Menlopark exodus could derail their rugby plans

Menlopark from Pretoria could be on the brink of a rugby crisis. Internal politics is the buzzword.

  1. Reghardt Botha, the highly respected in SBR circles yet deposed 1st XV coach is off to EG Jansen in Boksburg.
  2. Sylvester Booysen, who apart from his Menlo activities was the Bulls Grant Khomo 2018 coach has taken up the director of rugby post at Ben Viljoen in Groblersdal.
  3. Wynand Moolman, the recruitment guru, is believed to be on the brink of signing a long term deal at his former stomping ground Monument in Krugersdorp.
  4. Theuns Reynolds, the parent who’s generosity translated to Menlo’s biggest ever sponsor (PT Mining)is also believed to have walked away.

It spells trouble unless Menlopark have an action plan in the pipeline to stabilise the situation. Without the funds, personnel to attract/acquire good players and retention of quality coaches, it will be difficult to mount a strong challenge in the future.

Equally worrying is that the existing player talent pool at Menlopark is so good that it makes them highly sort after and therefore susceptible to jumping ship, if the grass at strong rival rugby schools starts to look a bit greener.

Menlopark have set a very high standard in the lower age-groups but for unexplainably reasons just have not managed to transform those age-group achievements into 1st XV rugby success. A setback this season was their failure to finish in the 1st XV Virsekerbeker Cup top 4, meaning they are out of the semi-final playoffs.

In spite of what’s happening on the ground, on paper the school’s prospects for 2019 look very promising indeed. Next year could mark a turning point for Menlopark. But a longer period sustained challenge is becoming an area of increasing doubt.


  1. They lead the new era in stuctured professional high school rugby which one should accredit to them but unfortunately parents and their egos are bigger than the game and as such loyalty is just as good as the next offer.

    Past 4 years they had the best ranked junior sides but it appears that at under 16 level they are jumping ship to schools with better offers or appeal

  2. Seems like Richard Lowe may have been correct after all and there may be a few humble apologies required, not sure that happens in the North. However, for any school to follow an elaborate rugby program such as Menlo’s seems to have been, with quality coaching, recruitment specials et al, and player acquisition, takes proper ammo, often to the detriment of other academic or sporting codes. In my opinion in most instances it is not sustainable outside of a select few schools who seem to have a highly supportive old boys community and with that they are consistently successful at fund raising in all its forms, and or the school is one of the few that attracts great rugby talent (and other talented pupils) because of their pedigree and location.

  3. Good morning all!

    “could be” this article is more an advertisement for vultures to prey on Menlo.

    1. RB is an excellent coach but evidently did not find his feet during the 2017 season. 2018 started with the fiasco at Loftus and a decision was made. The team turned around and with hard work Menlo had an above average season and will end the year under the top 20 on most of the rankings. RB continued at Menlo and did excellent work with our 0/15 and still doing … playing in the Virseker play-offs. All the best to RB at EGJ!!

    2. I’ve known Sylvestor for a couple of years and he will agree that there is just something special about Menlopark! He made a positive difference in the life of many boys and will be missed. This is a great opportunity for Sylvestor and I wish him well.

    3. “believed to be”!?

    4. “believed to have”!?

    If you don’t change things will stay the same … maybe some change is necessary.

    Believe me there is an action plan … it already started!

    The school and kids are more important than any ego!

    All the best to Menlo rugby management you have my support!

    To the Menlo RugbyBoys … the best are yet to come!!

  4. @AbsolutMenlo: As you would know I am a big RB fan and do think that he did not really have a fair chance at Menlo. These things however happen from time to time.

    Think EGJ is making a big statement with the 2 coaches appointed for 2019.

  5. @McCulleys Workshop: Menlo’s old boys is finacially extremely sound. Between Mr. Reynolds and the Atterbury Group, CEO is a old boy, they will be able to finance whatever programmes Menlo may incorporate for many a year.

    @AbsolutMenlo: What is the reason why your Under 16’s jumped ship to Grey? Unfortunately I see the same pattern as with Affies’ under 14 team of 2014 consisting of just Craven Week players of which 9 relocated after and or during their under 15 year, of which 2 to Menlo. If your junior programmes are excellent you will be targeted.

    Promoting another question: is it worth a school’s while to invest money at under 14 to 16 if there is a great possibility that the players may jump ship?

  6. @MikeSt: Hopefully Affies will also in future play EGJ more often. They need strong fixtures but congratulations with the acquisition it will make your rugby even stronger

  7. @MikeSt: Personally I agree with you 100%!
    But the decision was made and we have to deal with it.

    Yes, EG will be force next year!

  8. @4×4: During my sons time at EGJ the Affies games were the highlight of their years. So yes i certainly hope it can be arranged.

  9. @4×4: Unlike popular believe we don’t loose a lot of players.
    Regarding the (now) Grey u/16 player … I spoke to his dad and they were very happy at Menlopark. This kid has serious talent and they believe that his opportunities at Grey will be better. I understand he played 15 against Glenwood last weekend and was the star of the show!

    I believe for up and coming rugby schools you have to put the effort in at 0/14 … in the long run it will happen for you and then it will continue as long as you work at it. Menlo had a great season … things are happening!

  10. @AbsolutMenlo: You refer to the Loftus fiasco, in my opinion it was never a fiasco, it was a dead rubber game, and it was agreed by the coaches that it will be used as trials, coaches took advantage of the 30 man squad allowed,and gave opportunity to fringe players who would normaly not get the opportunity to play at such a venue .. I think the 2nd half of the game was the real measure of our strength. The 2017 season was always going to be difficult, you can be the best coach but ….”You will never win the Durban July with a Donkey” This team still managed to progress to Verseker quarter finals and during the year had wins against 3 or 4 schools that played at Wildeklawer. As far as the Ego’s is concerned, it is unfortunate, and if the BLUE LABEL brigade did not get involved, RB would have been the coach for the year and the real fiasco might have been prevented.

  11. @Richard Lowe: Agree the coaches and players were all in understanding! But, from the outside taking the venue and opponents (BL) in consideration it was a fiasco. Lessons learned … water under the bridge.

    I also had some of the Blue Label being a grade 12 rugby dad.

    Time to keep on supporting Menlo … are you with me!?

  12. @AbsolutMenlo:I will always support Menlo .. I am concerned about the rugby culture in the school, how is it possible for our 2nd team, to only loose by 3 points to Monnas during the Tuks series, and later in the year, they loose by more than 50 to the same opponents? We managed to put 5 senior teams against Garsfontein in the beginning of the season, and yet in our final league game, we did not even have a full bench with the 2nd team .. The performance of our B sides, and therfore the depth of our rugby is not up to standard and should be adressed, and maybe those coaches should also take responsibility for the effort or lack of it.

  13. @Richard Lowe: Blue Label brigade… classic! :lol: I say job well done to everyone involved and now heading for the GROOT TREk…90% of the first team walking around with BB blazers..who cares about missing Virseker playoffs.. Like @Menlo states,it was an above average season..

  14. @Richard Lowe: Great to hear! At least the current under 17’s in the senior group showed lots of character till the end and that gives me a lot of hope.

  15. @Grizzly: No no pella … you know we want to be there more than anything!!! … and it will happen!!

    Sien ek jou more …

  16. @4×4: In my experience “for many a year” is relatively short lived. Funders and sponsors come and go, even when they are committed OB’s. I’ve seen this movie before.

  17. @Richard Lowe: Toe ek vorige keer op jou post gereageer het en bovermelde dinge uitgelig het wat Beet in hierdie artikel skryf, is ek deur @AbsolutMenlo: as ‘n nar uitgekryt.
    Maar ek steur my nie juis daaraan nie want as iemand die feite probeer dig hou, nou ja, dit kom altyd uit en dan kyk ons wie is die nar.
    Nietemin, ek dink mense is bietjie hard op Menlo.
    Dit is net teen Paul Roos en Garsies wat Menlo ‘n drag slae gekry het – en almal het slae gevat teen Paul Roos.
    In albei wedstryde teen Monnas was Menlo baie sterk in die game tot die laaste paar minute en was baie ongelukkig om albei te verloor. En ook teen Helpies het Menlo in die laaste minute verloor.
    Menlo kon darem self in die laaste minute teen Transvalia gewen het.
    Die ding is, met bietjie meer geluk kon Menlo daar gewees het – dit was baie close.
    En Menlo sal altyd genoeg geld he – so geld gaan nie ‘n probleem wees nie! As een of twee ryk pa’s verdwyn is daar heelwat ander wat wag.
    Maar die ROE oorskry die COE totaal en al, wat maar net toon dat dit oortollige geld is wat in die rugby ingaan. En die tipe geld alleen kan nie vir jou volhoubaar wenspanne kweek nie. Die antwoord is baie dieper as dit.

  18. @Richard Lowe: Thundering applause on your post.

    With that I dont doubt Menlo’s strength and effort and I do take my hat of to them.

    @AbsolutMenlo: Did you get it for free or bought a bottle / case :lol: :lol: :lol:

  19. @beet: Confirmed that Wynand Moolman will be leaving Menlo for Monnas. Wynand did amazing work at Menlo and will surely be missed. He is an absolute rugby man knowing each player, all age groups by name. Best of luck Wynand and we will see you next to the SBR rugby fields!

    Vacant positions at Menlo has already been advertised … the show goes on!

  20. @4×4: EGJ behoort in 2020 weer baie sterk te wees as dinge goed gaan. AFFIES het ook glo ‘n groot jaar in 2020. Miskien sal ‘n wedstryd tussen Affies en EGJansen in 2020 ‘n baie goeie een wees.

  21. @AbsolutMenlo: Nee dis nie, een van julle narre praat van n sekere skool wat 11 gewerf het en spog dat hulle miskien nie reg gewerf het nie. Weer eens kon julle gekoopte eerstes nie eens die finaal haal, en was damm gelukkig om kloof te wen. Kloof kon een van die finaliste wen in n relatiewe swak jaar en julle o\16 toon ook weer rooi ligte {hulle ook nie in finaal) so hoeveel is daar oor in julle tjek boek?

  22. @sewes: …. beide ons spanne waarna jy verwys het puik seisoene gehad en ons is baie trots op hulle. Indien jy skole rugby gevolg het sal jy ook weet dat beide net sowel in die uitspele kon gewees het.

    Kom ons praat rugby … seisoen is amper verby en Saterdag gaan GROOT wees …

  23. @sewes: skewe – sewes!
    Wat het julle nou werklik bereik die seisoen? F..ol
    Bly stil man.
    M.b.t. die 11 wat gewerf was my stabb aan Garsies wat 11 u16 ingewin het. Met reuse vraag en of hulle nou regtig die beste kopie was en of dit surplus van ander skool was. M.a.w. is die aanwins die beste speler beskikbaar?
    Dis kompleks maar byt vas, agteros kom ook in die kraal :evil:
    Let wel, soek julle ‘n lening dat jy ons bank balans wil weet?
    …ek is vas oortuig daar is nog Menlo walvisse in die see en dat een voeltjie nie n somer maak nie.

  24. @Rainier: … hoe so!? Menlo 0/16 … 2016 en 2017 Beeld/Virseker wenners.
    2018 beide groepe in Tuks finaal en met bietjie meer geluk in Virseker uitspele. Albei groepe gaan top 20 eindig.
    … maar ja ons wil verbeter en sal daaraan werk!

    Kom ons praat rugby … Menlo nog twee spanne in …

  25. @Skoorsteen: Menlo het ‘n baie goeie atletiek program so ook hokkie, netbal, krieket, rugby, mtb, swem, muurbal, tennis, skaak, golf en ander. Jy kan meer inligting op die skool se webtuiste kry.

  26. You know what should happen is their should be an accredited SARU agent whom is man enough to become the agent of the rugby player and the school and to pay all the monies the agent earns back to the schools for funding and development of new young talented boys and all school should use this one agent to negotiated on the player and schools behalf ,so all school have the same agent ,collect all the commissions directly from the unions ,this will stop poaching and greedy Agents from putting themselves or one school ahead of another school
    It will all go about developing the young u14 boys that that school scouted and the agent will stop schools stealing and making promises to youngsters ,and it will give the school more more funding to develope and enbrace transformation
    Sounds crazy but thinkabout it it would get rid of back hand deals and help the unions negotiate openly ,and the x factor boys will be placed at the unions that they feel free to join ,,,

  27. Bietjie op n ligter kant. Tydens die aand wedstryde by vanjaar se 0/15 toernooi by Boishaai het n daar n baie komiese insident plaas gevind wat n baie onaangename situasie vinnig ontlont het. No name no pack drills. Die manne het redelik Coke gedrink na n lang reis Kaap toe. Dieselfde manne het sulke lang lense gehad om goeie fotos te kon neem. Hulle was egter in fie middel van die paviljoen geposioneer. As die spel na die hoeke van die veld geskyf het kon die ouers aan beide kante van die paviljoen nie sien nie.

    Die manne met die lang lense en Coke het natuurlik 180 grade gehad. Later van tyd is daar meer aandag aan die Coke gegee as aan die neem van fotos. Verder het die manne se aanmerkings oor die wedstryd redelik rof geraak.

    Een van die sittende ouers het eers sag n algemene versoek gerig dat die lang lens manne a.s.b. net moet terug staan sodat almal n 180 grade uitsig mag hê. so na die 5 de versoek het meer sittende toeskouer hul stem laat hoor.

    Nie te lank daarna nooi die Coke brigade die sittende ouers vir bolle rol sessie agter die paviljoen alhoewel hulle kort kort dreig om van die treetjies af te val soos hulle vingerswaaiend die versoek rig. Hou ingegagte dat die lang lens manne nie klein is nie, dat hulle welige baarde het, die vingers is dik. Teen die tyd is alle toeskouers se aandag van die spel af en gefokus oor die momentum wat die uitnodiging homself aanneem. Ek moet egter noem dat die seuns pragtige rugby speel en n spannende wedstryd tussen n span van die Noorde en die Suide hom voor ons afspeel. Die seuns bring hul kant.

    Maar langs die veld is die manne slim en sterk. Niemand van die sittende toeskouers wil hom self waag om op te staan en die saak op te los nie. Woorde gekruid en ongekruid neig omself die seuns op die veld se aandag af te lei. Meteens staan daar so kort vroutjie op. Sy is kort – die Frans Erasmus – soort en begin met daai vingertjie te verduidelik. Toe die stemmetjie begin praat en die vingertjie wys toe……… staan haar mannetjie langs haar op. Daardie kopbors tipe van man.

    En ek sien dit is nie die eerste keer dat die Kopbors man die stemmetjie met die swaaiende vingertjie al gesien het optree nie. Jy weet toe sommer die einde aan die onrus op die pawiljoen gaan n wenner hê.

    Die swaaiende vingertjie verander toe in albei hande wat begin verduidelik.
    Die vroutjie verduidelik toe aan die langlens manne dat sy weet hoe om met hulle soort te werk. Sy gaan so n entjie weg en sê: ” Julle soort – en sy beduie – klap n mens nie woep-wap op elke wang nie. Nee julle soort slaan n mens net een hou van bo af op die kop, dan sak julle net daar in mekaar. So besluit of julle gaan rugby kyk of ……..

    Eers bly alaml stil van verbasing en toe bars die hele paviljoen uit van die lag, maar die vroutjie bewe want die adrenelien vloei.

    Die lang lens manne het maar om gedraai en na die agterkant van die pawiljoen gestap. die vroutjie is nie saam nie. Hulle die volgende wedstryde aan die anderkant van die veld gesien met hulle lang lense , maar sonder hul Coke.

  28. @Skopgraaf243: Jy het seker boom gerook boetman. Garsies 11 o.16’s gewerf? Hier is bietjie goeie raad. Kry jou feite reg voor jy nonsens post.
    Gaan kyk die o.14 a, b en c spanlyste en die o.16-span dan praat ons weer.
    Watter skool behalwe Menlo het die geld om so te werf. Weet jy hoeveel kos dit per speler?
    Baoe geluk met jul meisiesport.
    Terloops wie het die seunshokkie gewen. Ek sien in die koerant julle se die 1stes het in die finaal verloor. Wragtag! Julle het nie eens die semi gemaak nie.
    En @AbsolutMenlo: se jul o.16 spanne van 2016 en 2017 was Beeldwenners. Nou dan moes hulle mos nou in die finaal gewees het, of hoe?

  29. @Djou: Nee … 2018 mos ‘n nuwe jaar, nuwe kompetisie. Hulle het wel baie goed gedoen … Trots op die manne!!

    Ek dink dat die koerantjie jou verskriklik ontstel. Skakel die redakteur dat hulle dit reg stel.
    Geluk met daai hokkiespan … knap gedaan!!

  30. @Rainier: Jy is reg geen van die Pretoria skole kon die laaste paar jaar die Bere klop nie, maar dit bly ‘n lekker challenge wat Menlo aanvaar het … dit is waaroor sport gaan. Dit maak ook skole rugby in Pretoria en die groter Noordvaal interessant, natuurlik vir die wat nie kla nie.
    Dankie Bere! maar ons kom vir julle … een of ander tyd! :lol:

  31. @AbsolutMenlo: Nee wat die koerantjie ontstel my nie. Dit behoort jou te ontstel dat jou skool die verkeerde inligting vir die koerantjie deurgee om Menlo beter te laat lyk. Maar uit jou antwoord is dit duidelik dat jy sulke optrede goedkeur – en die blaam probeer verskuif. 8-O

  32. @Djou: ek dink nie @Absolutemenlo keur dit goed nie maar dis goeie storie om die kollig te skuif van julle om ander in swak lig te stel.
    Point in question I take it you have the press release in writing Menlo stating such false news.

  33. @Skopgraaf243: Gaan lees gerus selg dan antwoord jy. En moenie weer die gruwelike duimsuig 11 spelers gebruik as verskoning nie.
    En as dit die eerste keer was dan kon mens dit nog oorsien. Maar dit is nie die eerste keer nie.
    En as jou vriend dit nie goedkeur nie dan erken jy implisiet dit was onwaar. Nou indien dit so is waarom het die vrome heer dit na die redakteur probeer afskuif?

  34. @Djou: Om te dink Menlo sal vals inligting gee oor uitslae is absolute belaglik!! Enige koerant moet seker maak van hulle feite daarom moet dit reggestel word deur die redakteur wat die inhoud moet nagaan. Dus kontak die redakteur as dit jou so pla. Jy is die een wat alewig so aangaan oor versprei van leuens … ek daag jou uit om die bewyse te bring dat Menlo vals inligting aan die publikasie gegee het! Indien nie is jy mos die leuenaar. Ek het baie respek vir Garsfontein en geniet die gesonde kompetisie!

    For the record: Menlo did not play in the Noordvaal 0/18 boys hockey play-offs. Gersfontein is the well deserved 2018 champions. Congratulations!!


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