There are three matches on in KwaZulu-Natal that are bound to draw a lot of interest.
At Van Heerden’s field in Essenwood, Durban High School will battle it out with Westville in a match which could go a long way to determining who ends as the number two school in the province. Westville are licking their wounds after a heavy defeat to Hilton last weekend and so they should not need too much motivation to put up a good show. Expect to witness a lot more focused determination to retain the ball and do something positive with it from the Highways school. DHS’s scrumming is a highlight package all on its own this season. If there was a national running for this, they would surely be Top 5 in the land. By comparison their lineout work has left much to be desired. With the latter proving so crucial in setting up attacking platforms, if the hosts can get it sorted out, it will up their odds of winning considerably.
At Riverside, Clifton College from Morningside have arguably their best chance of making history when they take on Kearsney from Botha’s Hill. Day school Clifton, who have never beaten Kearsney has produced a decent set of results this season and the formbook of late shows that their margins are comparable with those of One-Stripes, to the extent that they should be in-it-to-win-it. They will however be competing against a near full-strength visiting team in Maroon. Kearsney will once again give a lot up front in all phases of forward play but it is the lacklustre backline play that has plagued their rugby for too long, that holds them back a lot of the time.
If you enjoy schoolboy rugby and you are new to KZN, for the ultimate experience, it is highly recommended that you either attend a Hilton versus Michaelhouse match or go to Maritzburg College on Reunion Day. It is the latter on Saturday and there has not been one since 2019, so all that can be said is good luck to the driver of car arriving a few minutes before the main game kickoff. Finding parking will be a mare and the walk from there to the ground will be more like a hike in distance. The weather is expected to be good, so no one will be making alternative arrangements. It is going to be packed on Goldstones period. The vibe will be something else. The hometeam’s season has been on a slow downward spiral for a while so they will be looking to pick up the pace for the big occasion. The message has to be fight hard to get the ball and retain it and then try to recapture the magic that made the team a highlight at the start of the season. Also tackle like your life depended on it because as an end reward there is no greater feeling than winning on Reunion Day. Opponents Hilton have set the bar very high in the province in their 150th year. They are unkind divorce lawyers, motivated to break up any sort of relationship opponents have with the ball. On attack they aren’t sensational but they are organised and well-drilled to play in the right parts of the field and they have the right sort of patience to eventually pry open a path to the tryline. A very committed team.