Independent Schools Rugby Festival 2018

At Kingswood, Grahamstown

1 Sat.23Jun St David’s <17> <12> St Andrew’s School
2 Sat.23Jun Michaelhouse <32> <24> St Stithians
3 Sat.23Jun Eeze Fana <28> <35> Clifton
4 Sat.23Jun St John’s <26> <10> Graeme
5 Sat.23Jun Hilton <33> <0> St Alban’s
6 Sat.23Jun St Andrew’s <17> <25> Kearsney
7 Sat.23Jun Kingswood <10> <19> Bishops
1 Mon.25Jun Bishops <24> <17> Hilton
2 Mon.25Jun St John’s <55> <7> Eeze Fana
3 Mon.25Jun Clifton <45> <10> St Andrew’s School
4 Mon.25Jun Graeme <41> <43> St Stithians
5 Mon.25Jun St Andrew’s <33> <3> St David’s
6 Mon.25Jun St Alban’s <12> <15> Michaelhouse
7 Mon.25Jun Kingswood <25> <24> Kearsney
A1 Wed.27Jun St Andrew’s School <17> <12> St Alban’s
A2 Wed.27Jun St Andrew’s <17> <19> Hilton
A3 Wed.27Jun Kingswood <15> <14> Clifton
B1 Wed.27Jun Eeze Fana <26> <22> St Stithians
B2 Wed.27Jun Kearsney <22> <18> St John’s
B3 Wed.27Jun St David’s <19> <33> Michaelhouse


  1. Unfortunately can only see a tough week for my Alma mater. The best chance will be against Clifton who they lost quite badly to not to long ago but that was in Durban.

  2. @Veg: One problem with this festival (which may help your alma mater) is the vastly different strength teams that the schools send, including the following:
    – No u19’s are allowed, albeit this does not impact the Independent schools much, apart from perhaps Kingswood, which has a post matric year.
    – The CW and AW players do not attend, which impacts some schools more than others – e.g. this year St Alban’s has five such players.
    – Some schools only send ‘stayers’, while others send a few matrics, while others send their full teams – e.g. in my son’s year (2016), St Alban’s sent no matrics.
    – For the KZN and Gauteng schools, the season is over by the time the ISRF starts, so many scholars have other commitments – e.g. cricket tours, etc.

    In short, it’s a lot of fun, but in no way reflects any school’s relative strength – e.g. in 2012, St Alban’s gave Kearsney a huge hiding at ISRF, but if memory serves the ‘proper’ 2012 and 2013 Kearsney teams were stronger than St Alban’s.

    On a different note, I was surprised to hear that St Alban’s did not play St Andrews this year. Any idea why that happened and if it is a permanent decision?

  3. Hilton has 3 tough matches. If they can pull them off they will have an unbeaten season ( not since 1972 where I presume the opposition was not as strong). A team that some people do not really rate will go down as one of the greatest in Hilton history.

  4. @star: Depending on what team Hilton brings, they might find it tough against SAC (also depending on what team Bishops bring of course).

  5. @Wyvern: I presume the CW and Academy players will not travel which will hit Hilton far more than Bishops and SAC. Will be a battle for the ultimate glory.

  6. @star: They are a good team, with exceptional players and great structure. A win is win even if itโ€™s ugly. You have great depth from U16, 3rds and 2nds. Hilton should be fine at this festival. All the best. I hope House will stick with FJ on the wing๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ

  7. @Bush: Agreed Bush , well done to Hilton on a successful season. I only saw the match vs MHS at MHS so I cant comment on their style of play for the rest of the season , on that day it was unadventurous ( to say the least ) , but they still won. The pressure on the boys to keep winning week after week must have been immense.

    I don’t have much hope for MHS at this festival , with the cricket , waterpolo and basketball teams away on tours the available pool is thin.

    I cant imagine there will be more than a handful of 1st and 2nd team regulars , with the bulk of the squad being u16As and 3rd team ( and lower ) players.

    Maybe the some rough diamonds will be discovered for next season ?

  8. From reading the comments here, the results at this festival will mean nothing. When you beats teams that is missing 8 of their best players, then Iโ€™m sorry but the win is not a special one. But that aside, itโ€™s Rugby & a good opportunity for the younger guys to play at a higher level & represent their schools. So just enjoy it & donโ€™t get hung up on the results.

  9. Like 2016, St Alban’s won’t be bringing any matrics to the ISRF. Per St Alban’s twitter feed:
    – “Our first match for our Stayers XV at #ISRF18 will be against Hilton at 16h15 later today.”

    Great opportunity for the youngsters, but I have no doubt that St Alban’s great season of 14 wins and three losses will deteriorate at ISRF.

  10. @star: Howzit Star, I wouldnโ€™t peg this side as the greatest in HC history. Although unbeaten they made hard work out of some fairly poor opposition and had a back line that lacked brilliance. Sadly KZN was particularly poor this season except for GW, who they didnโ€™t play. I think your u14 & u15 sides could be sides to watch over the next few years.

  11. @Vleis: Not to sure of the official reason why they didn’t play St Albans as I am not really in close communication. However reading between the lines I think both schools felt it wasn’t in anybody’s interest as I an sure St Albans would of given them a whipping.I fear that this might be permanent. I also can’t see the St Johns fixture going on for much longer. We are not able to compete with these schools regularly firstly from a numbers point of few and resource point of view.Chatting to a U14 coach he said half his boys played a hockey match then had to play a rugby match.St Andrews can compete with anybody at hockey squash and cricket (current S.A. T20 champs) but are seriously going to have to rethink their rugby and their traditional fixtures.

  12. @Veg: Thanks for the update. I agree that St Andrews should revisit their rugby fixture list, as they’ve historically had too many out-of-province games – e.g. St John’s, St Charles, St Alban’s, Clifton, Bryanston, Fourways, etc. I’d drop the KZN fixtures (as they’re further away) and the St John’s fixture (as they’re much bigger) and keep the Jhb co-eds and St Alban’s. The latter has 525 pupils compared to 760 at St John’s.

    Re cricket: yes, my son had many great tussles with St Andrews during his time at school. Two of your players that stood out were: a stocky spinner that opened the batting (Whitehead) and a tall young fast bowler (Coetzee).

  13. @Balikibaba: Surely Hilton missing more than 7. 8 involved in KZN u18 plus 2 more in KZN u16 plus possibly 2 maybe more ruled out due to injury. That’s 12 players give or take.

  14. @Beet: They have 7 missing. If we count under 16s who have never played first team, Bishops also have 3 playing GK. So regardless that evens it out again.

  15. @BoishaaiPa: It’s par for the course at ISRF to utilise u16s. I think all the teams including Bishops select u16s in the mix. There are no hard and fast rules though. So I just thought that counting all unavailable for selection players is one way of doing it, perhaps the better method is look at how many in the squad of 23 haven’t ever played 1st XV before this tour.

  16. @Balikibaba: It would help me to see the Hilton squad then I could say for sure how many uncapped players they have.

    They can’t have only 7 missing if:

    James, Beukes, Thomas, Taljaard, McVeigh, Armstrong, Wilmans and now Schreuder with KZN u18 and players like Venter and Aadnesgaard were out due to injury.

  17. @Beet: All I am going on is on the numbers given in a previous thread here where the players involved in the provincial squads were named. Hilton had 7. Bishops have 5 and 2 are injured. If Hilton also have 2 injured then they had 9 missing and Bishops 7. All I know is that both sides were not near full strength.

  18. @Beet: Hilton was perhaps is a little lucky to be in top 10 at this stage after only having played and won DHS in top 20 thus far. With this lost against Bishops it will drop them out of top 10 and perhaps into a more realistic spot of between 10 and 15.

  19. @BoishaaiPa:

    My feeling is that the ISRF results should not count. Most KZN schools rugby season ends at the end of the second term and the ISRF takes second preference to other school related activities such as overseas tours and youth weeks.

    Michaelhouse sent a virtually unrecognised squad down to Grahamstown. It includes u16B players. Their major obstacle was the overseas cricket tour, a couple of players at youth week and then also an overseas backetball tour and water polo one as well). Hats off to them, they honoured their commitment. Graeme College and Eeze Fana are making up the numbers because a few privates not there this year.

  20. @BoishaaiPa: I agree that Hilton is not a top 10 side, but it’s madness to use the results of this tournament for ranking purposes. Some of the teams are missing a huge amount of players, there are no provincial players, in some cases the 1st team coach does not even attend the event, etc, etc….and it’s inconsistent across the teams.

    They should change this festival to a development u17 tournament, plus perhaps 3 matrics – i.e. similar to the Olympics football, which is an u23 event but 3 older players are allowed per team.

  21. @BoishaaiPa: the ranking formula is what it is. Hilton’s good fortune that it worked in their favour this year. Affies not so fortunate, it didn’t help their cause. Next year these roles might be reversed or other schools benefit or miss out. I think the emotions have to be removed and we just have to accept that this year that Hilton were unbeaten and finished in the top 10.

    But perhaps it creates consideration for improving the ranking formula. Before there was a minimum games cut-off of 15 and maybe going forward, there needs to be a correlation drawn between the regions, so that perceived weaker regions are discounted by an overall percent. eg. one might be able to prove that KZN interschools should only be 80% worth of WPPL because interactions between the two provinces’ schools during the regular season support this. That would mean beating a category 4 school would only count 3.2 and naturally downgrade the KZN schools especially those that do not play against stronger opponents outside their province.

  22. @Vleis: 100% agree. I really wish there was a better definition of the ISRF. I think limit u18s and set an u16 requirement.

    Unfortunately it can’t help schools with youth week players or overseas tours.

  23. @Vleis: @Beet: The Cape Schools Week every 2 years is in a similar situation when all the provincial players are not available for the Cape teams and some other sports tours, yet we have always included them in the ranking results as it is a schools match at a tournament. Why should the independents get preferential treatment? If most teams are affected it balances out and they still represent the school 1st XV.

  24. @Beet:Perhaps it’s important to note that the only common opposition both Hilton and Bishops have faced this year is Michaelhouse. All teams were full strength. Hilton won 25 5 and 26 11. Bishops won 40 12. Perhaps then, this is a fair reflection.

  25. @Balikibaba: I’m not going to dispute that Bishops have had a good season to date and lots of respect to the S/Suburbs teams, because they have proven their worth against opposition out of the province and held their own in some games vs Winelands schools.

    But measuring how teams performed vs common opponents in isolation in most cases is not a good idea IMO.

  26. @BoishaaiPa: The key difference with the ISRF is that it does not take place during the rugby season for the Gauteng and KZN schools. Therefore, many do not even send any matrics or 1st team coaches.

    …and it certainly does not balance out, as the E Cape and W Cape schools are still in the middle of their season, so send full strength teams apart from CW and AW players. Then, some of the Gauteng and KZN schools send some matrics, while one or two also send full teams – e.g. St David’s in ’14. Basically, it’s a mess – perhaps that’s why the number of schools attending this year is so low.

  27. From what I can see HC can probably credit the following players as capped 1st XV players:

    1 Naude
    2 B Beukes
    3 Davies
    4 Roy
    5 Teichmann
    6 B Trodd
    7 Xulu
    8 M Booth
    9 Aadnesgaard (back from injury – missed regular season)

    So 14 uncapped players.

  28. @Vleis: Add that the E/Cape schools have used their youth week players at Cape Schools Week in the past. I think the W/Cape schools have made do without their youth week players but certainly player availability for their CSW teams has never fallen to the bottom of the pile because the rugby school season was deemed to be over and other activities took priority.

  29. @Beet: Hi Beet, for today’s game MHS have 5 boys in the team who have played for their 1st team at some stage during the course of the season .

    If the festival , is seen as that, “a festival”, and the schools use it to blood some youngsters and “stayers” then it could be a useful exercise.

    Credit must go to the MHS boys and the coaching staff, they have taken a “cobbled together” team , with some who were playing 4ths and u16B last week and have already managed a win on Saturday.

  30. @BoishaaiPa: ISRF use a system called rolling subs. The coaches can basically bring any replacement on at any time and can rotate as often as they like – that’s why I think the full 23 become relevant.

    The HC full strength 1st might be
    3.H Beukes

    So only 2 regular starters in their ISRF squad and 13 1st choice players missing.

    But I’m sure Bishops also have capped players who are not 1st XV regulars in their squad.

  31. @Balikibaba: One way of killing the argument show the scoreboard. Who cares if HC is missing 300 boys and have to play with a girls team from St John Girls. They entered the festival and lost. Well done Bishops.

  32. Well done to House for that win on Saturday. Pretty bad planning having entered the ISRF with all those other activities on the go. 2 3 House

  33. @Balikibaba: Exactly, it goes for all the teams that are at the festival. You selected a team and entered the festival. If you win, well done. If you lose, hard luck. Excuses are for losers.

  34. @Balikibaba: Actually, I’m not sure about your last statement, as St Alban’s wear their 2nd team jerseys at the ISRF festival. Anyway, it’s really not a big deal. On the bright side, I suppose that St Alban’s can always claim a massive 30 point win over the Kearsney 1st team in 2012 – i.e. when the Dup brothers and Schramm were part of the 1st team! :lol: :lol:

  35. Look I for one don’t dispute any of the results. But I do feel that context is very important.

    Today the strongest available Hilton team that lost to the strongest available Bishops team and the festival result stands. It isn’t going to get hidden away.

    But it was a far cry from proper 1st XV vs 1st XV. I won’t hold it against Hilton if they claim an unbeaten season and record this festival as part of their post season 2019 development, in a similar way to the pre-season training matches they had against Glenwood and Northwood this year.

  36. @Beet: I agree with you, but those Hilton boys played in a first team Jersey. Had they won they would have claimed it just as if Bishops lost it would have reflected as a loss in the school magazine. You can’t pick and choose based on the outcome. If Hilton sent a team to the festival, and that team played in a Hilton College first team Jersey, and if the Bishops side played in a first team Jersey, then it was a first team game regardless of the players in those jerseys. That really should be the end of the discussion.

  37. @Balikibaba: OK cool. In ’14 and ’16 St Alban’s wore 2nd team jerseys, but the photos on mycomlink, show that they’re using the 3rd team jersey in ’18. In more exciting news, I see that House scored 3 minutes into injury time to beat St Alban’s by 3. Well done House.

  38. @Vleis: Was the ref wearing a House 1st team jersey ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌSounded like a great game.

  39. @star: So does the loss diminish their โ€œbest side in historyโ€ status or due to the fact that they were wearing a 2nd team jersey does the 1st side remain unbeaten?

  40. @Bush: :lol: :lol: I haven’t heard any complaints! It will be a lesson for the boys to keep focussed right to the bitter end!

  41. Well done Michaelhouse. 2 out of 2. I honestly thought it would be a nightmare tour for them given the circumstances that affected selection. Instead their results define the unpredictable nature of SBR. Part of the joy of it all.

  42. @Wyvern: Agreed. In 1992 Bishops played Stellenberg. Bishops were missing 5 players who were involved in SA Schools vs SA Schools B in the curtain raiser to the Springboks Australia game at Newlands. Bishops lost that day to a team that had lost to a team that Bishops had beaten by over 100 points. But the boys who played that day wore first team jerseys and in the record books it shows Stellenberg 9 Bishops 6.

  43. @McCulleys Workshop: I think it does. Maybe it paints the correct picture of a very solid team that had a quality run. Not nearly as good as the 1982 team which was brimming with legends. :wink:

  44. @Balikibaba: I donโ€™t see the parallel. This is in many instances a stayers tournament and should therefore reflect in next years tally if anything. These are generally experimental teams playing festival rugby, with rolling subs, very similar to the start of season warm up games at Newlands etc which donโ€™t generally count as full 1st team games, regardless of the stip they are wearing.

  45. @star: It is highly possible that the 82 side would have competed favourably if not better than this side. 82 had a big pack and big wheels on the outside and a massive boot at 15.

  46. @Balikibaba: I think that result deserves to be in the history book as even with 5 players missing Bishops must of expected to win and quite handsomely.If as you say Stellenberg had lost to common opposition that Bishops had thumped by 100 points.Results like that are what memories are made of.I would imagine that the Stellenberg chaps were having quite a horrid season if they were shipping 100 points in the days of a 4 point tries.That result must of made their season and I bet now if they ever meet up that is the game they remember.These results are the ones that us chaps who attended small schools live for.
    Being a couple of blocks away from Grey College a St Andrews boy is used to getting beat by them but if you happen to pull one over them even if it is the U15A v their U15C you remember that and later on the C gets forgotten about.
    I remember we lost a rugby game when I was in the Army and one of my team mates who was from Grey College stated that was the 1st rugby game he had ever lost.(no BS from U9 right through).I had to assure him the sky wouldn’t fall on his head. :mrgreen:

  47. @McCulleys Workshop: I hear you and agree with you. But our opinions mean nothing when the FACT is that its regarded as a first team schools tournament and the majority of the schools there wear the first team strips. As such,whether you are I agree with it or not, the record books show Bishops 24 Hilton 17. Finished. Until the schools and tournament organisers agree to call it a stayers tournament what you or I think means zip.

  48. I think that we tend to get lost in numbers, and not look deeper. An All Black’s side missing 5 regular players could probably beat a Wallabies side thats only missing Felou. Impact and depth are key drivers not just numbers. In most years we have said that the Cherries could beat most top schools in the country. So in effect we have been saying the whole GCB 1st XV could catch the flu, and the replacements could win some games against full strength 1st XVs. That’s depth. Take Felou out of the Ireland series they probably would have lost the series 3-0.Thats impact.

    Unless we’re going to measure the quality of the missing boys and those that played… We must just say congratulations to Bishops for beating Hilton. The better team on the day won.


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