St John’s Easter Rugby Festival 2018

So far the following schools/teams have confirmed for the St John’s Easter Rugby Festival 2018, to be held over Easter Weekend (29 March – 02 April 2018)

SCHOOL
1 St John’s College
2 Daniel Pienaar
3 Eye of the Tiger
4 Filton College(UK)
5 Florida
6 Golden Lions
7 Helpmekaar
8 Hilton
9 Nelspruit
10 Paul Roos
11 St Alban’s
12 Windhoek Gym

52 Comments

  1. @Die Ken: PRG pulled out of the world school series an PBH so as to play in the St john’s. apparently they said they were committed to the the ST John’s, but then so were most of the other schools that will be at the world tournament. i suppose someone has to hold the torch the Cape Teams. :-D

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  2. @BrotherBear: Not sure. i do know that as soon as PRG pulled out of the HJS festival Hilton was named, so i can only assume that they accepted. either way i heard that Super Sport will be there and this will give great coverage to all the SA schools. still cannot understand why PRG pulled out.

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  3. @Falcon22: The Boishaai festival is three games per team, PRG said because of their commitment to St Johns they will only be able to play one game at the Boishaai festival. It is a pity that our old neighbor won’t be at our 150 celebration but it is what it is.

    If you are interested in a conspiracy theory, their first team is going to be right up there this year and they might believe they can go undefeated this season so why risk losing to a New Zealand team? 8))

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  4. Ek hoop al die oorseese skoolspanne gaan kompeterend wees. Hopenlik nie net vyf of ses goeie skole en die res substandaard nie. Die skole wat SA verteenwoordig lyk almal baie skaflik. Tog jammer Paul Roos gaan nie al die wedstryde kan speel nie, maar weereens hoed af vir hulle wat hulle aanvanklike ooreenkoms met St John’s nakom.

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  5. @Cappie: Sorry my fout PRG gaan glad nie by Boishaai speel nie want hulle kan nie al drie games speel nie. Boishaai het toe vir Hilton genooi.

    Dit sal jammer wees as die skole nie sterk is nie, ek dink darem die New Zealand skole sal goed wees. Sover ek weet maak kinders in Europa klaar met skool as hulle sestien is so ek weet nie mooi hoe oud hulle spelers gaan wees nie want die kinders gaan college toe na skool. Ek dink hulle gaan baie o/19 manne in hulle spanne he.

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  6. @Stier:Daar is geen conspiracy theory nie. Ons speel van die eerste jaar wat die St. Johns Toernooi plaasgevind het by hulle en het reeds in Mei laas jaar hulle uitnodiging vir vanjaar bevestig. Die uitnodiging vir die Boishaai 150 het heelwat later eers gekom en daar is besluit om die oorspronklinke commitment aan St. Johns te eerbiedig. Dit is jammer, want ons wil ook vir PRG by die Boishaai 150 toernooi sien, maar dit is soos dit is.

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  7. @Maroon: Baie goeie rede. Weet iemand al wie speel teen wie. Helpies sal hoop om Nellies en Paul Roos weer te kry om die bordjies te probeer verhang maar ek dink nie hulle sal weer teen dieselfde skole wedstryde reël nie :twisted:

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  8. @Maroon: Dit is hoe ek dit ook het. Ek kan nie wag om PRG te sien nie hulle gaan ‘n yster span he die jaar. Lochnerhof het ‘n klomp seuns in daai span.

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  9. Helpmekaar, Paul Roos and Nellies must play each other in order to draw supporters. The festival is very watered down compared to other years for obvious reasons. Cant see any of the other teams being competitive.

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  10. @McCulleys Workshop: As an average rugby supporter Hilton vs Helpies will not convince me to buy a ticket. I may be wrong but thete is definately a shortage of teams that pull big crowds.

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  11. @Riempies: Ja daar was baie mense by St John’s laasjaar, ek onthou dit.

    Selfs mense wat dink hulle is onherkenbaar was daar, wat is daardie sê ding: “You can run but you cannot hide!!”

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  12. @Hooit: Ek stem nie saam nie. Daardie fees lok al baie jare lank stampvol skares. Ek dink beslis die top skole was oorspronklik die trekpleister, toegegee. Wil jy sê mense kom kyk deesdae net omdat Affies en Paarl Boishaai daar speel, ek dink nie so nie. (Grappie: wil nie op ‘n piesangskil gly nie, maar ‘n groot deel van sommige besoekende skole se seuns bly dan in Johannesburg?). Ek dink jy onderskat die ondersteuning wat goeie, maar nie noodwendig top skole, geniet. Daar is baie goeie wedstryde wat daar plaasvind soos daardie Helpies teen Paul Roos en toe amper Florida wat vir Affies geklop het verlede jaar en wie sal sommer gou die Helpies wen teen Monnas vergeet twee jaar gelede? Nee wat, ek dink mense wat die St. Johns bywoon sal weer daar wees, maar ek dink wat wel gaan moet gebeur is dat die organiseerders sal moet dink oor hulle wedstryd bepalings want ek onthou vier jaar gelede het die mense al begin mor oor die ‘sagte wedstryde’ wat top skole kry en dit het nie veel verander in die laaste twee jaar nie. Destyds toe Helpies nog by die St. Stithians fees gespeel het, het dit voorgekom asof die kwaliteit van meedinging beter was, asof hulle die wedstryde beter beplan het, as wat ons ervaar het by St. Johns. Maar net my eie indrukke.

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  13. @Riempies: Het vergeet om te noem. Ek mis St John’s hierdie jaar tot my bittere spyt. My seun gaan vir minstens 8 weke uit wees want hy gaan volgende week vir ‘n knieg operasie.

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  14. @Valkie: Jammer om dit te hoor. Eerstens baie swak timing en dan ook seker hy gaan n groot leemte in die Nellies span los.
    Sterkte ook asb vir hom.

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  15. @Valkie: Valkie watter posisie speel jou seun? Dis ‘n groot gatslag ek is ook jammer om dit te hoor, GH en Renoster (die blogger) is redelik vol vertroue vir die Rhinos, veral voorlangs.

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  16. @Quagga: You make a valid point. Certainly, some won’t attend if there are less “top” teams, but many spectators attend because they’re affiliated with a school at the festival (OBs, students, parents, friends, etc), while others attend to watch a bit of rugby, but also catch up with mates at the beer tent. Most of the lighties attend for the ‘social’ aspect’, to meet up with mates, etc.

    That said, I agree that they need to reduce the mismatches. St John’s usually have all their mismatches on the Thursday, so the games on Saturday and Monday are worth seeing.

    @Valkie: Very sorry to hear about that. My son had to return home from Ireland for three weeks due to an injury, so missed a cup final. Good luck with the operation.

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  17. @Riempies: ja man, dis swakste tydsberekening ooit. Ek wou sy gat skop, maar hy sal my eerder klap so ek is maar versigtig. Die man is baie frustreerd so ek kruip maar in my kas weg by die huis.

    @Quagga: My seuntjie trap iewers daar voor rond. Hy sal nou moet uitsit tot begin Mei.

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  18. @Quagga: The school supporters and parents will always be there. Last year I had plans to go and wstch the Helpies Paul Roos game but my plans got changed with the Kearsney trip. Unless there are games worth watching, I will most probably not drive through. There should still be lots of supporters but like Vleis mentioned they need to get the match ups rights. Helpies, Nellies and Paul Roos will be the main teams.

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  19. @Riempies: Lekker. Hilton will be a useful side with a few recruits (and one from Helpies) and are well coached. Will be good to see them matched up against Helpies.

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  20. @McCulleys Workshop: Hilton went to St. John’s last year with no less than 10 u/17 players, including the likes of Beukes who is ex Valke, Andrew James and Gareth Schreuder who all performed very well, not looking too shabby. Their game against St. John’s was a cracker. I tend to agree with you, could be a good match up, but then again we don’t know if Hilton will be sending their best team in light of the Paarl festival looming around the corner. Helpies have 9 1XV capped players returning, but with most of them having earned their caps from the bench though.

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  21. @Maroon: Ek wil dit net stel dat my respek vir Paul Roos as instelling toegeneem het met die besluit van hulle om by St John’s te speel.

    Lojaliteit en die deurvoer van ‘n “commitment” wat gemaak is is wonderlik om te sien.

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  22. @Quagga: Wouldn’t surprise me if Hilton try to engineer an easier game on the Monday, and play their reserves, pre their trip to Paarl.

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  23. @boerboel: I’m sure many of your points are valid, but the HJS organizer was slow in pulling the trigger, now everyone must jump? From what I’ve heard it’ll be an annual event without the 150 tattoo, plenty of opportunities to participate given adequate notice. These events are by no means trivial logistically and there are certain cost implications, sponsors etc, suddenly at latish notice there’s a new more attractive girl at the dance so you bolt the one you with?

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  24. @CharlesZA: A school of 600 kids is never going to have depth, but it’s shows the can do attitude of management and coaches. They’ve been building their rugby base over the last few seasons, (Jacques Botes coaches their u14’s) and they are not scared to give it some airtime.

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  25. @boerboel: Howzit, I meant the general costs and logistics involved for any of the hosting schools, including SJC, it’s no small task and a huge marketing event with TV etc, so with that getting invites and school commitment early on is imperative. But agree, it’s a pity PRG aren’t there. With the likes of Helpies at SJC they could have sent their 2nd side and avoided Hilton and played them at the 150th!!

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  26. @McCulleys Workshop: The St John’s easter weekend is not getting much TV exposure nowadays. The games are all streamed and it’s only a month or two later that you get to see some highlight package of the event. That being said, it is not the reason why schools like Paarl Boys and Paul Roos have been going to the event since its inception. Paul Roos made a decision on what is best for themselves and their team and we have to respect that decision even if it means losing one of the main attractions at the 150 festival. I don’t think it is a shunt towards Boishaai and we will have our yearly derby later in the season at Markotter.

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  27. @boerboel: There are 10 good Saffa schools and only 4 good overseas schools at the HJS 150. Something has to give. Some schools are not going to get any challenging games.

    I respect PRG because they have honoured their commitment. All 4 traditional Easter Festivals are under the kosh this season not only because of HJS 150 taking good schools but Noord-Suid doing the same by overlapping with Easter for the first time. It’s tough out there now. Trying to find a quality school to replace one what withdraws at the 11th hour is not easy. Some commitments are established a year in advance. Those schools not invited to the major festivals don’t wait around in hopes of getting last minute invites either, they make their own plans the year before as well.
    I also think 5 games in a week is not good player welfare management. So hats off the PRG here as well. I do however think that under the circumstances and given the quality of some of the expected overseas opposition, PRG should have been allowed to field a 2nd/3rds team for the HJS 150th event, just to be part of the big occasion and acknowledge their long-standing relationship with HJS.

    @McCulleys Workshop: I really think that SARU and Boksmart needs to have rules in place that prevent a school from undertaking so many commitments in such a short space of time. A ruling that states a player may not play more than 3 matches in a week and must have X amount of rest before playing in a 4th match. X should be 5 days at a minimum. But even that seems too little. Even when schools play weaker opponents, there might be less contact and physicality but there is still a level of wear and tear that needs to be managed.

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  28. @Rainier: 100% korrek. Daar is niks fout met die vriendskapsverhousing tussen PRG en Boishaai nie. Ons onthaal Boishaai later die jaar op Markotter.

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  29. @beet: Each school will play three games so I would think every SA school will get at least one New Zealand game. Do you have any background on the rest of the visiting teams seeing that you wright them off so quickly? Do you think they will be worse than the Japanese teams at SANIX?

    There is no problem with PRG not attending it would have been nice to have a very strong neighbour there. I did hear some people at Dal Josafat saying the kids know they are missing out. But that gives the players from Hilton a chance to play against international teams something most schoolboys will never get to do. I am sure Boishaai can’t wait to host all these teams and hopefully these boys will remember this celebration of HJS and rugby for the rest of their lives.

    I feel for Hilton it is going to be hard. Last year HJS also had something similar just a trip to New Zealand and back thrown in to make it that little bit harder. To think some bloggers didn’t think much of it at the time, how things have changed?

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  30. @Stier: In die verlede het baie min spanne van oorsee goeie kompetisie gebied vir ons manne. Sal ook net sleg wees as so n groot toernooi net n klomp mismatches is.

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  31. @CharlesZA: Op skool vlak gaan jy altyd meer mismatches kry omdat die spelers baie wissel van jaar tot jaar. Al ons feeste het maar die probleem. Verlede jaar by St John’s het ‘n span of twee groot pak gevat. Ek dink ook ons skole rugby is die sterkste in die wereld al is dit net ‘n gevoel sonder baie bewyse. Ek dink egter New Zealand se spanne bly maar altyd vir enige Suid Afrikaner ‘n vooreg om teen te speel en die meeste Suid Afrikaanse rugby spelers sal nooit die geleentheid kry nie. Krag teen krag is gewoonlik eerste prys maar soms is daar dinge wat meer tel.

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  32. @Stier: a few of the top schools didn’t want the 3-match schedule at HJS 150th so it’s now 2 matches per team.

    Personally I don’t rate the majority of SANIX teams. I think they would struggle to win a game at the Oakdale Festival. Making SANIX a challenge is 6 games in 8 days esp with the toughest two games (often by quite a considerable margin) coming right at the end.

    I personally don’t want the HJS 150th to fail. I think many of us here are actually really looking forward to seeing something different. I do remember communicating with Pieter Rossouw when he was trying to get Noord-Suid off the ground. It was really tough. In the end he had to invite Bethlehem to attend and they obviously got whipped. But from humble beginnings that festival now boasts a top notch list of schools and arguably the best concept. HJS want to host something memorable and special for their 150th. For the effort made and risk taken I give them credit but I’m not going to set the expectations bar too high. The 10 Saffa teams will be in top form. We expect something from 3 of the 4 NZ schools and hopefully some resistance from the other NZ school or one of the English schools but the others are bound to be weak.

    The organisers will do well to review day 1 games and set day 2 based on trying to achieve good match-ups. Perhaps try get some non-traditional rival Saffa schools to play each other. How great would it be to see Gim take on Grey as opposed to both schools clocking up half centuries against foreign teams before the halftime break.

    It’s a fledgling festival. Give it time and it chances are good that it will grow into something very special like Noord-Suid has.

    As the last team in Hilton might end up with two very easy games.

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  33. @Beet: Like I said any festival is always going to be a gamble. We see it every year at almost all the festivals. I don’t think the point of the HJS festival is necessary on how competitive it is although it will be awesome to have real competitive games. Will it be more competitive than St John’s or the other Easter festivals, who knows but which schoolboy would not want to have a go at a New Zealand team? Fact is the top schools at all the Easter festivals are probable going to play tougher games this year after the festivals.

    The point is to give the kids a chance to play against kids from other countries even if they are not that competitive. The spectators will probable love to see the strongest teams play each other but I think most of the kids would prefer to play a international team. It’s more by chance than design if the best teams play each other at festivals. Most festivals predetermine their fixtures.

    Like you pointed out, over time it might get better but apart from New Zealand I think most European schools will struggle. Their schooling system work different to ours and grade 11 and 12 are done at a college and not a school. Most kids finish school at 16 and then they go to college or join a rugby club. The better option might be to play a under 16 tournament if you want to use schools as the basis for a festival. If you want competitive under 18 or 19 teams you probable have to talk to the clubs in Europe but the age group will have to be defined properly. If you make the age group u/19 they will probable be able to field a team only consisting of under 19’s. Last year in Stellenbosch I spoke to some of the players of the Welsh “schoolboy” team and they were almost all club players.

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  34. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that schoolboy rugby in SA and NZ is much stronger than the rest of the world. Also, I believe that the top 10 schools in NZ are a match for our top 10, but then our depth thereafter is better.

    That said, school boy rugby in most of the rest of the world is low profile – e.g. a Millfield 1st team plays its game at the same time at the 14A, u15A, etc…so there are only one hundred spectators. Also, kids finish school at end June, so they are (on average) six months younger than kids in SA and NZ. Over 99% of the talented school boys in Europe play for a club, or are in a professional province’s academy. Like with soccer in SA, playing for a club/academy is the key focus for a top rugby player, so school rugby is often a bit of fun. Therefore, a better option would be to invite academy teams to SA. I suspect that Hartpury and Millfield will be pretty decent, but not near the level of HJS, GCB, etc.

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  35. @Rainier: die ding staan so boerboelletjie wil he almal moet HJS respekteer maar hy hoef niemand te respekteer nie, persoonlik het PRG se aansien in my oe baie gegroei juis omdat hulle die St Johns commitment eer

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  36. @Beet: Do you have the dates that the HJS 150th games will be played? I might pop down for the opening day. HJS has been very silent on the details.

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