3 biggies in KZN

01 June 2024

The 158th Founders Weekend celebration at Durban High School will be the backdrop for the KZN top-of-the-log clash against Michaelhouse. Michaelhouse, the KZN champions of 2023, must beat DHS to stand a chance of winning the potential debate about the top school in the province at the end of this season. The last time the Balgowan boys won on Van Heerden’s Field was in 2015. Winning in 2024 will be a tall order, playing against a very good Horseflies team in front of a packed ground. DHS will field a strong starting XV. They have taken it a bit easy since returning from Wildeklawer, allowing their boys to focus on provincial trials. While this is good for player welfare, the lack of continuous and/or stiff opposition can work against a team as well.

Bowen’s Field is definitely where all WOB’s should want to be on Saturday for their school’s season-ending Old Boys’ Day match against Northwood. Ville is in-form and playing expansive rugby. They are not the only ones feeling on top of the world at the moment. The Knights are enjoying a KZN derby season to remember so far. In his first proper season in charge, Head Coach Jacques Deen has guided the Durban Northers through an great interschools season with just one blemish on Meadows Field in the Midlands. Northwood has won their last four KZN league matches, including a big fish in the form of Maritzburg College last weekend. If Northwood hopes to end Westville’s five-game unbeaten run, the visitors’ forwards need to put in a big shift, and their defense needs to be focused for the full 70 minutes since the Griffin has averaged 41 PPG in those five games. The home team has plenty of firepower.

There was a time during the 2010s when it felt like Hilton had a psychological barrier they just could not overcome against Maritzburg College. However, once they came to terms with this, the Black-and-White from Gilfillan has been on a roll. They have won four out of five against College now. Each win has seen Hilton go past 20 points while containing College to fewer than 20 points. This is a big deal. Hilton has the chance to join Glenwood as the only other KZN first team in the past decade or so to win three in a row on the hallowed turf of Goldstones. Injuries to key players caught up with both teams heading into last weekend’s matches, and the effects of the missing players were felt. It’s likely to be more of the same. College may still be a handful up front, meaning Hilton may have to find a bit of form among their backs. Patrons can expect an absorbing battle.

In other matches, St. Charles travels to Glenwood, and Clifton takes on Kearsney. The Saints of Pietermaritzburg put up a good challenge last year, losing 31-37 to the Grasshoppers, and while this year represents as good a chance as ever to beat the Durban South school, on paper, good money should be on the home team to win. Who can forget that in 2022, Clifton accounted for one of the biggest surprise wins when they defeated the One-Stripe 24-17 in what was surely the biggest win in the young Morningside school’s short history. Chances of a repeat are very slim. The spread for this one is close to 50 points in Kearsney’s favour.

KWAZULU-NATAL TIER-ONE LEAGUE 2024 DHS NW MHS MC HC WV SCC KC GW CC
Sat.09Mar Kearsney 16-14 Maritzburg C 2 4
Sat.16Mar Kearsney 00-23 Durban HS 6 0
Sat.16Mar Westville 17-25 Michaelhouse 5 1
Sat.16Mar Hilton 07-10 Northwood 4 2
Sat.16Mar Maritzburg C 83-10 Clifton 4 0
Wed.20Mar Clifton 03-53 Westville 4 0
Sat.06Apr Durban HS 19-09 Westville 5 1
Sat.06Apr Glenwood 07-18 Maritzburg C 5 1
Sat.13Apr Northwood 07-07 Durban HS 3 3
Sat.13Apr Clifton 05-36 Glenwood 4 0
Sat.20Apr St Charles 50-15 Clifton 2 0
Sat.20Apr Maritzburg C 18-21 Durban HS 4 2
Sat.20Apr Michaelhouse 24-22 Northwood 2 4
Sat.20Apr Hilton 55-37 Kearsney 6 0
Sat.20Apr Westville 35-32 Glenwood 4 2
Sat.27Apr Clifton 06-61 Northwood 4 0
Sat.27Apr St Charles 12-54 Durban HS 4 0
Sat.27Apr Westville 12-41 Maritzburg C 6 0
Sat.27Apr Michaelhouse 34-19 Kearsney 6 0
Sat.27Apr Hilton 26-07 Glenwood 6 0
Sat.04May Hilton 23-24 Michaelhouse 4 2
Sat.04May Kearsney 24-34 Northwood 5 1
Sat.11May Clifton 12-36 St Charles 2 0
Sat.11May Maritzburg C 24-17 Michaelhouse 2 4
Sat.11May Kearsney 22-34 Westville 5 1
Sat.18May Northwood 31-24 Glenwood 4 2
Sat.25May Clifton 00-50 Durban HS 4 0
Sat.25May Glenwood 22-25 Kearsney 4 2
Sat.25May Westville 40-26 Hilton 1 5
Sat.25May Northwood 18-10 Maritzburg C 5 1
Sat.01Jun Glenwood 19-32 St Charles 4 0
Sat.01Jun Clifton 00-48 Kearsney 4 0
Sat.01Jun Maritzburg C 26-20 Hilton 4 2
Sat.01Jun Westville 27-30 Northwood 4 2
Sat.01Jun Durban HS 23-10 Michaelhouse 5 1
Sat.08Jun Hilton vs St Charles
Sat.08Jun Kearsney vs Michaelhouse
Sat.15Jun Michaelhouse vs Hilton
Sat.20Jul Durban HS vs Northwood
Sat.27Jul Glenwood vs Northwood
Sat.03Aug Maritzburg C vs Glenwood
KWAZULU-NATAL TIER-ONE LEAGUE 2024 DHS NW MHS MC HC WV SCC KC GW CC
POINTS 31 31 22 28 19 22 8 14 11 0
MATCHES 7 8 6 8 6 8 4 8 7 8
AVERAGE 4.4 3.9 3.7 3.5 3.2 2.8 2 1.8 1.6 0
WINS 6 6 4 5 2 4 1 3 1 0
Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Scoring
4pts for a win, 3pts for a draw
Margin of victory points:
Greater than 14 = 2pts to the winning team
Between 8 & 14 = 1pt to the winning team, 1pt to the losing team

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8 Comments

  1. avatar
    #8 Grasshopper

    I believe officially Glenwood’s worse season ever, if they lose the last 3 for sure. I’ll double check tomorrow. Shocking! Losing to St Charles no matter how good they were is unacceptable! Old Boys losing patience

    ReplyReply
    1 June, 2024 at 22:29
  2. avatar
    #7 Kantman

    @Skywalker (Comment #6)
    The games were insane.
    Personally loved NW winning after interference from WBHS coaches when they scored with a few minutes to go. Do not like teams standing inside the goal line when teams need to defend.

    ReplyReply
    1 June, 2024 at 21:48
  3. avatar
    #6 Skywalker

    Well the games certainly lived up to the expectation
    NW getting the win in a nail-biting finish vs Westville was amazing. Ville staged a huge comeback and there was a big momentum swing as they fought back and took the lead. Great guts by the Knights to get the win in the end on Westvilles OBD.

    MB College with a good win over Hilton. Also came down to the wire as Hilton had the ball in possession in the College 22 at the death but MBC held on.

    DhS did the business on their Old Boys Day.

    Glenwood will mark this as a dark day for their rugby but St Charles have been excellent this season and it will mean a lot to them. Glenwood will be back and this will help to get the gears in motion.

    ReplyReply
    1 June, 2024 at 20:41
  4. avatar
    #5 beet

    @Skywalker (Comment #1)
    Thank you for the correction. I have fixed it. Interestingly I had a correspondence with officials from a different province about the inclusion of 3rd term 2021 results. Mixed feelings about the validity there due to circumstances surrounding the selections.

    ReplyReply
    1 June, 2024 at 09:32
  5. avatar
    #4 Jakkals

    Clifton vs Kearsney has some extra spice with the whole Bashford transfer….Who will be most motivated? Kearsney boys wanting to give their coach a good send off against the guy coming in (although he is Head of Sport and not Rugby)… or the Clifton boys motivated by being rejected halfway through the year by Bashford leaving for the lush green hills of Louis Botha. Interesting fixture

    ReplyReply
    1 June, 2024 at 06:38
  6. avatar
    #3 Coolguy

    @Grasshopper (Comment #2)
    Statistics will agree with your prediction just one upset will be great to witness on Van Heerdens

    ReplyReply
    31 May, 2024 at 16:42
  7. avatar
    #2 Grasshopper

    Very sad to see Glenwood out of the top 5 in KZN, breaks my heart. Maybe a changing of the guard. Gosh, imaging in the 2000’s to even think of not being in the Top3. ALL home teams to just win is my prediction. For the less Green Machine, we have to win this one! Just for morale…

    ReplyReply
    31 May, 2024 at 14:57
  8. avatar
    #1 Skywalker

    3 massive games! Really hope they are great matches.

    College did however beat Hilton in 2021, so 4 in a row can’t be correct? They won 14-10 up at Hilton in rainy conditions. It was Hiltons first loss in over 2 seasons i think. Hope College are fired up after the NW game.

    In terms of NW – I worry about this game. Trying to play a match after the highs of an Old Boys Day is very hard, especially one against College. Westvile will be breathing fire and brimming with confidence. NW will really need another massive effort up front, but will they have gas left in the tank? Will Vuyo Gwiji be back yet, or Gunda? Have not seen a team list. Some returning players could help.

    ReplyReply
    31 May, 2024 at 08:25

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