Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival 2024 – fixture list

 

KEARSNEY EASTER R/F
Day 1 : Thu 28-Mar-2024
09h00 BOL Worcester Gim 26-25 Rustenburg LEO
10h20 VAL EG Jansen 59-07 Noord-Kaap GRQ
11h40 EP Marlow 06-14 Glenwood KZN
13h00 KZN Durban HS 21-00 Nico Malan EP
14h20 KZN Kearsney 17-18 Framesby EP
15h40 KZN Westville 10-31 Rondebosch WP
Day 2 : Sat 30-Mar-2024
07h40 EP Nico Malan 31-22 Noord-Kaap GRQ
09h40 KZN Westville 18-11 Pearson EP
10h20 EP Marlow 37-38 Worcester Gim BOL
11h40 KZN Durban HS 45-00 Rustenburg LEO
13h00 EP Framesby 17-22 Monument LIO
14h20 VAL EG Jansen 20-08 Glenwood KZN
15h40 KZN Kearsney 08-22 Rondebosch WP
Day 3 : Mon 01-Apr-2024
07h30 EP Marlow 30-26 Noord-Kaap GRQ
08h50 LEO Rustenburg 13-22 Rondebosch WP
10h10 EP Framesby 36-34 Worcester Gim BOL
11h30 KZN Glenwood 12-19 Nico Malan EP
13h00 KZN Durban HS 38-07 Pearson EP
14h20 KZN Westville 25-22 Monument LIO
15h40 KZN Kearsney 11-36 EG Jansen VAL

Media Release:

2024 Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival launched

The attendance register

Kearsney will expand from 12 to 14 high schools in 2024 but are yet to release details on how they will accommodate an extra match, given that KZN tends to get dark in the late afternoon earlier than other part of the country and that climate change has made Easter a wetter period (read gloomy late afternoons). The adverse weather also has the potential impact on the parking arrangement. This might be critical if the plan is to host the new primary schools festival simultaneously. Durban High, Glenwood and Maritzburg College also host primary school rugby festivals.Selborne who attended the first 13 KERF’s in a row, have once again opted to travel to Jozi over Easter. Dale College who attended KERF in 2023 will join them and fellow Border top school Queen’s (5 KERF’s in the past) at the KES Easter Rugby Festival in 2024.My KERF wishlist (schools who have never attended)

  • Hoërjongenskool Paarl
    By some considerable distance, Boishaai is the school I have always most wanted to watch play at KERF. If it happens, they would be the last of the national powerhouse five to play on the Stott, since Affies (4), Grey College (6), Paarl Gim (2) and Paul Roos (2) have all appeared at more than one KERF. For many years Boishaai seemed to have very close ties to the St John’s Fest but in recent times they have not attended it. It seemed like that might open a door. However the demands of their schedule which includes the Noord-Suid tournament, often played a week apart from Easter, coupled with KZN being out of the way for a Cape school, probably means they will never get to Botha’s Hill.
  • Bishops
    As a rugby brand, the Platinum Blues are as high profile as a school anywhere in the world can hope to get. They bring in the crowds. They have a proud history and great on-field reputation. Over the years so many neutrals have hated the missing jersey numbers but absolutely loved their expansive and adventurous brand of rugby.  Now under highly rated coach Wes Chetty, they have added method to the up-tempo madness. The slick hands that got the ball into wider channels to attack the spaces are still in the DNA of their game but for me nowadays, their forward play ability to launch quick and decisive onslaughts in narrow lanes near the breakdown fringes while looking to make key offloads especially to support on the inside lines is easily the most exciting aspect of their play especially when they make big gains.
  • Grey High
    Another big name on the schoolboy rugby circuit. When KERF first started it had a very strong Eastern Cape feel about it. Dale (10), Queen’s (5) and the sorely missed Selborne (13) who were furniture on the Hill, all attended. There was even an Eastern Cape Development team at the inaugural festival. Back then it felt like the Pajama Boys were the missing piece of the puzzle and it was only a matter of time before they joined the party. Sadly it never happened. Grey go to Jozi every year without fail. Anyways I have good memories of going to the Grey Festival in Gqeberha (PE). A really beautiful school in a lovely neighbourhood. Apart from their pre-kickoff 1st XV war-dance on the field, there are two unique traditions at Grey that I think I will always remember: the 1st XV Steps and the Quad Race.
  • Oakdale
    This is one of the schools consistently punching above their weight. Kearsney have been privileged to host fellow agricultural schools Boland Landbou (1) and Marlow (2) but it is the Bulle from Riversdale who have been the top ranked farm school for the past decade and a bit and in spite of their size, are just outside the national top 10 over that period. Incidentally their main SWD rivals, Outeniqua (1) from George have also attended KERF with their 2013 Dreamteam. Before Noord-Suid became a premier school festival, Oakdale committed to their own successfully festival which has a clever approach of trying to create strength-versus-strength matchups for Day-2 and Day-3 games. The event provides a MASSIVE boost for the local economy.
  • Kingswood
    So Kingswood is a Methodist brother school of Kearsney and annoying have this outstanding rugby record against their “siblings” as well. In spite of this relationship there hasn’t been that much interaction between the two schools over the years, especially when compared to younger St Stithians from Jozi who share the same connection to the two schools but enjoyed a proper interschools with Kearsney before Covid. Co-ed Kingswood are very small in numbers of boys, probably one-third of the size of Kearsney now, so perhaps a meaningful interschools is out of the question. Anyways Kearsney seem to bring out the best in “little” Kingswood who have produced a succession of character driven wins against the One-Stripes. This is just another good reason to invite them over and take them on in front of a full-house, with extra volume coming from the Medworth stand.
  • St Andrew’s
    In some respects St Andrew’s is like the Bishops of the Eastern Cape in terms of stylish play. They do wear numbers though and have some of the most splendid school buildings imaginable. It doesn’t happen every year, but when they have a good squad of players, they have a well-conditioned athletic feel and play really attractive rugby. They are the kind of team that would really be a joy to watch at KERF.
  • Jeppe
    It’s been a while since the Jeppe Boys upped their rugby game and lifted themselves out of the shadow cast by their main rivals KES. KES are obviously not an option because they have a very successful Easter festival of the own but Jeppe certainly are a school who could maybe be persuaded to use the money in their kitty to travel to KZN instead of Gqeberha for a festival tour for a change of scene. And the way things are going, they would be very good value for money at KERF, just as fellow Gauteng English medium school Pretoria Boys’ (4) have been in past years. Jeppe do have interschools against a couple of KZN schools during the regular season.
  • Garsfontein
    The Garsie Bere have spent the last decade transforming from a school very few knew about into a well-recognised name when it comes to schoolboy rugby. They are also the last of the macro schools from the administrative capital to have not played at KERF with Witbulle (4), the Candies (4), Klofies (1) and the Parkies (1), all having entertained spectators in the past. They are the reigning Noordvaal Cup champions.
  • Stellenberg
    The Jade Brigade from Northern Suburb of Cape Town is a rugby school on the up. There is a very positive feel about the way they go about their business and heaps of praise for their achievements. Again they might arrive as not the most familiar name in parts like KZN but unquestionably a team with plenty of character and worth watching.  They would definitely leave with even more friends and increased recognition.
  • Wynberg
    They have interaction with KZN schools via the Jozi Easter rugby even still perhaps not as well-known in KZN as their fellow Southern Suburbs rivals Bishops, SACS (2) and Rondebosch but without question an excellent rugby programme and doing good things these past few years. Not that it necessarily matters to Berg what the folks in KZN know or don’t know about them or their achievements, but if they are ever looking for would be a grand way to introduce themselves to the local community and leave a lasting impression through the value they add, KERF is the way to go.
  • Brandwag from the Eastern Cape
    When I first heard that Brandwag (Benoni) was being considered for KERF, I immediately thought it was a mistake and that it was surely Brandwag from Kariega (Uitenhage) who had cracked the nod. No disrespect intended to the Oos-Randers. The Oos-Kapenaars have done some good things as a top tier rugby school. Their team is often characterised for having a beefy pack and some real flash amongst the backs.
  • Nelspruit
    The Rhinos have produced a number of decent 1st XVs and been good opponents to fellow Pumas region school and KERF regulars HTS Middelburg (8) over the years. Nellies participate in the Noordvaal Cup premier league. Somehow a tour to KZN has never materialised.

 

 

Leave a Reply

33 Comments

  1. avatar
    #33 Patat70706

    So begin die Fees!!!!!
    Glo ons gaan goeie rugby sien.

    ReplyReply
    27 March, 2024 at 10:31
  2. avatar
    #32 Grasshopper

    @Rainier (Comment #31)
    I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a blue school in KZN 😉

    ReplyReply
    27 February, 2024 at 10:38
  3. avatar
    #31 Rainier

    @beet (Comment #30)

    It is nice to have him back in a lighter shade of blue, :lol:

    ReplyReply
    27 February, 2024 at 07:49
  4. avatar
    #30 beet

    @Rainier (Comment #26)
    Nice to see that one of their talents has returned home and rejoin NM. I won’t say which province he was in for a short while :mrgreen: You can have one guess!

    ReplyReply
    26 February, 2024 at 23:50
  5. avatar
    #29 beet

    @KatzRugga (Comment #22)
    I think NM are up and coming and will be an exciting prospect. And hopefully they can hold onto all their top players for 2025.
    Marlow is such a small school in numbers. They have tremendous spirit and have had two great seasons – massive overachievers in 2022. I just think the old Law of Large Numbers Theory has got them firmly in sight now. I really hope they prove me wrong.

    ReplyReply
    26 February, 2024 at 23:47
  6. avatar
    #28 beet

    @Henkies (Comment #21)
    Yeah you know our province. Sun comes up early and departs the scene early as well.
    We really should work our own daylight savings system to normalise a 7:30 kickoff.
    I do however think that a 7-match festival day is too long. 6 is ideal.

    ReplyReply
    26 February, 2024 at 23:41
  7. avatar
    #27 Grasshopper

    @Pamos (Comment #25)
    I’m not sure to be honest, all I do know is the last 2 years U16’s battled a bit and DHS poaching our best prop doesn’t help. They will obviously show true Glenwood grit and passion always, so you never know. Teams touted being average can surprise us all. With proper training & coaching, let’s see. I just think our ‘glory’ years of 2018 etc are behind us..for now….

    ReplyReply
    26 February, 2024 at 13:52
  8. avatar
    #26 Rainier

    @KatzRugga (Comment #22)

    NM will have a young team this year with quite a few /17’s in the mix. But I think the back line will be exciting and they will play attractive rugby.

    ReplyReply
    26 February, 2024 at 07:59
  9. avatar
    #25 Pamos

    @Grasshopper (Comment #23)
    Glenwood has always been good, don’t you guys have a good team this year?@KatzRugga (Comment #22)

    The pool of talent in the J-bay area is unmatched. Excited to see Nico Malan at the festival.

    ReplyReply
    26 February, 2024 at 05:08
  10. avatar
    #24 Pamos

    @Grasshopper (Comment #23)
    Glenwood has always been good, don’t you guys have a good team this year?

    ReplyReply
    26 February, 2024 at 05:07
  11. avatar
    #23 Grasshopper

    Glenwood will battle to win any games :-(

    ReplyReply
    25 February, 2024 at 09:08
  12. avatar
    #22 KatzRugga

    NM & MARLOW

    @Rainier (Comment #19)
    I believe that both NM and Marlow is great teams. Marlow story and underdog status is fantastic. NM could potentially upset and surprise at KERF!
    ReplyReply
    25 February, 2024 at 08:23
  13. avatar
    #21 Henkies

    07:30am kick off for the first match of Day3. That’s going to be an early alarm for the Marlow and Noord Kaap boys

    ReplyReply
    23 February, 2024 at 15:56
  14. avatar
    #20 Kaya 85

    Is Paarl Boys High not at KES Fest this year?

    ReplyReply
    23 February, 2024 at 15:24
  15. avatar
    #19 Rainier

    @beet (Comment #18)

    Cool, I will be supporting NM and Marlow.

    ReplyReply
    23 February, 2024 at 08:12
  16. avatar
    #18 beet

    @Rainier (Comment #17)
    Yes I’m sure we can encourage a few to make an appearance closer to the time

    ReplyReply
    22 February, 2024 at 16:20
  17. avatar
    #17 Rainier

    I will be taking a drive for this one.

    Any other bloggers attending so that we can have a beer?

    ReplyReply
    22 February, 2024 at 13:12
  18. avatar
    #16 Pamos

    This is and will always be one of the best festivals in SA. I think there are many schools itching to play at this festival. Match ups are always great too! I know the coaches and players love being part of this festival at Kearsney take good care of them.

    ReplyReply
    22 February, 2024 at 06:10
  19. avatar
    #15 beet

    @Henkies (Comment #14)
    Interesting one of the Affies players that played in that match was prop Eduard Coetzee, who is now the Sharks CEO

    ReplyReply
    7 February, 2024 at 21:18
  20. avatar
    #14 Henkies

    @Grasshopper (Comment #1)
    That 1996 Affies v Gisborne game was one to remember Grassy. I would say Affies had 75% possession with their big scrum and dominant lineput.
    Despite all that possession they just couldn’t score. Their kicker had an off day. I can’t remember exactly how the game ended – not sure if Gisborne scored right at the end but Gisborne held out for the win. I remember Affies had a 2m lock who was pretty awesome to watch in the lineput. I think lifting still wasn’t allowed in 96. Interestingly College beat Gisborne in Gisborne’s next match which must have been sweet revenge after losing to Gisborne in the 1993 World Schools festival.

    ReplyReply
    7 February, 2024 at 20:29
  21. avatar
    #13 KatzRugga

    NICO MALAN

    @Rainier (Comment #11) Thank You for Your comment. Seems like they are going about it in the right way. Hope they succeed
    ReplyReply
    2 December, 2023 at 09:04
  22. avatar
    #12 KatzRugga

    WISH LIST#2

    @beet (Comment #8) pleasure!
    I share a few of the same wishes. Your list makes it clear how some of these schools has become recognised brands.
    Grey High. I would have thought that anytime soon would be their perfect opportunity to be at KERF as they would stand a chance to start their season on a high with a possible 3 out of 3. Their name brother and Paarl schools seems out of their league of late.
    Given the rising cost in transport I was secretly hoping to see more GP schools like Jeppe, Helpmekaar & especially Garsie to rope them in while they on the up.
    Respectfully. Inviting Brandwag it could have been more fun to see Eldoraign with Naas at the helm as a better marketing stunt. Or alternatively keeping it to 12 teams due to logistics.
    I’ve only really followed schoolboy rugby for a few years and regardless of past and current some of the biggest brand names coming to mind would be Affies, Pretoria Boys and again Jeppe.
    If a festival wants to be big then they have to play the balance of current brands and maybe even a ‘up and coming’ Wild Card where schools could be invited to apply or motivate as to why they deserve a spot in the particular year ahead. This wild card system is something that is used within hockey I have noted.
    ReplyReply
    2 December, 2023 at 09:01
  23. avatar
    #11 Rainier

    @KatzRugga (Comment #6)

    The Nico Malan rugby program is not backed by money. They now have a stable and strong coaching team at senior level and are pro-active in trying to retain the talented primary school players in the area. The /16 team this year retained all the strong primary school players out of the Kouga region due to covid and if this happens NM will always field competitive teams. As an example they had a good year in 2023 and produced SA Schools players two years in a row, but 1 WP CW player, 1 FS CW player and 3 EP CW players (Not in NM) played /13 rugby for primary schools in the Kouga Region that is natural feeder schools for NM.

    ReplyReply
    1 December, 2023 at 09:32
  24. avatar
    #10 beet

    @Palma (Comment #5)
    Agreed Nico Malan u16 group very strong and I’m sure a few players on several shopping lists. NM will be decent next year.
    Queen’s should be very good in 2024.

    ReplyReply
    1 December, 2023 at 00:06
  25. avatar
    #9 beet

    @Kantman (Comment #4)
    Yeah a couple of Bosch players I am really looking forward to watching:
    David Simon – how good was he in the season ending Bishops game
    Tom Barnard – quality player
    Colin Paul Kemp – saw him play really well in the one match
    and someone told me to watch out for Dylan Miller next year

    ReplyReply
    1 December, 2023 at 00:03
  26. avatar
    #8 beet

    WISHLIST

    @KatzRugga (Comment #3)
    Thanks for this comment. It inspired me to add my wishlist to the post above
    ReplyReply
    30 November, 2023 at 23:38
  27. avatar
    #7 Palma

    :!: @KatzRugga (Comment #6)
    Nico Malan should be strong again next year. Their 16A team of this year was very strong.

    ReplyReply
    30 November, 2023 at 18:48
  28. avatar
    #6 KatzRugga

    You are right. Queens does look good. My comment about NM is based on the fact that this is a area where there have been a influx of people & money post Covid. This year they hosted a great 7s tournament where both Paarl Boys, Grey and kearsney attended. This shows intent and a rugby program backed by money, their U16 didn’t do to bad either That’s where I regrettably see the other schools based ‘further out’ in the EC struggling going forward. Time will tell!

    ReplyReply
    30 November, 2023 at 14:15
  29. avatar
    #5 Palma

    @KatzRugga (Comment #3)
    Queens College rugby is on the up and will only get better next year, their 16A and 14A are decent.

    Selborne rugby, while not in a great place at the moment is still stronger than most of the EC Afrikaans and coed schools besides maybe Framesby.

    Dale rugby has been declining since pre-covid and now their Junior teams are really struggling. The junior teams of Framesby, Marlow and Nico Malan would probably beat most Dale Junior teams.

    ReplyReply
    29 November, 2023 at 23:03
  30. avatar
    #4 Kantman

    Rondebosch will be serious Top10 contenders in 2024, and probably in 2025 as well.

    ReplyReply
    29 November, 2023 at 20:58
  31. avatar
    #3 KatzRugga

    EXCITING LINE UP

    EG being tipped to finish top 10 is a great stalwart for this KZN spectacle.
    Same goes for Monna’s.
    Is there a power shift on its way in PE/EC? Grey High has never graced KERF but it seems like families are leaning towards Framesby for their sons the last couple of Years. Nico Malans rugby program has strengthened over the years with a force that can beat most other EC teams, they could be the future over classic EC schools like Queens, Dale & Selborne- both exciting and a little sad at the same time.
    Having Marlow back to is exciting. Their story & results vs. Size is insipiring.
    Worcester last year looked like they won a World Cup when they stunned DHS in a high scoring game (result of the festival I would say).
    Rustenburg a growing area and school played their first ever game against Glenwood only a few months back & to much surprise beat The Green Machine. This invite is a fitting reward & surely a rematch is on the cards!
    Rondebosch might not sound that fancy. But they should want to leave undefeated as they play against the best of the best in WC. Can’t wait to see this team in action and under ‘must win’ pressure.
    Noord-Kap has for years looked like the underdogs at KERF but thrilled with positive running rugga.
    Brandwag. Interesting. Time will tell bit I’m sure they are coming to KZN wanting to impress & clinching an invite back.

    Best rugby festival in KZN by far. Now with a smart move of the inclusion of KZN primary schools on the card!
    Can’t wait

    ReplyReply
    29 November, 2023 at 19:28
  32. avatar
    #2 Grasshopper

    Pity to not see any overseas sides attend

    ReplyReply
    29 November, 2023 at 10:52
  33. avatar
    #1 Grasshopper

    I think the 1st festival was in 1996, but not in this format. I remember watching Affies vs Gisborne I think it was. Also Pretoria Boys High with John Smit at tighthead. Eugene Eloff from Affies was an immense lock. Glenwood had a poor year and were there but lost every game I think.

    ReplyReply
    29 November, 2023 at 10:51

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