SA Rugby magazine looks ahead to the Easter festivals taking place around the country this weekend.
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Kearsney College (KNZ Midlands]
The inaugural Kearsney House of Paint festival held last year proved to be a roaring success. A plethora of talent will be on display in 2009 with Dale, Selborne and Queens (all from the Eastern Cape) and Durban High School taking part. EG Jansen, who surprised everyone by finishing in the top five schools in the country last season, and Hoërskool Upington, from the Northern Cape, are new additions to the festival. The two standout fixtures will take place on the Monday: DHS vs Queens and Selborne vs EG Jansen. The latter fixture will see two contrasting styles, as Selborne prefer to play expansive rugby while the Jo’burg side tend to be more circumspect and forward orientated. Dale will also be a team to watch after they thrashed Graeme College 36-13 last week. Keep an eye out for Kearsney’s talented flyhalf Warren Seals, who has a big boot and is an accurate goal kicker.
– For more information on this festival, visit www.kearsney.com
St Stithian’s College (Johannesburg)
Saints will host its 25th consecutive festival this year, a remarkable feat. While some of the top South African schools will take part, emphasis has been placed on inviting 1st XVs that like to keep the ball in hand (Bishops, St Andrew’s and St Stithians all share the same ethos of running rugby). Also look out for a resurgent Wynberg, who were more than competitive last season, and Boland Landbou. The highlight of the festival will be the final game between St Stithians and Bishops, which should produce an abundance of tries. Keep an eye out for St Andrew’s winger James Price, who has plenty of pace and skill, as well as Bishops No 8 Nizaam Carr.
– For more information on this festival, visit www.stithian.com
St John’s College (Johannesburg)
Six schools that were in last year’s top 20 schools ranking will be attending the 14th annual St John’s festival – Glenwood (who won won the 2008 Schools Rugby World Championship in Japan), Affies, Paul Roos, Monument, Paarl Boys’ and Outeniqua. The Saturday will see four titanic clashes: Glenwood vs Outeniqua, Affies vs Paul Roos, Paarl Boys vs Monument and Maritzburg College vs Jeppe. In excess of 25 000 people attended the festival in 2008.
– For more information on this festival, visit www.stjohnscollege.co.za
King Edward VII school (Johannesburg)
Rondebosch, Westville and Pretoria Boys’ will be attending the KES festival, which traditionally draws huge crowds (more than 20 000 people attended last year’s event). The pick of the fixtures sees the hosts play Rondebosch on the Saturday. The Cape side will have to deal with the home crowd and the formidable KES pack, but both sides enjoy keeping the ball in hand, so expect a high-scoring match. KES are full of confidence after beating Pretoria Boys’ High earlier this season, while Westville were too good for Hilton. The main game at 4pm on Saturday between KES and Rondebosch Boys’ will be televised. Look out for Bosch hooker Gary Topkin who played for SA Schools last year.
– For more information on this festival, visit www.kingedwardschool.co.za