Port Natal Night Series final: Glenwood Invitational XV beats DHS 10-3

The Glenwood Invitational XV containing a nearly full strength Glenwood line-up had to dig deep to overcome a spirited 50-minute challenge from DHS before they run out 10-3 winners and claimed the Geldenhuys Broers Bedryf Night Series title for 2014. (Click here for match photos -> Cyndi@rugby)

The kickoff almost corresponded to the minute with the heavens opening up and spoiling the opportunity of the anticipated expansive rugby showpiece which both teams had shown they were quite capable of playing during the earlier rounds of the competition. The wet conditions made the ball slippery which in turn presented a huge challenge to all who had make or catch passes. The turnover count was high as a result of basic errors but this somehow did not ruin the excitement of the final thanks to the persistence of players determined to play positive rugby and the closeness of the score – the GI’s scored a 5-pointer near the death but DHS still had one last kickoff restart to get an equalising goal.

In the end the Glenwood Invitational XV were full value for their money. They dominated both possession and territory. Against less determined opponents they might have profited more handsomely than just two tries based on this statistical advantage but as rugby sometimes goes, particularly when the opposition brings a big D to the party like DHS did, it is moments of sheer game-breaking inspiration that make the difference to the end result. In this case two flashes by x-factor Glenwood players led to all 10-points via one try in either half.

The first try came compliments of SA Schools hopeful, no.8 Jaco Coetzee. Although Jaco is an outstanding attacking player, it’s by using his specialist type defensive abilities that he has made a name for himself. From what was looking to develop into a promising DHS phase, a carry over the halfway line came to an abrupt halt when Coetzee read the play, showed a good understanding of the tackled ball laws and crafted a classy turnover in open play which caught the attacking team unawares. Jaco then sprinted 50m downfield, vended off a couple of defenders and dotted down. The GI’s took that 5-0 lead into the break.

Late in the second half the score was at 5-3 with DHS enjoying some momentum and looking to deliver a knockout blow of their own, a badly directed desperation clearance kick by the GI’s should have provided the launch pad for another DHS assault but was instead dropped cold by a DHS back in the difficult conditions. From the ensuing scrum, the ball was fed to GI’s playmaker flyhalf Curtis Jonas, who spotted a hole in what had been an airtight defence for most of the match. He effortlessly sailed through the gap like it was the width of the Amazon and as he so often does, made a meaningful pass which ultimately resulted in a try in the corner for pacey winger Khutso Thobejane.

The most worrisome aspect of play for Glenwood was again their inablity to use lineouts as an attacking platform until later in the match when McMillan Muller took over the throwing in duties. The wet ball was however very difficult to grip and thrown accurately. In all other parts of their game, they appear to have good structure and technique, so this setpiece is definitely an area they need to ensure does not become their Achilles’ heel.

Even in defeat DHS could hold their heads high. This final produced numerous gutsy unsung heroes, particularly amongst their forwards. Their defence was sound, the contest on the ground good, scrumming stabilised as the game went on and it’s just lineouts that still need lots of work to ensure it achieves its primary goal before all else, namely the of retaining possession. There is an evident growing self-belief amongst the “School” players though. Part of the challenge for their coaching staff is working to overcoming a psychological barrier and making a team of boys believe that have what it takes to compete on an equal footing with other big rugby schools and that the can win. In this regard every preseason game seems to bring them closer to achieving this mental objective.

DHS’s Le Roux van Zyl who scored his team’s only points via a close range penalty in the second half, produced another characteristic Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde type performance. Le Roux should really work much harder on his self-discipline because when he remains focused he is capable of producing some moments of undeniable brilliance. His movements and get-out-of-jail clearance kicks made under all sorts of pressure and from the vicinity of his own tryline were top drawer. The same delayed pop pass that allowed DHS to score a try against the GI’s in the round-robin game, almost paid dividends again in the lead up to the penalty from which the points came. For the most part however, DHS were pinned back by the Glenwood team.

During the 2013 inter-schools derby against Glenwood, a DHS master had to encourage the schoolboys to continue their vocal support. That same adult would have struggled to keep up with his students this time round. Even the heavy rain was no match for them. They produced a wonderful vibe. The Glenwood supporters were also up to task with their entertaining band adding character to the occasion so well done to both schools for the efforts made.

The Night Series isn’t just about winning a cup, possibly the only 15-man rugby trophy on offer in KZN. It’s also about teams building towards the regular season. What better an obstacle to provide players and coaches with than heavy rain, which highlighted areas requiring work to succeed in the wet and provided all who participated with invaluable experience ahead of the regular season.

In the B-team final there was joy for Port Natal 2nd XV. They were the underdogs that just refused to lie down. They put up a fight and a half to stay in the game. Their strong-willed challenge was rewarded with a late try scored in brilliant fashion by their speedy little player on the left who outpaced the cover defence. The end result was a 5-5 draw and the trophy shared with their big neighbours Glenwood, in the form of the Invitational B XV.

Earlier the Port Natal 1st XV claimed third position in the A-team competition in spite of the controversial sending off of one of their players who looked like the victim of an incident rather than an aggressor. With 14 players for 70% of the game, Port Natal still went on to beat Pinetown 23-0. Their little scrumhalf Frans Janse van Niewenhuys plays with a lot of heart and was rewarded with two tries. There was also a very composed performance by new flyhalf Smith who provided good direction and put in some superbly weighted kicks out of hand. He also scored a try, as did openside flanker Ruan Smook after being into space by no.8 Andre Nortje who had made the decisive yards and intelligently looked for the textbook draw-and-pass execution once the hard work was done. Centre Zander White landed the first points via a penalty while captain Andre Janse van Rensburg and fullback Ghano Prins featured prominently in attacking play.

George Campbell has not experienced a good tournament but no team has really put them away either, indicating that their defence is doing reasonably well. However on attack, there is still a need for an upping of their handling skills. Fortunately they are in the trusted hands of dedicated and untiring coach Antonie Prinsloo. The 57-5 win against Durban Development secured 5th place and was the first time the Campbell attack really flourished for a sustainable period. They made passes stick and run with purpose. Confidence player and tighthead prop Roger Zondi has his demons when it comes to holding onto a ball but when he does he is arguably one of the best ground-gaining ball-carriers in KZN school rugby this year. In this game the Campbell players definitely showed they have some offensive potential to work with and that they have been underachieving in this aspect of the game.

As far as the entertaining Night Series for 2014 goes, final thank yous must go to the new sponsors,  tyre company the Geldenhuys Broers Bedryf, Port Natal staff for their outstanding organising and hosting and their friendly volunteer parents who manned the food stalls.

Log

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

BP

Total

Glenwood Inv XV

5

5

0

0

165

17

148

3

23

DHS

5

4

0

1

126

41

85

3

19

Port Natal

5

3

0

2

75

32

43

1

13

Pinetown

5

2

0

3

36

138

-102

0

8

George Campbell

5

1

0

4

34

65

-31

0

4

Durban Development

5

0

0

5

25

168

-143

1

1

Results

Date/Time Compo Team Team
Fri, 31 Jan
15h00 B-team Glenwood Inv B XV 13 0 George Campbell 2nd XV
16h00 B-team Port Natal 2nd XV 31 0 Pinetown 2nd XV
17h00 Official opening
17h30 A-team Glenwood Inv A 46 0 Durban Development XV
18h30 A-team George Campbell 1st XV 7 24 DHS 1st XV
19h30 A-team Port Natal 1st XV 22 0 Pinetown 1st XV
Tue, 04 Feb
17h00 A-team Pinetown 1st XV 19 15 Durban Development XV
18h00 A-team Port Natal 1st XV 8 0 George Campbell 1st XV
19h00 A-team Glenwood Inv A XV 26 5 DHS 1st XV
Fri, 07 Feb
16h00 B-team Port Natal 2nd XV 10 13 Glenwood Inv B XV
17h00 B-team Pinetown 2nd XV 10 17 George Campbell 2nd XV
18h00 A-team DHS 1st XV 48 5 Durban Development XV
19h00 A-team Port Natal 1st XV 6 15 Glenwood Inv A XV
20h00 A-team George Campbell 1st XV 5 14 Pinetown 1st XV
Tue, 11 Feb
17h00 A-team Port Natal 1st XV 36 0 Durban Development XV
18h00 A-team DHS 1st XV 32 0 Pinetown 1st XV
19h00 A-team George Campbell 1st XV 3 14 Glenwood Inv A XV
Fri, 14 Feb
16h00 B-team Glenwood Inv B XV 41 0 Pinetown 2nd XV
17h00 B-team George Campbell 2nd XV 5 20 Port Natal 2nd XV
18h00 A-team George Campbell 1st XV 19 5 Durban Development XV
19h00 A-team Glenwood Inv A XV 64 3 Pinetown 1st XV
20h00 A-team Port Natal 1st XV 3 17 DHS 1st XV
Fri, 21 Feb
16h00 B-team George Campbell 2nd XV 15 5 Pinetown 2nd XV
17h00 A-team George Campbell 1st XV 57 5 Durban Development XV
18h00 A-team Port Natal 1st XV 23 0 Pinetown 1st XV
19h00 B-team Glenwood Inv B XV 5 5 Port Natal 2nd XV
20h00 A-team Glenwood Inv A XV 10 3 DHS 1st XV

62 Comments

  1. @seabass: Welcome, if there is one thing desperately needed here, its some pseudo intellect and culture. But, I gather that you have noticed that already. In fact, the only reason Im here, is to give the discussions some semblense (? ) of sanity

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  2. @seabass: Welcome to the blog….and GOOD LUCK being part of it. The KZN banter can get really entertaining, it will be interesting to see how a current coach handles it :mrgreen: all fun and games at the end of the day. Looking forward to learning more about Clifton.

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  3. @star: love your patriotism! 81 had some top men all celebrating the big 50 this year?! We have just secured a 1st XV kit sponsorship from Landrover and also re-vamped our 7’s kit to be predominantly red, so exciting times @ Clifton. No good looking stylish but playing like plonkers so boys have a responsibility to step up!

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  4. @ Seabass- Beet can organise half/half
    @ Beet- and that is why they call me the swinger :lol:

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  5. @beet: clifton jersey please. i have 2 sons at the school and one that has already finished, so while i am a proud WOB my heart lies with Clifton

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  6. @star: u14 rugby group has some decent talent with josh brown ( kzn primary schools ) being the standout. the cricket (undefeated) and hockey teams, in this age group, will be very strong

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  7. @ Seabass- get yourself a Westville jumper. I finished in 81( with the Walrus) so the only guys older than me on the blog are BOG,GT and the Wes Rand boys. :lol: I believe you guys had a great intake for 2014( over 100 boys) and judging by the cricket results not bad on the quality side as well. How is you 14 rugby squad looking?

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  8. @Grasshopper: 100% in agreement. We play westville on the 8th of March at the Wartburg festival and then tour Namibia for 4 games, with first time 1st team fixtures against Kearsney and Hilton along with our traditional games against DHS, Campbell, St Charles etc
    we a little bit like the southern kings but without puke watson :wink:

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  9. @seabass: Ah, so you will know my old coach Gerry Goedeke well. Clifton have done very well to get up into the top 10 schools for rugby, it’s going to be tough to stay there but if you have the same numbers as Hilton, Michaelhouse and Kearsney, it’s not impossible. Good luck! Attracting the DPHS boys will be key for Clifton and to build decent B teams, that is traditionally where the private’s battle….great A teams but nothing afterwards to injuries in the A team drastically affect the teams…

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  10. @Tjoppa: both my cousins captained maritzburg college 1st team, so have a close affinity to the school ( family banter was one-sided after their result against westville last year…)

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  11. @Grasshopper: @Grasshopper: A Westville Old boy, played 1st team in 1990 and 1991, currently the Clifton 1st team rugga coach – taken the team from losing to Campbell and St Charles 4ths to beating both school’s 1st teams in the last 2 years :-o Huge season ahead but very excited! Got a 2.05m 16 year old lock which you boys should keep your eyes on

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  12. @Grasshopper: He sounds intelligent and well mannered so if Afrikaans he must be Affies or if soutie he must be from Maritzburg College. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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  13. @seabass: I often forget to welcome new bloggers but really good to have someone new and interested in SBR. I hope you enjoy it.

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  14. @Tjoppa: Yeah, always wondered what he could have become playing a different game plan or position even, maybe centre or wing…a real pity as this latest injury is sure to end his career…

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  15. @Grasshopper: Personally I think Pierre is one of South Africa’s complete rugby players but due to the Bulls patterns he was and is forced to play a game plan that is S H I T. This led to massive insecurity and the Pierre of today is the result thereof – useless.

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  16. New to this rugger blog and really enjoy the informed discussion around
    schoolboy rugby players and teams.

    ReplyReply
  17. @beet: A number 8 is supposed to be the complete player – big fast and heaps of skills. The difference is very clear by analysing the Boks best ever loose trio – Bedfort, Ellis and Greyling

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  18. @Beet: And what a player he turned out to be – maybe the best rugby player any of us will ever get to see.

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  19. @Grasshopper: No he said the difference is not that massive.

    Best example of a SBR no.8 that went on to do extremely well as an openside flank – Ritchie McCaw.

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  20. @RBugger: I agree with you whole heartedly…No8 is very different to flank having played both. I think Warren Whiteley is actually our 2nd best No8 after Vermeulen and that is not because he is GOB, but because of his silky ball skills, putting backs away and his pace..

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  21. @Beet: For sure, the difference between 8 and flank is not massive, just tend to find a flanks natural game is towards the ball, as where an 8 is more of a forward-come-back, linking and reading the game in general.

    I suppose Duane Vermeulen is a little different, he plays very much towards the ball. I like an 8 to be in the mold of a Skinstad or Kankowski, when Skinstad was in his hayday (before his knee injury) he was just sublime – a lot of people forget jsut how great he was – his form after the knee injury was never the same.

    Beet, how about trying to arrange a Fantasy Super-League for the KZN Schools this year? How awesome would that be :-D

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  22. @RBugger: many of the best SBR players featured at no.8 at school and shifted position after school. All the scouts know where they think players should fit in after school anyway. The positional shift between 6,7,8 is probably the easiest of the lot to make in rugby. Glenwood and KZN’s approach should be to pick the players best suited to the team’s needs.

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  23. I feel Westville were a little frustrated against a Voortrekker 1st team. There were a few factors to consider, 1st game, night game and maybe feeling they have to impress. Watch Westville this year they are a work in progress. Indeed it was a spirited performance by the Voortrekker side

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  24. @Beet: Coetzee is quick and is an athlete, but I am not convinced he is a link man.

    He is going to have a big season this year and I hope his injury concerns from last year are a thing of the past. The SA Schools selectors want him at 6, but it appears GW are sticking with 8 – it will be interesting to see what the CW set up choose to do.

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  25. @RBugger: @Grasshopper: This is still school level. I would be hesitant to move Coetzee to flank at this stage because he is playing so well at 8. He is really quick as well and makes a big contribution on attack, esp when he has licence to roam a bit and gets into space. I’d have to see how much Goodson has improved since last year and what Tharratt is like this year, otherwise I would be tempted to make Goodson a no.6 at CW. But early days. There will be compo surfacing all over the country. Just in KZN alone MHS have a good no.8 in Egberink. My feeling is that Gouws should move from lock to 8 for Hilton. Westville also have an unknown in Erasmus, who missed last year thru injury.

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  26. @Grasshopper: Yip, Coetzee is very much a classic fetcher – Goodsen seems more of a roaming 8.

    But as you rightly say, let’s see what happens. Sometimes guys come from nowhere to challenge for CW – basically, the more pressing the competition, the better for KZN rugby, we need a good CW this year – it is still far ahead but we will get a good idea of the KZN strength during the upcoming Festivals

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  27. @RBugger: Yep, heard that too about Coetzee, they see him as a ‘fetcher’. Now with Staples gone, Goodsen should take the No8 position. But let the season pan-out as there could be other good loosies that put up their hands. Locks for me will be Gouws from Hilton and Martin from Westville, the others will need to do something spectacular to uproot them.

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  28. @Buffel: Word has it, that Coetzee was told by the SA Schools selectors to play 6, this is where they see him – based on his groundwork, this to me, makes the most sense – leaving Goodsen to roam at 8 (in terms of CW)

    Had a look and they have a nice bunch of boys there – not quite the same as last year, where we really did have a ferocious pack with some of the best talent in the country.

    This year, you can bet on Tedder (flyhalf) controlling the game – he will be the head of this team and control the way they play. Visser will need to lead the pack up front and I am hoping to see Dixon really step up this year, he has a lot of talent and can become a great player – be it at lock or 8.

    Also looking forward to Pau and then the fullback – saw him play in the seconds last year and he was blady exciting to watch

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  29. @RBugger: Ja. This is as open a season as it gets. On the day anyone could surprise the other. College at home are going to be very difficult to beat and at age group level, College had the wood on all the local teams.
    Goodson is a real talent and leader,so too Coetzee and it will be interesting to see come Craven week,where Goodson plays. Captain from the side of the scrum is my call. The Kearsney squad has been announced so have a look and see what you think. A good mix of 11’s and 12’s and under the guidance of Francois and Barend , should be very competetive.

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  30. @Buffel: No for sure, I would obviously love for KC to throw in an upset or two, but based on the squads and experience of GW and MC, I would see it as a big upset should KC win – but I will certainly be routing for them.

    I personally think GW are above MC – Based on the players returning, which includes two ex u18 CW players – now u19, Vidima and Sparks.

    Having said that, College will also have a strong u19 in Marcel Coetzee. I think the GW pack takes the edge though – will be interesting to watch the battle between Jaco Coetzee and Darryn Goodsen, I know much more about Coetzee but have heard nothing but good things about Goodsen.

    Can’t wait for the season to begin

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  31. @RBugger: It is going to be a close run thing this year-College favourites with Glenwood close behind. Don’t write off Westville and Kearsney at this stage. I think each week is going to throw up it’s fair share of surprises. Roll on the 15th.

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  32. Can’t wait for the Westville / Glenwood fixture this year, I’m sure it’s going to be a tense environment down in the harbour mouth!

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  33. @Grasshopper: Don’t worry too much at this stage. Westville did not look too good against Voortrekker on Friday either. And they can’t blame the weather. I am sure all teams are trying combinations in these early games. But Westville appear to have a lot of work to do. Hopefully the combinations click by 15 March for both sides.

    I also watched the College game against Greytown and initially I didn’t think they looked to good either. But then after watching Westville I had to reassess and must admit they looked pretty good for so early in the season. And they seemed to improve as the game went on which is a good sign for them. I have to give Greytown some credit as well. They looked a pretty good at times and ran the ball well.

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  34. @Grasshopper: You have to take each game on its merits. DHS would have been well up for this game – it is an early season final,and as is the case with most finals (especially in wet weather) it was a close affair. From the report given, it sounds like GW were in control of the game, forget the score, it means nothing.

    No need to worry, this result is a success – a win, whether it is a 1 point or 30 point victory, a win is a win and should not be looked at negatively.

    GW still the team to beat for me, MC very close behind, looking forward to this battle in particular

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  35. @RBugger: Maybe! I didn’t watch the game as in Cape Town. However, we look a little short at lock and Staples leaving for the UK looks to have weakened the side quite a bit from what others are saying to me. Only time will tell….maybe DHS have improved significantly from last year where they had record losses vs Glenwood…

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  36. @Grasshopper: I would not worry too much if I were you – the conditions sound terrible from the report, added to which, it was a final and DHS would have been really up to it.

    You guys are the team to beat this year, much the same as KC were last year, you have a very experienced, balanced side who should be fighting to prove they are number one in KZN for 2014.

    This game would have hardened GW up and I would not bet against you guys this year.

    Did you watch the game? Who performed?

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  37. @Greenwood: Still a huge concern that our almost full strength side cannot dominate upfront and win games like this by 20 or more points…..we could be in for a looooooooooongggg year….

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  38. Hopper – as I blogged on Friday heavy rain was forecast and that’s’ exactly what happened and it only rained during GWD – DHS game – I was not impressed with GW but then the rain ruined what could have been an open running game -looks like lineouts could be an issue this season but I’m sure the coaches will sort this out … I’m sure GW are doing what School are doing – mixing and matching and sorting out combos ….

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  39. @Grasshopper: Not sure who was bigger – the DHS No 1 or the Pinetown 1st no 1

    The final score of the George Campbell 2nds 15 – 5 Pinetown 2nds

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  40. Well done DHS! Very concerning for Glenwood, if 75% of their 1st team battle to beat DHS…..maybe another long season. Also, it’s their Achilles heel, the line out looks weak. Brad McNeil was their last real line out expert. It seems they lack height at lock too. Lots of work to do before Westville in a few weeks…

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  41. Weathers’ looking a bit dodgy – after 3 weeks of unbelievable humidity
    we have rain on the nite of the final ?? – Glenwood on a dry day would have been clear favorites but a wet field could be great leveler and School have a good pack – This must be a record Glenwood vs Flies 1st’s three times this year – and all the best to both teams

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  42. @Grasshopper: Agreed but I also think when a coach take on the school’s administrative role it gears him to record and have data available at the touch of a button.

    For example yesterday Westville and College sent through their teamsheets in a second and they are also in this experimental preseason phase at the moment.

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  43. @beet: Yep, only joking. They probably have not finalised the 1st team squad and rotating players etc so do not want to give a list as this may dishearten some of the boys, probably why it’s called ‘invitational’ too as it’s a mixture of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th team players..

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  44. As I understand it DHS will still rely on rotation for this final. That seems to have been their pre-season brief. It’s flown under the radar but they have used 34 different players to date.

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  45. @star: Unlikely the post-Sean Erasmus age is upon us. Team sheet not available :-D but I’ll list the team after the game

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  46. @star: Let’s just say half of the 1st team played last week, unless they have been demoted. In Cindi’s pics I saw Van Niekerk, Vidima, du Randt, Coetzee, Khanyile, Jonas, Bredell and Joubert…..not sure this week. So they could be using this as a warm up for Westville too…

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  47. @ Beet- is it possible to get a team sheet for the GW Inv A team to be able to properly assess the outcome of the match.

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