Top 20 Easter festival games of 2013

Enlisting the help of numerous bloggers from around the country that actively follow schoolboy rugby in South Africa, a list was compiled of the top 20 Easter festival matches that will be taking place over the next few days.

It was unanimously decided that the Grey College versus Outeniqua game to be played at the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival (KERF) on Monday, 01 April 2013, is going to be by far and away the biggest game of them all. Both Grey College and Outeniqua have very strong teams this year meaning there is a possibility that they could end 2013 occupying first and second spots in the national rankings.

There was very little to separate second and third place. Two huge games: the Affies against Grey High (PE) at the Maritzburg College 150th Festival and the Paarl Boys High versus Waterkloof at St John’s will both take place on 01 April as well. Judging by the calibre of the 1st XV’s these schools have put out, it’s understandable why the interest in the outcomes of their games is so great.

There is a lot of focus on traditional powerhouse Paul Roos’ form. The school from Stellenbosch has a rich rugby history. They are expected to field a strong team in 2013 but have not shown much of what they are capable of in preseason. Their first proper match will in fact be their opener against Glenwood on Day-1 at KERF.  This match ranks as the fourth best game over the Easter period.

With Monument from Krugersdorp being one of the best rugby schools around and Noord-Kaap from Kimberley having really upped their tempo in recent years, it’s little wonder that the clash between these two in form teams is capturing attention to place it fifth overall.

Paarl Gymnasium is one of the favourites to finish 2013 in the Top 3 resulting in their opening game at KERF against the hosts Kearsney who have made a useful start to the KZN inter-schools season, being rated very highly.

Maritzburg College’s first game of their festival will be against Grey High and this will no doubt be the best attended match on Goldstones on the day.

Also enjoying attention is EG Jansen. The Valke giants from Boksburg have one the hardest Easter schedule of them all. Their games against Outeniqua and Paul Roos are being rated amongst those drawing the most interest, which is partly due to the high quality of the EG team this year.

Also worth mentioning are Nelspruit (at St John’s) and Marlow (at KES) who have made excellent unbeaten starts to 2013. Along the way both have recorded upset wins against Top 10 contenders.

Rondebosch has a very promising team and cannot be underestimated at the Maritzburg 150th Festival.

Overall 11 Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival games made the list followed by the Maritzburg College 150th with 5 and St John’s and KES with 2 apiece.

Top 20 games

1.  Grey College vs Outeniqua (KERF) – 01-Apr-13
2.  Affies vs Grey High (MC150) – 01-Apr-13
3.  Paarl BH vs Waterkloof (St Johns) – 01-Apr-13
4.  Glenwood vs Paul Roos (KERF) – 28-Mar-13
5.  Monument vs Noord-Kaap (MC150) – 03-Apr-13
6.  Kearsney vs Paarl Gim (KERF) – 30-Mar-13
7.  Maritzburg College vs Grey High (MC150) – 30-Mar-13
8.  Outeniqua vs EG Jansen (KERF) – 28-Mar-13
9.  EG Jansen vs Paul Roos (KERF) – 30-Mar-13
10. Monument vs Rondebosch (MC150) – 01-Apr-13
11. Nelspruit vs Waterkloof (St Johns) – 30-Mar-13
12. Paarl Gim vs Glenwood (KERF) – 01-Apr-13
13. Paarl Gim vs Westville (KERF) – 28-Mar-13
14. Marlow vs KES (KES Fest) – 30-Mar-13
15. Paul Roos vs Selborne (KERF) – 01-Apr-13
16. Grey College vs Boland Landbou (KERF) – 28-Mar-13
17. Selborne vs Nico Malan (KERF) – 28-Mar-13
18. Marlow vs Centurion (KES Fest) – 28-Mar-13
19. Outeniqua vs Westville (KERF) – 30-Mar-13
20. Maritzburg College vs Noord-Kaap (MC150) – 01-Apr-13

70 Comments

  1. Good to see that everybody has written Queens off against Affies and MC a team with no tag is a team that pull a rabbit out the hat. Queens dont have big forwards so any of these games will be an uphill battle but nobody expecting them to do anything will suit them down to the ground watch this space

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  2. Agree GCB vs Outeniqua must easly be the best game of any festival this year by far. Affies vs Grey PE will be interesting but i think Affies might just have a better backline this year next year might be different.

    @Queenian: Did Queens not lose to Brandwag the other day i would not expect them to win any games at MC150 but i will agree GCB came short many a time against Queens teams that looked not to good one thing i will give Queens is i never in my school career played against people with more guts. But in saying that Affies will be just to big for your chaps, Jeppe i am not sure of and if there was a chance of a upset MC must be carefull

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  3. @Ludz: Ye i hope so, wanted to ask you the other day watching the Under14A team i saw that there seemed to be a prop and a lock missing from last years Under13A team are they hurt or have they left?

    The Under15A impressed me they seem to be one of those teams that get better each year they now seem to have quite alot of talent and flair and good ball handling skills and to think at Under12 level they only won 2 games at Under13,s only won 4 Under 14 level won 9 so if they keep that up by the time they get to 1st maybe they will be unbeaten.

    @badboy: Ye maybe we will surprise somebody.

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  4. @Ludz: I was quite surprised with the 1st team even if they lost i think they will be quite competitive this year.

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  5. I see Westville never got a mention but i reckon they will not be pushovers for any of the teams and i expect them to at least win 1 of the 3 matches IMO – They only just lost to Grey High and shoulda won. They do have tough games though with the much hyped and vaunted Outeniqua being first up i think.. but they should have lots of support and beat EG Jansen there last year – Just lost to Dale by a point only the Grey College game was bad in fact. …but that was last year. I reckon they be right up for this Festival…;-) and suprise a few… bloody hope so lol

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  6. @Queenian: I was also impressed by Queen’s, a bit more clinical and we would’ve put Brandwag away, unlucky with kicks as well, especially the last 1 by Bolze.

    @Queenian: I tell you what those u15s look like they’re gonna develop into something special, their inside centre was very good. They are just so good, handling was superb for their 2nd game of the season

    Mr Loest tells me some of the 13As from last year struggled with the adjustment, so at the moment are not in the 14A side. I believe the prop is at Grey if am not mistaken, the boy who was at lock is one of those having a bit of a struggle

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  7. my predictions:

    1. Grey College vs Outeniqua – Outeniqua
    2. Affies vs Grey High – Affies
    3. Paarl BH vs Waterkloof – Klofsies
    4. Glenwood vs Paul Roos – Paul Roos
    5. Monument vs Noord-Kaap – Monnas
    6. Kearsney vs Paarl Gim – Kearsney
    7. Maritzburg College vs Grey High – College
    8. Outeniqua vs EG Jansen – Outeniqua
    9. EG Jansen vs Paul Roos – Paul Roos
    10. Monument vs Rondebosch – Monnas
    11. Nelspruit vs Waterkloof – Klofsies
    12. Paarl Gim vs Glenwood – Paarl Gim
    13. Paarl Gim vs Westville – Paarl Gim
    14. Marlow vs KES – KES
    15. Paul Roos vs Selborne – Paul Roos
    16. Grey College vs Boland Landbou – Grey
    17. Selborne vs Nico Malan – Selborne
    18. Marlow vs Centurion – Marlow
    19. Outeniqua vs Westville – Outeniqua
    20. Maritzburg College vs Noord-Kaap – College

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  8. Unlike the speculation here, it is unlikely that GCB will be playing for rankings. I am certain that they regard Boland Landbou equally as important and challenging as any other match

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  9. Does anybody know which of these festivals will be shown on TV ?
    In the past the St John’s festival got the live coverage.

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  10. @BOG: No doubt GCB always respects their opponents and prepare for all matches the same, but as I have said on a few occasions in the past, the difference between the top 10 schools (and specifically the perennial top 5) and the rest is about 10 – 15 points. When playing a team like BL that annually floats somewhere between 15 – 30 that margin may even be bigger (20+) and that’s why I did not list one of the BL matches on my list of top 10 games for Easter either. Those boys always show guts and I will support them with gusto irrespective of their results, but sentiment aside, they are not on the same planet as the Big 5.

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  11. @Rhino: Wesville might not have got a mention but they are involved in 2 of the Top 20 games. Their first game is against Paarl Gim on Thursday followed by Outeniqua on Saturday and then Framesby. I am not sure if you have watched them this year but they will do well to win one game IMHO. I did not see their last two games but the games that I have seen they have slipped too many tackles and against this quality opposition they will pay for such mistakes. If they don’t pick up too many injuries in the first two games they might have a chance agaisnt Framesby. I hope they prove me wrong

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  12. @BOG: I don’t think any of these schools play for the ranking. They run on and try to give their best. The best attitude teams are always positive and believe they can win.

    All these teams mentioned above are good and a ranking system should never take that away from them.

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  13. @beet: How are the Kearsney fields looking with all this rain? Seem to remember they drain quite well?

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  14. @Ooorkant Loftus: No. Several schools will do highlights packages but the only festival day that will be broadcast live as far as I’m aware will be Wildeklawer Day 2 in May :(

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  15. @Roger: Obviously you have made a few calls which I agree could go either way on the day, it is an oval ball after all, but would like to know what you based your Kearsney vs Paarl Gim prediction on.

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  16. @GreenBlooded: Yes the Kearsney main field drains pretty well. There are 4 good fields but only 2 that can accommodate a sizable crowd. Will also require a parking reshuffle.

    The problem will be at College. Goldstones can get badly cut up because it becomes very muddy in continuous wet weather so hopefully the rain stays away up in PMB. There also isn’t usually too much shelter there so hopefully the organisers have worked around this in their set up.

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  17. @Westers – Ta for the info – nope unfortunately im UK bound – last time i watched them live was in 2010/2011. ah well lets hope they can just do their best and give good performances. Please keep us updated if poss. thanks.

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  18. I think that the Paarl Boys’ vs SGS Filton (UK) could be a good game. The latter seem to have had had a very good season, including winning a number of tournaments in the UK .

    That said, you never know with these touring UK teams. Sometimes they are competitive, like the Wellington team that visited a few years ago, which narrowly beat Bosch and lost narrowly to Bishops and KES…but last year Dulwich College (which is a powerhouse UK team) lost most of their games here.

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  19. A little disappointed that QC does not appear above, but if it were up to me I would like to see Grey PE Vs. Affies, based on personal choice – that it – to big pack of forwards.

    The last school game of rugby I watched was at QC reunion in 1993, growing in JHB, I used to attend in those days the only eater festival – the Saint’s Rugby festival – where I learnt KES were indeed able to play rugby – that should make Roger happy. As a kid you give you shrills up your spine watching the boys run onto the fields, as an older lad it became more about screaming for a team, seeing how many “poppies” you could chat up – and making sure you got home safe and sound!

    I always get nostalgic at this time of year any have the best twitter account to sign up for results this weekend for ongoing results updated?

    Good luck to all teams – and pretty happy QC, have been written off – could be a bogey.

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  20. @Ploegskaar: home ground advantage, big local support and Kearseny have a very good team – especially if the Du Plessis brothers play. Having said that – I don’t know too much about Paarl Gim this year either – call it gut feel :lol:

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  21. @Roger: Fair enough. Likewise I also do not know too much about KC, but based on early season form think that Paarl Gim is in fact quite a bit stronger than last year 8-O

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  22. @Hustle: when Saints was the only show in town it was a fantastic event – we played Queens in my year and squeaked home, but got pipped by Dale in return :-?

    Did Paul Roos and Paarl Gim ever go to the Saints festival? They are the only “big” schools I recall not having seen at Saints in those early days before other schools cottoned on to how much money can be made at rugby festivals :(

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  23. @Roger: Million Dollar question. To early to say, Paarl Gym is only finalising their first team squad this week.

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  24. @BoishaaiPa: Ek dink nie hy is te dronk nie. Ons ysters is in die pak die jaar met JD, Bothma en Vermeulen. Groot manne die en die vroegjaar resultate lyk verseker beter.

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  25. @Roger: Once again, going on early season form, I think Paarl Gim will be the team to beat. They have a very good tight 5, an exceptional loose trio and a few very dangerous runners in the back line.

    Paul Roos has played their cards close to their chest thus far, but they have a good core of players returning to which you can add a very good crop of gr. 11’s which outclassed all comers as u/16’s in the WC last year. They will definitely be much stronger and consistent than they were in 2012.

    Boishaai has not shown good early season form to date, but I will not read too much into that, as they seem to get it together when it counts (apart from inter-schools that is). I don’t think they will be the top dog this year, but should finish top 5.

    To summarize, the Winelands teams will probably finish in this order this year, with Landbou a distant 4th and maybe even 5th in the local league if Rondebosch builds on early season form.

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  26. I read an article on Henco “Bees” Hunter from Paarl Gym last year. Any news on him so far this season?

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  27. @BoishaaiPa: Niks soos ‘n ontydige en oningeligte opinie om julle manne wakker te maak nie, of hoe? Tyd sal leer, jy kan my altyd uitroep op hierdie voorspelling in Augustus waneer die stof gaan lê het. En nee, ek blog en drink nooit tesame, jy kan mos sien ek kef nooit soos die GW bloggers nie :wink:

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  28. Paarl Gym never going to lost any game against Kearsney Roger ! No chance at all for even a close score . Gym to win with 10 + . You are probably close with the rest of your predictions . I think :-? will struggle early on but will improve through the year . Boishaai do not focus on rugby during the summer sport periode and the cricket got full attention until few weeks ago . Several rugby players still busy with athletics . I personally dont care about this the real challenge is on the first Saturday of August ! We know that will be very tough against an excellent Gym loose forward trio but we will have to see how the season pans out . Lots of good teams in the Western Cape this year so probably many potential surprises !

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  29. @Roger: you would predict a Glenwood loss in both games, you maybe right but remember Glenwood have beaten Framesby and lost to a very strong Garsfontein side and threw the game away against Drostdy. Paul Roos is an unknown, Paarl Gim always powerful and our third game against Selborne is also an unknown. I will be happy with 1 from 3, ecstatic with 2 from 3. I reckon you’ll only get about 50% of your predictions right, the joy of schoolboy rugby, nobody knows for sure….on the day anything can happen…

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  30. @Tandem: Do the Paarl schools play Drostdy at all? Against Glenwood I heard they battled in the backs for the 1st 40mins, but they fought hard to come back and take the game….

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  31. @Grasshopper- It does sound like we(gw+wbhs) are big time underdogs but hey ho so be it as i reckon we can both get 1 win from the 3 …. and add a bit of complacency and who knows lol

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  32. @rhino, definately underdogs but you never know with local support. I’ll be there on the Monday, can’t wait after being in the UK for 9 years missing it. I actually think Westville have the more difficult 3 games. I think Glenwood’s chance is against Selborne, but not sure how good they are this year. They always have massive packs though. It will come down to squad rotation and how many injuries each side gets. I’ll be cheering for Westville on the Monday early on and then the Glenwood game. The Grey Bloem vs Outeniqua game will be immense! Glad we not playing Oureniqua this year as we usually do….

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  33. @ Roger, you are right I was at that game – I will also say that Queens allways seemed to get unstuck, thought it was too early for Border Schools, I think in those days they used to have trials a week before, the tourney…what Possie did you play?

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  34. @Grasshopper

    Yep agreed im sure the support will help in some way. Yep i remember from rugby365 that u were in the UK – aah so u did make it back.. cool.. how do u find it being back ? I went back in Feb 2010 but came back Uk in sept 2011 and as much as i miss SA i dont think i go back again… but who knows with life and all. I do reckon you boys will win 1 of your games… hope so. its good for kzn in general. Yeah agreed Westvilles games are tough with a capital T. But all good experience and all too. AS much as i have said some annoying things against GW i would also cheer them if i was home :-) . Ag rivalry is good as keeps us all on our toes and all. I see the rugby365 site doesnt get much activity nowadays on the school blogging part anyhow… pity but glad i found this as i enjoy it and kinda makes me feel part of things…. my old username was RAG(initials) but changed it since joining this as i think Greenblooded or Greenhopper called me a wet rag the one time ( hilarious ) so figured need choose a name not so easy to go at hahaha plus it was pretty kuk anyhow…. funny though… so like Roger did earlier can u predict the scores as would like see ure view/opinion ?

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  35. So good to see Grey High get a mention. I think they’ll be going in to the Affies game underdogs, which is a good thing in my opinion. Some great rugby this April. How have Maritzburg College gone so far this season ?

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  36. @ Mike – I dont live in SA anymore but i know from reading about etc they have had an indifferent start but actually its not much to read into as they were warm up games so not the real deal – Perhaps they have had other games as well and which i dont know of???? think there are…. but i do know they have played Westville twice (warm up games not the full monty ) and lost twice to us in them -BUT u cant really count that as i said thats not the REAL DEAL match day stuff as such. Im sure someone else is more the wiser so ill leave it at that.. cheers,

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  37. @Mike: College at full strength beat George Campbell quite easily, but that was at College which gives College a 15 point mental start straight away. George Campbell are no pushovers. College have been playing their cards close to their chests, expect them to start with a bang at their own festival. I just hope they can keep their emotions in tack as sometimes it does the opposite to what is required….good luck to them. In a funny way I wish Glenwood was there instead to join the celebration but we do have the honour of playing College on their Founders/reunion day, never remember which name it is…

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  38. @Rhino: it’s great being back in Cape Town, what an awesome place. Don’t miss the grey and cold at all! There are some things I do miss like the safety and choice of things to buy, but everything else is actually the same as the UK, broadband, dstv etc costs the same. Food is very expensive here but better quality. I have a UK passport do going back is an option but we will enjoy things here whilst we can and hope the gov improves over the years. We just wanted to be closer to family and have our baby girl grow up a Saffa like us on the beach, in the bush and with no shoes….

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  39. beet all i can help with is the u14 and u15 festival at the home of the kwagga :( and then the u16 grey festival from the 4th of April :oops:

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  40. @Grasshopper: think the Green Machine will beat Selborne and perhaps catch Paul Roos cold – however, given what the other bloggers are saying about Paarl Gym that might be a bridge too far. Still reckon Kearsney might clip their wings though

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  41. @Grasshopper: I think the game between Grey PE and Maritzburg is going to be huge. College are probably still looking for revenge for the last two times the schools played each other.

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  42. Does anyone know how Goldstones is holding out? If the rain in Maritzburg has been anything like what the Highway area has had over the last few days we could be in for a mud-wrestling contest at College – and I’m not talking about the bikini type either!! I’m about 10km from Kearsney – there is no rain today but still overcast so with the good drainage at Stott that should be fine if things clear up tomorrow as per predictions. College will be another story – will needs some serious sunshine between now and Saturday.

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  43. @GreenBlooded: Although that weather wont be great for running rugby, what it will do is level the playing fields. So it gives the underdogs a chance against the bigger and highly rated teams.

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  44. @Mike: Yep, and the crowds will not be able to tell who is who in the mud, not fun……especially the red mud of Maritzburg….

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  45. @Mike: The Grey PE game last year was one of about 6 that College lost by 1 or 2 points. Grey PE by 1, Paul Roos by 1, Glenwood was 2 draws, House by 2 (I think), PBHS away by 1 or 2. I think I worked out that if College had scored 9 more points we could have had another 6 wins. Only Kearsney and KES were out of sight. Could have, should have, didn’t ….

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  46. @Gungets Tuft: And those draws were Glenwood snatching a draw from the hands of victory. Glenwood were ahead in both I think, please correct me if I am wrong……just remember following on twitter and thinking jeez not again Glenwood are we becoming like the Proteas in the World Cup. Although we did the opposite against Hilton and won in the last seconds, so swings and round abouts really…

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  47. @QC86: Hey QC86. Great to finally put a face to a name. That biltong was “off the chains”. I must come back for more. I will see you in May when I come to stock up on my usual Mabovula braai chops, chicken and wors for the post reunion braai.I hope Dale pulls one over the Baboona to make that vleis all the more enjoyable. :mrgreen:

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  48. @Grasshopper: The draw at Glenwood was due to a very poor decision after full-time – instead of kicking the ball out they ran it, lost the ball and College scored at the other end. The draw at College I missed – had to get away 15 minutes early for an engagement party (of a Glenwood Old boy nogal – very bad planning on his part!!) but I heard it was one for the books. College fought back in the last 10, got into the lead with Glenwood sealing the draw in the last seconds.

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  49. @Greenblooded, seems a common theme that, Glenwood on attack, lose the ball and the other team scores on the other end. It’s happened numerous times in the past 2 seasons. Sean needs to work on ball retention, patience and ensuring we can defend properly for counter attacks.

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  50. I remember Glenwood playing on Goldstones where they put sawdust/shavings (I think) on the field to absorb the mud. Not very pleasant for the boys but some spectacular photos. Just thinking of all the laundries having to cope with those white shorts after the mud!!!
    I’m glad I’m not a ref trying to sort out who is from which team once they are all covered in mud either.

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  51. And off they go!!!
    Let the games begin en aan al die seuns wat ons so lekker gaan vermaak die paasnaweek, sterkte en mag die games opgesonde harde en eerlike manier gejol word!! Onthou dis net n game. Hoop en bid dis ook beseringsvry!!
    Hoop daai Boishaai grapgatte is weer daar.

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  52. @GreenBlooded: here comes another Goosen tragedy,totaly against our youngsters playing in the big leagues to soon,the union wants to win so they play them,the youngster is full of guts so he wants to play,the opposition know they are young thus want to kill them,recipe for disaster

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  53. @Grasshopper: At Glenwood it was a last second penalty after Glenwood had kicked for poles from a very poor spot – terrible decision. At College we had done our normal 2012 thnig and gobe quite a long way behind from the start, take the whole match to catch up and get a 5 point lead. Then Glenwood had a push-over try in the left corner, conversion for the win, went wide. You have never heard a quieter rugby ground as they were lining up the kick.

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  54. @CyndiAtRugby: You needed to see the PBHS game (I think). College cancelled all the games on Goldstones except 2nds and 1sts but even then it was raining so hard that they thought it might be too dangerous to play because you could drown trapped at the bottom of a ruck.

    I think the ref blew the game on the players accents … sure as hell could not see the colours of the jerseys :mrgreen:

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  55. @Gungets Tuft: That was one of those moments which will live forever – the photos are quite something too. I cannot remember a silence like that one – I swear even the birds stopped chirping!!
    On one of those muddy days the boys were sneaking to the swimming pool to “cool off” I think the groundmen is still cursing them :lol:

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  56. @QC86: Agreed.I’m all for blooding young players, but this is a bit excessive.NZ and Aus can get away with starting them young and still ensuring they get a long career.Our brand of rugby doesnt allow this.This is a tragedy in the making.I seriously ope I’m wrong.

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  57. @QC86: @Playa: Where was the “Playa” when I saw you and GCollege86?

    Wanted to remind him of what happened on the Rec last year, last match of the season :mrgreen:

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  58. I am not sure the Selborne Vs Nico Malan, game should be there at 17..I would perhaps consider rasiing Marlow Vs KES one notch. :mrgreen:

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  59. @Ludz: Hahahaha!Didnt make it to GTown in time.The perks of travelling with a wife and kid.Let by-gones be by-gones.Watch what will happen at the Rec this year at your reunion.

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