KwaZulu-Natal School Rugby Awards 2013

Award Recipient Details
1st XV Team of the Year Kearsney & Westville Sadly Kearsney and Westville did not meet on the rugby field in 2013. Different stats views and different ratings formulas applied at the end of the season proved inconclusive and seemed to make one or the other top of the KZN pile depending on which was used. At the end of the day it amounted to a pointless debate to try and distinguish which team was the better of the two given the criteria. Although perhaps not ideal, sharing the award seemed like the easy and reasonable way to go.
1st XV Coach of the Year Grant Bell (Westville) After a bit of an iffy start, this proved to be a very good season for the second year in charge forward thinking and tactically astute coach. Apart from the pleasing results with a Westville team that didn’t find too much favour with KZN u18 selectors, Grant enjoyed success at Grant Khomo Week, where his team went unbeaten. Grant has been promoted to Craven Week assistant coach for 2014. He certainly comes across as a man up to the challenge of bringing about much needed upgrading of KZN provincial week rugby to at the very least put us in line with the likes of the WP, the Lions and the Bulls, so hopefully his ideas catch on and gain support amongst the old guard.
u16 Player of the Year Bader Pretorius (Michaelhouse) A super talented flyhalf. WP’s loss was KZN’s gain and Bader wasted no time establishing himself as the kind of match-winning playmaker who could turn a back foot situation into points.
u16 Players worth noting Matthew Dahl (Hilton) The Hilton scrumhalf and captain was selected for the SA u16 HP squad which is no mean feat.
Donovan Du Randt (Glenwood) The little Glenwood centre has unbelievable speed which allows him to get around tacklers and make him the most exciting attacking player to watch.
u17 Player of the Year Jaco Coetzee (Glenwood) Hands down the No.8 was the best under-17 player in KZN in 2013. His all-round game was superb. Quite possibly one of the best turnover specialists in the country on defence and an outstanding ball-runner seeking and exploiting spaces on attack. The future looks really bright for Jaco. Hopefully those entrusted with managing him, take good care of him because he has the potential to go very far in rugby after school. Jaco also walked away with the Glenwood Player of the Year award.
1st XV Top Players from Tier-1 Schools
DHS Kurt Webster 2013 was a difficult season for DHS. Their one bright and shining star was Kurt, who had to shoulder a lot of responsibility and suffocated of ball meant that his creative energy could not always come to the fore during big games.
Michaelhouse Christopher Schoeman Michaelhouse went from top KZN rugby school in 2012 to strugglers in 2013. Even in lost causes, Christopher played with tremendous spirit. His never-say-die attitude was backed up by a good skill set and mobility. He was the type of player that would not have let the KZN Craven Week team down had he been given the chance.
Maritzburg College Kelvin Elder Kelvin turned out to be the miss of the season in a respect. In 2012 he was a scrumhalf and in 2013 a fullback and did a good job in both roles but it was at Hilton in 2013 when he was forced to play centre, that he showed where he could have been best utilised. Forceful and strength on his feet in contact, gave him line-breaking penetration that support players could profit from. In the end he was rewarded with a Craven Week call-up (as a utility player) but it was a pity he didn’t have the opportunity to play centre all season long. He could have had the impact of a Pat Howard, a Tyler Fisher or a Sandile Kubeka at Craven Week.
Hilton Nqobi Maseko The lively Hilton no.8 was outstanding on attack. It seemed like pound for pound he was one of the strongest players on his feet. There were also plays made when he displayed jaw dropping speed. A very entertaining ball-carrier to watch.
Glenwood Wandi Mazibuko Wandi started the season like a house on fire. Beautiful hands in the lineout and super speed as a support runner willing to collect and attack the spaces ahead, made him a standout player and possibly candidate for player of the season at one stage. Perhaps the added responsibility of captaincy given to him during the season, took a bit of the magic out of his game, nevertheless still a quality season on the whole.
Sparks Ngcobo Wing Sparks deserves a mention as the leading try scorer in KZN for 2013.
Kearsney Jordan Meaker Jordan was Kearsney’s rags to riches story. Arguably the most improved player in the school over his five years at the College, the small hooker stood out for his accuracy at lineout and a high workrate.
Chris Lines An amazing to watch X-factor fullback. Chris has desirable attributes that could make him into a very successful player after school. Apart from blinding speed, he has a sound boot and good ball-handling skills. It was his ability to get around defenders and gain many metres for which he will be best remembered in KZN SBR.
Daniel & JL du Preez The twin brothers made SA Schools for a second year running, which is no mean feat. Sadly 2013 was a season during which both where plagued by injury setbacks that broke up their seasons and did not allow then to have the same kind of impact they’d enjoyed in 2011 and 2012, two seasons during which they were easily amongst the best players in the province. For their overall contribution to the quality of KZN SBR, they deserve a standing ovation.
Westville Bradley Ellse It was a tight call for Westville Player of the Year. In the end lively centre Brad got the nod. He possesses good acceleration off the mark and plays with an attacking flair. Brad always seemed to be at his best when given no time to overthink situations, forcing him to rely solely on rugby instinct which hardly ever lets him down. It came as a huge surprise when he was omitted from the Craven Week team particularly after his good final trial at Woodburn.
Reece McHardy The other outstanding Westville star who would have made a fitting WBHS Player of the Year. As scrumhalf who filled in at flyhalf for much of the season, there was always confidence and clear direction about his game, making him an extremely dependable player whether the team was attacking or defending.
1st XV Player of the Year
3 Cameron Wright (Hilton) Absolute brilliant at times during the season. Of all the players in KZN in 2013, this is one youngster you want to bet on to make it all the way to the top. He has the full-house when it comes to scrumhalf skills: a strong accurate pass, a huge box kick, penetrating fringe sniping ability and most importantly outstanding quick decision-making.
2 Corne Vermaak (Glenwood) Corne’s season really shifted into top gear once he moved from wing to fullback. He produced top quality game breaking performances helped by his impressive reading of the game and ability to change direction while running at full tilt. The attack-minded fullback added another dimension to Glenwood’s offensive game. It was just such a pity that injury struck at a crucial time preventing him from being at his best at Craven Week.
1 Ayron Schramm (Kearsney) The best player in KZN in 2013. From matchday 1 of the Kearsney tier-1 season against Northwood right up until his last 15-man SBR game, Ayron played like a star producing top quality performances each and every time. Kearsney had a nice collection of good players in spread across the field but time and time again it was Ayron who employed his superior skillls and proved to be the go-to man that ultimately got over the advantage line and set them up with value front-foot.  Perhaps not the most physical No.8 in SA SBR in 2013, but he presented a strong case for being the most classy of the lot. The combination of speed, positional understanding and execution made him a handful for just about every defence he came up against. His ability to be the link between forwards and backs has contributed to a building excitement about his future potential at the next few levels up after SBR. An untimely injury at Craven Week ended his challenge for SA Schools honours but even so there were enough knowledgeable rugby gurus that watched the KZN-Bulls game and said he was desperately unlucky not to have received a national team spot.

7 Comments

  1. @RBugger: :mrgreen: Pity the Sharks had clearly stated those were just 20 minute per half games not to be taken seriously.

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  2. @Grasshopper: yes he was.brilliant flyhalf who was part of the unbeaten u15 PRG team who ended up winning Grey Bloem in Bloem that year.i personally feel he cudv added a different dimension to the u16 team of 2013,but the replacement cudnt have been too bad with that same team remaining unbeaten & on top of the rankings for 2013.

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  3. Come on Beet – KC beat Westville in the warm ups at Kings Park, can’t sit on the fence with this one – KC number 1 :mrgreen:

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  4. Well done to Bader!! I think super talented best describes it….also very hard working.
    very bright future ahead of him

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  5. As usual a spot on and balanced piece Beet, well done. Agreed on Schramm! A special mention for Goodsen might have been great. Looking forward to 2014 rugga starting in a few weeks. Go Green!

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  6. Cannot fault the choice of Shramm as number 1 player this year! The little I did see of him live and on TV gave me the impression that he is a quality player! Best of luck to him in the future.

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