St John’s Easter Rugby Festival 2024 – fixtures


Day 1 : Thu 28-Mar-2024
12h00 LIO St David’s 19-32 Falcon College ZIM
13h40 GRF Voortrekker (Beth) 21-31 Nelspruit PUM
14h50 LIO Noordheuwel 52-00 Golden Lions XV LIO
16h00 WP SACS 31-07 Graeme EP
17h10 KZN Hilton 57-00 St Benedict’s LIO
19h10 WP Boland Landbou 32-17 Maritzburg College KZN
20h20 LIO St John’s 17-17 Kingswood EP
Day 2 : Sat 30-Mar-2024
08h20 GRF Voortrekker (Beth) 31-00 Golden Lions XV LIO
09h30 LIO St Benedict’s 00-29 Falcon College ZIM
10h40 EP Graeme 12-10 St David’s LIO
11h50 LIO Noordheuwel 40-18 Kingswood EP
14h10 LIO St John’s 13-38 Nelspruit PUM
15h20 KZN Maritzburg College 26-24 SACS WP
16h30 WP Boland Landbou 14-17 Hilton KZN
Day 3 : Mon 01-Apr-2024
08h30 EP Graeme 50-10 St Benedict’s LIO
09h40 KZN Maritzburg College 24-07 Golden Lions XV LIO
10h50 WP Boland Landbou 59-00 Hans Moore VAL
12h00 EP Kingswood 35-10 St David’s LIO
14h00 LIO St John’s 38-21 Falcon College ZIM
15h10 KZN Hilton 32-17 Nelspruit PUM
16h20 LIO Noordheuwel 47-03 Voortrekker (Beth) GRF

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  1. avatar
    #15 Kantman

    Regarding the Hilton discussion, I like their game and think the u/16s are exciting with 2025 promising to be a great year.
    Not that it matters, but I am not convinced that this tournament can support any claim that “we play top schools at festivals” at all. If you want to claim position on rankings, then I would argue that it has been a long time since Hilton’s been tested against 10-year Top6 schools, and should have at least played SACS or another GTN/WC school.
    But I am really excited that KZN schools are increasing tours to Gauteng and Cape in the early season. I think some Noordvaal schools should follow that trend if they want to celebrate any end-of-season ranking positions.

    5 December, 2023 at 23:31
  2. avatar
    #14 Skywalker

    @Vleis (Comment #12)
    Agree, I have written about that exact thing under previous posts. Their u16A team in 2022 were soundly beaten by a number of teams (including a few where they failed to register a single point). It flew under the radar because their 1st team that year (for their 150th) was exceptional and rightly so, claimed the headlines. The thing is the 1st team is always a mix of Grade 11s and Grade 12s, which can mean that a poor Grade 12 year can be bolstered by a great group of Grade 11’s. If you look at their u16A results this year, you will see that is the case lined up for next year. They wont allow a 6 year near perfect run to be undone so bady. also BMH is a great coach so sure they will still put up a great team, but perhaps just perhaps a bit more succeptable then previous years. Would love to get a team list for their u16A team of 22 and see how many start in game 1 for the 1st team next year.

    3 December, 2023 at 15:20
  3. avatar
    #13 beet


    Some good news is that the Nories vs Nellies match has been changed. These schools are both in the Noordvaal Cup premier league.
    Not sure who’s on the SJC fest match setting committee that made such a bad original choice but good to see they changed it
    30 November, 2023 at 21:34
  4. avatar
    #12 Vleis

    @Skywalker (Comment #11)
    I believe so, as I saw a Bishops advert for their 175th rugby festival next year on 21 & 23 March with the following attendees: Grey High, Hilton, House, Kearsney, Bishops, Rondebosch, Wynberg and SACS. The only confirmed fixture is the final match on the final day, which is Bishops v House…but I’m nevertheless certain that the non-CT schools will play the CT schools in all the other matches too.

    Hilton has a great coaching set-up, but how strong will the 1st team be next year, as I seem to remember their u16A team of 2022 getting walloped by some 50 or 60 points v DHS?

    30 November, 2023 at 18:29
  5. avatar
    #11 Skywalker

    @Vleis (Comment #10)
    Oh right so they are playing at the Bishops festival as well? That is good to hear. They have consistently been our top or 2nd best KZN team for the last few years, and it would be great to have them competing and representing against some of the big Cape and Gauteng schools.

    30 November, 2023 at 14:43
  6. avatar
    #10 Vleis

    @Skywalker (Comment #9)
    I suspect that Hilton will want to rest all their key players on Thursday 28 March, as they would’ve just had a very tough encounter five days earlier at the Bishops fest followed by a very tough encounter two days later v Boland Landbou.

    30 November, 2023 at 11:02
  7. avatar
    #9 Skywalker

    Hilton have consistently been a top 10 team in SA virtually for the last 6 years straight. My 1 gripe is that they do not extend themselves, especially with tours outside of KZN. A team as strong as them should not be playing St Benedicts with all due respect. They played them last in 2022 at this tournament and won 62-3. They should surely be playing SACS, and the likes of Noordhewel again who they narrowly beat last year at the tournament. They should in fact stay in KZN and play at the Kearsney ERF, or go to KES and take on KES themselves and others. They did face Paarl Boys High at St Johns to be fair in 2022 which was their only loss that year, but i would love to see them stretch themselves a bit more. I know these fixtures are not just decided by them, but surely they could get stronger match ups.

    30 November, 2023 at 09:17
  8. avatar
    #8 beet


    @Kaya 85 (Comment #5)
    Locals schools are not a bad bet as they normally bring a healthy sized local support base with them.
    But I also know part of the attraction to out of town visiting schools of playing in Jozi is to offer their old boys and other supporters based there, the chance to watch live and reconnect.

    There probably isn’t much of an attempt to measure this but would be interesting to understand what sort of a draw card the different schools are to people who consider attending an Easter festival.

    The Jozi fests also do very well out of two things that are not necessarily directly related to school rugby viewing:
    alcohol sales – the festivals create a great festive environment for people to have a good entertaining day and sometimes night out.
    young adult get together – there are tons of young people with little interest in rugby socialising at these festivals. With it comes food and beverage revenue for the schools.

    Between SJC, KES and Saints, neither has that big a seating area around the main rugby field and often the stands/seating are reasonably full but it still feels like the crowd away from the field outnumbers those viewing games. Maybe by as many as 3:1 during peak times on the Saturday and the Monday???

    26 November, 2023 at 17:51
  9. avatar
    #7 beet


    I have heard that SACS will only be playing two matches at the SJC Fest.

    I think a few more schools would probably take advantage of that opportunity if it was on the table.

    Its especially inconvenient when Easter falls within the school term as opposed to being part of the 1st term break holidays

    26 November, 2023 at 17:40
  10. avatar
    #6 Kaya 85

    @Ploegskaar (Comment #2)
    Yes agreed

    23 November, 2023 at 00:09
  11. avatar
    #5 Kaya 85

    @Palma (Comment #3)
    The likes of St Benedicts and St David’s are not particularly strong…yet it’s an opportunity for those schools to get noticed and improve their rugby programme. Bennies have only played rugby since early 2000s, at one point their prep school teams were getting really good. Key is to build your own primary school talent conveyor belt, and expand your high school fixture lists.

    23 November, 2023 at 00:08
  12. avatar
    #4 Kaya 85

    Wish the Lions would choose stronger squads for these tournaments…they regularly get thumped. Or they need to bring in high end coaches because they always disappoint.

    23 November, 2023 at 00:03
  13. avatar
    #3 Palma

    I think the rise of Noord-Suid has weakened the Easter festivals. However, this is still a very strong lineup from St Johns

    22 November, 2023 at 14:25
  14. avatar
    #2 Ploegskaar

    Hilton, MC & NH would be lekker match-ups for Landbou in my opinion. Hope the organizers get the fixtures right

    21 November, 2023 at 23:18
  15. avatar
    #1 boerboel

    sadly it seems this festival is moving backwards in terms of quality- why? such a great place and people

    21 November, 2023 at 12:48

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