A wealth of talented schoolboys, exciting play and interesting upsets over the weekend at the House of Paint Schools’ Easter Rugby Festival hosted at Kearsney College bodes well for the future of the game in this country.
After the final match on Saturday, Morne Stassen from Hoerskool EG Jansen, Queen’s College winger Leon Makiwane and Chris Cloete from Selborne College were each awarded a R60 000 bursary for the first year of their tertiary education at Varsity College and a contract with the Sharks Academy for 2010. They will be eligible to have their bursaries renewed for the duration of their studies, based on academic and sporting performance.
An exciting brand of schoolboy rugby was displayed at the Festival where 10 top rugby-playing schools from around the country participated.
Hans Scriba, managing director of the Sharks Academy, said due to the high standard of play, the selectors had decided to award three bursaries, and not two as previously offered.
Some superb individual play was evident over the weekend, he said, with the overall standard being superior to that at last year’s Festival. This showed great promise for the future of rugby in this country.
Stassen and Makiwane were rewarded for best backline play, while flanker Chris Cloete received his for outstanding loose forward play.
Queen’s College running style of rugby ensured it was the only team to win all its matches during the Festival. The well-balanced and skilled Selborne College team won two and drew one match, showing itself to be a good all round side, whilst the third Border team, Dale College, depicted running rugby ‘par excellence’.
Contrasting this style of rugby were the Gauteng and Mpumalanga teams’ typical hard, strong games. EG Jansen and HTS Middelburg both played a physical game, with Marais Viljoen being the most improved team at the Festival. Similarly Hoerskool Upington, which is not often exposed to this level of competition, embraced the challenge and grew with the Festival.
Gutsy hosts Kearsney College played with heart and passion to win two of their games. DHS, although ravaged by injury, showed grit and determination. The final host province team of KZN Development XV displayed a never-say-die attitude and great enthusiasm.