thanks Beet, good write-up. You said a lot about the Glenwood XV, but how did Westville perform? Not many teams will hold the highly rated green machine to a draw this season down there in KZN I expect, so that performance perhaps warrants a bit more info on the Westville team. I have heard that they are quite confident on turning their fortunes around. Any specific players that caught your eye?

  3. @Speartackle: I think Monnas and Grey College will have something to say about that..Probably their two biggest challenges in 2018. Throw in Menlo, Outeniqua and Waterkloof in the mix and they will have a difficult time staying unbeaten I think. Nothing is however impossible!

  4. @Quagga: I am carefully optimistic about the season ahead. There were good signs this being the first hit out of the season. Dylan Labuschagne, the centre Beet mentions and also captain, is worth a look at. His running lines are fantastic and he also takes the kicks at goal. He did however catch a stray boot to the head on Friday which required a number of stitches so I am not sure whether he will be playing this week.
    The back three will have a few teams in trouble on the counter as well as off first phase attack. Flyhalf Kyle Forsyth played last year and is a very good distributor with his twin brother packing down at 8th man.The lock pairing is also a good combination. Both made the u17 national training squad. One last year and the other the year before.
    A worry for me though is the depth in the prop department.

  5. @Speartackle: Monnas overatted every year. GW going to be unbeaten this year for sure. They going to kill the KZN sides this year. Maybe Hilton and House could put an invitational team together to play them. Midlands Invitational vs GWKZN Schools

  6. Lekker Wilson
    That Golf was full of mould ffs man, I had to sit in it while they were hoisting it onto the tow truck.

    See you at Toti Rugby Club Wednesday night against Hamiltons, I heard Zander Kotze playing for them…..he wants a rematch against you okes that sucker punched him

  7. @Speartackle: Not sure whether any of them will make the grade at prop. Not much from last years u16 group either. Definitely something to look at when recruiting from grade 7.

  8. @Van: Come to Toti Wednesday night, you’ll see a few tough tow truck son’s there playing in curtain raisers. Toti’s 1st XV desperately needs a new coach
    Lekker Van

  9. @Skopgraaf243: Man that was these pre season ping pong games
    Means ziltch
    GW played with a 3rd team
    Even Menlo can beat HJS in a 20 minute spookhuis game

  10. @Skopgraaf243: That was a GW 5th Team there on Friday night. I was there. Saw with my one Spear eye open. Even College had a 5th team. The only team at full strength was WBHS

  11. @Van: Love the Westville locking pair. u18 lock was good last year. Has positive aggro on the field. u17 lock looks like he could be developed into a star player. Has lots of potential. Athletic.

    Re: props I noticed mobility is something the coaches will have to work hard on. SBR scrumming laws unfortunately don’t favour good scrummers enough and so mobility becomes that much more important. If those big boys can hit the rucks with a bit of oomph a little earlier they could make a huge impact.

    I think KZN CW team could be in for another good campaign. There are a number of returning CW players as well as plenty who will be putting up their hands for provincial honours.

  12. @Hooit: The other thing Who-it, why did you drop your Monnas Jersey like a hot potato for that KES Jersey? Was it the guilt of Monnas stealing a win over KES???

  13. @beet: Hi Beet, I think the boys are also still coming to grips with the way Jeremy McLaren wants them to play. Totally different style to what most of them are used to. Hopefully this will filter through to all the age groups.

  14. @Speartackle: Lekker man. Laat weet hoe lyk hy vanjaar. Glo hy het potensiaal.

    Laubsher on the bench so may be used a utility forward. Kick-off at 16:45 at UJ.

  15. Lekker late afternoon at UJ. Tukkies young guns started slowly but as the game progressed so did the misfortune of UJ. Score 60-14 for Tuks. My first game since schoolrugby. Was lekker but missed the boys here. Edward played the last 20 min s 7 flank. The kid did well for his first outing. Are they under 20 the oung guns. Some big men there 8-O Proud. :wink:

  16. Don’t think we should read, I hope , to much in Fridays night game involving Glenwood. I understand half the team did not play. I hope, like the last 3 years, :mrgreen: that this is the year. Lets see!

  17. @Greenman…I would be worried. Where has all the depth gone?
    Did the move with Reinardt Gerber reallize moving to Glenwood?.

  18. @Skopgraaf243: Spear thinks okes from 3rd Tier Schools can step of to the major league and play the same. I suppose it depends on who you are kissing at that time😘😘😘😘😘😘

  19. THe only thing I know is I’ll be watching my first rugby game of the year tonight at 20h30
    Toti vs Hamiltons from Cape Town
    With Wilson
    Behind the poles
    No drinking
    Tough day tomorrow
    My birthday on Sunday
    @star: Come watch man there is a young star from Carletonville playing, lekker mullet and no calves but he can scrum hey

  20. @Bush: Heard Hoppers Birthday is on the 5th of March. Spear there goes your theory about “Good People”
    more like Platana

  21. @BoishaaiPa: Baie goeie nuus. As die Marlow game weer gewys word en die game teen EG by Wildeklawer, beteken dit dat 4 van hul games die jaar uitgesaai gaan word.

  22. No man Wilson something must be done to the flood lights
    I could hardly see my Olaff
    So glad Hops is also a fish man
    He could have gotten hammered with me last night

    2 3 Hops

  23. @Speartackle: After 300 Brandy’s I’m sure everything goes dark, maybe even a little blurry. Hops I don’t think can afford to travel back to SA as the Rand has some what recovered a little. It’s was a lekker game of Rugby, a lekker braai with Baie Lekker cHops from the FS. Almost as good at GCB’s Rugby.

  24. Lekker day here at Kingsmead
    Hops we can bowl out the struikrowers quickly this morning
    Surely Hops must miss these proudly South African events man
    Still can’t believe people can just give up their heritage for material things

    Where else in the world can we have such lekker Castles and Olofs?
    Rant en Dal boerewors, Hilton sosaties and Ixopo chicks


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