Durban High School are looking forward to their double header against KES and Jeppe.
DHS were disappointing at the KES Easter Festival, scoring just 26 points in defeats to Eldoraigne, Parktown and Florida.
‘We gave away too much turnover ball at the festival,’ said DHS 1st XV coach Deon Gericke,’ but the worst facet of our game was kicking: we kicked only 26% of our penalties, and in the context of those matches it was the difference between a win and loss [they missed four against Florida, losing 10-6]. KES use a Summit ball, and as we are sponsored by Adidas, it threw our kickers off. Next year we’ll be prepared.’
However, since the festival DHS have beaten Pinetown and Wonderboom to gain some momentum.
‘We should have put 50 past Pinetown – the [26-10] score line wasn’t a true reflection of the match,’ said Gericke. ‘The whistle played a big part, so the match lost a lot of flow and we weren’t able to make use of our heavier pack. We put down four tries, and generally made too many unforced errors, so we’re working hard on our discipline and being versatile at the breakdown with the new interpretations of the laws.’
Gericke is now focused on DHS’s traditional double header against KES (Saturday, 12:15) and Jeppe (Monday, 12:15) at home.
‘We have a lot of respect for both sides; they’re very well balanced and will definitely take the ball to us given the chance, but we will have a few things up our sleeves. These games are crucial if we want to go into May, when our crunch games are, in a positive frame of mind.’
Even more important, says Gericke, is the building of a foundation for next season and the years to come.
‘We have only two Grade 12 boys in our side, so next year’s side will be exciting. We’re definitely in a building phase, but we’re not only trying to build a strong side, but also a rugby culture at DHS. We’ve got work to do, but we’ll be better than the DHS teams of the past four years. We’ll surprise a lot of sides.’
By Rory Keohane