World Schools Festival – Day 1 What Happened.

 

After maybe a little bit of a disappointment regarding the quality of opponents in the inaugural year hosted by Boishaai, everybody is expecting a much better performance from the international teams. Four New Zeeland teams and Hartpury College from England is the only "known" opponents as all the other teams are invitational sides.

With teams awarded two points for a victory, Tuesday’s results mean that the South African sides carry an 8-2 lead over their foreign counterparts going into day two, which will see the remaining ten outfits make their first appearance at the 2019 event.

10:30 Glenwood 32-17 John McGlashan

Glenwood has already played five games this year with their most notable wins against Hilton College (27-17) and KES (48-36) a week ago at the Wynberg Festival. Will this Glenwood team remain unbeaten as the team of 2018? I do not know but expect a fast game from the boys from Durban with most of the quality ball going to an explosive backline. John McGlashan lost out to on the semi-finals of the South Island's Championship against Southland BHS with 40-5. According to info, they will be led by Leroy Ferguson who is according to the people in the know one of the best number 8's in New Zealand this year. He will be supported by hooker George Bell who is also a great ball carrier and expect these two boys to carry most of the ball in the attack. They have a more than a decent pack of forwards with a lot of speed out wide. Therefore, expect John McGlashan to attack with their big and hard running forwards while Glenwood will avoid the physical stuff and spread the ball wide. Glenwood to win easily but maybe not that easy.

The first match of the festival saw Glenwood from Durban take on debutants John McGlashan College from New Zealand. The Kiwi pack was particularly impressive, and took the fight to the “Green Machine”, but the South Africans proved too strong as they secured a hard-fought 32-17 win, with SA Schools Sevens player Nico Steyn getting a brace of tries, as did substitute Martino van Wyk.

 

12:30 WP Invitational 29-76 World XV

Let's just sit back and enjoy .......................................

The Rest of the World contingent captured their first win of the tournament when the World Select XV destroyed a Western Province Invitational outfit 76-29. The visitors scored a total of twelve five-pointers as they secured the first two points for the internationals in the Ryder Cup-style event.

13:30 SACS 43-24 Zambezi Steelers

SACS played three games winning two while in a big surprise lost to St Andrew's College at the Graeme Rugby day. Their opponents apparently is an invitational side from Zimbabwe. Nothing is known regarding the Zimbabwean side and I expect that they will give SACS a run for their money but I do not think they will be able to compete in the latter parts of the second half. SACS cruising?

SACS were full value for their win over Zimbabwean outfit the Zambezi Steelers in a highly-entertaining encounter. Both teams looked to run the ball, and produced a total of thirteen tries, with the Cape Town school securing a 43-24 win. SACS’ captain and lock Jordan Thomas was named the man of the match, having scored two of his side’s tries.

15:00 Monnas 32-21 Hartpury College

Monnas not known for fast starters in the season and this year is no exception. After two great wins against Goudveld and Nelspruit their wheels came off against Paarl Gim (29-43) and Paarl Boishaai (31-35). However, this Monnas side has talent oozing from every boy in the squad and Hartpury will do well not to underestimate them. Hartpury College won the AASE title for the ninth time in ten years BUT their last match was on the 6th of December 2018 and they did go into the finals as the absolute underdogs. The route to the 2018 year’s showpiece event at Allianz Park hasn’t been as straightforward as in previous years. Losses to Exeter College and their opposition in the final, Beechen Cliff were followed by consecutive one-point wins over Gosforth Academy and Truro and Penwith College. Therefore, Monnas should win this but as an Affie supporter who will forget Hartpury's first performance in 2018. Monnas to win if they have sorted their early season problems

The pick of the matches saw Krugersdorp-based Monument face-off against Hartpury College from England. Much was expected from Monument’s captain and eighthman Izan Esterhuizen, but the loose-forward and his team suffered a major blow within the first minute of the match when he went off with an injured knee.

Monument, however, bounced back brilliantly from the setback against a side that last year defeated Affies. The boys from Gauteng crossed the chalk five times on their way to a convincing 32-21 victory.

Esterhuizen admitted afterwards that it was an injury that he picked up during training a few days earlier, and was unlikely to be fit for his side’s second game on Friday.

 

16:30 Paarl Gim 50-24 Africa Pacific Dragons

Can not see the Dragons compete until the end of the first half if that long. The 2019 Paarl Gim side looks a lot better than the 2018 edition and they were good.

The fifth and final match of the day saw Paarl Gimnasium go up against the Africa Pacific Dragons – a Barbarians-type outfit made up of mostly New Zealand scholars. As expected, the tourists did plenty of running with the ball, but Paarl Gym was fully prepared for their attack-minded opposition, with Stravino Jacobs shining brightest. The winger scored two of his side’s eight tries, as they wrapped up the day with an emphatic 50-24 victory.