Much to savour at Col­lege sports fes­ti­val

RUGBY AND HOCKEY: Part of 150th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions

Weekend Witness - - Talking Sport - JONATHAN COOK

SCHOOL­BOY rugby and hockey fans can ex­pect much to savour to­day and to­mor­row at the Mar­itzburg Col­lege Win­ter Sports Fes­ti­val, which forms part of the KZN in­sti­tu­tion’s 150th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions.

The 150th Rugby Fes­ti­val sees five in­trigu­ing matches to­day on the school’s cher­ished Gold­stones ground, the main event be­ing the red, black and white’s en­counter with Grey High School at 3.30 pm.

The No­mads Hockey Fes­ti­val features the top-tier hockey schools in the coun­try and no less than 24 matches will be played this week­end on Pape’s Astro and the neigh­bour­ing AB Jack­son Green­fields Turf, which is just a hop, skip and jump up Princess Mar­garet Drive.

Grey beat Col­lege by one point at the Port Elizabeth school’s rugby fes­ti­val last year, and to­day’s match could well be won and lost up­front, with Col­lege hav­ing their work cut out in first con­tain­ing and then over­pow­er­ing the big lads in the Grey eight.

Col­lege have a team with­out any ma­jor stars and there­fore co­he­sion is key.

Ter­ri­to­rial gains must be con­verted into points, while the de­fen­sive screen will have to be sound against op­po­nents who are no slouches in launch­ing at­tacks from just about any­where on the field.

To­day’s other ex­cit­ing en­coun­ters fea­ture the strong Hoërskool No­ord-Kaap ver­sus Jeppe at 10.10 am, the KZN Devel­op­ment XV against Ron­de­bosch at 11.30 am, Queens Col­lege ver­sus school­boy rugby gi- ants Afrikaans Hoër Se­un­skool (Affies) at 12.50 pm and the Dale Col­lege clash with Hoërskool Mon­u­ment (Mon­nas) at 2.10 pm. This match pre­cedes the muchan­tic­i­pated Mar­itzburg Col­lege tus­sle with Grey at 3.30 pm.

An­other mouth-wa­ter­ing match-up takes place just above Gold­stones on the Papes Astro at 8.40 am to­day when Mar­itzburg Col­lege — ar­guably the strong­est hockey school in South Africa over the last 20 years — tackle Mill­field, prob­a­bly the lead­ing UK hockey school.

Other matches amongst many to look out for see Mar­itzburg Col­lege against old foes Grey High School at 1.40 pm to­day, while Wyn­berg — vic­tors over Col­lege at last year’s No­mads Fes­ti­val in East Lon­don — will likely have to be at their best against Mill­field at 7.30 am to-

mor­row.

WEEK­END FIX­TURES FNB 150th Rugby Fes­ti­val Tor­day (Gold­stones): 10.10 No­ord-Kaap vs Jeppe; 11.30 KZN Devel­op­ment XV vs Ron­de­bosch; 12.50 Queens vs Affies; 14.10 Dale vs Mon­nas; 15.30 Mar­itzburg Col­lege vs Grey.

No­mads Hockey Fes­ti­val To­day - Papes: 7.30 Grey vs MHS; 8.40 Mar­itzburg Col­lege vs Mill­field; 9.50 St Johns vs St An­drews; 11.00 PBHS vs Wyn­berg; 12.30 MHS vs KES; 13.40 Mar­itzburg Col­lege vs Grey; 14.50 Hil­ton vs St An­drews; 16.00 Jeppe vs Mill­field. AB Jack­son: 8.40 Sel­borne vs KES; 9.50 Jeppe vs Hil­ton; 16.00 Sel­borne vs PBHS; 17.10 Wyn­berg vs St Johns. To­mor­row - Papes: 7.30 Mill­field vs Wyn­berg; 8.40 KES vs Grey; 9.50 Mar­itzburg Col­lege vs Sel­borne; 11.00 Jeppe vs St An­drews; 12.30 Wyn­berg vs KES; 13.40 Grey vs Hil­ton; 14.50 Mar­itzburg Col­lege vs St Johns; 16.00 Mill­field vs Sel­borne. AB Jack­son: 8.40 Hil­ton vs St Johns; 9.50 MHS vs PBHS; 16.00 St An­drews vs PBHS; 17.10 Jeppe vs MHS.

PHOTO: IAN CARBUTT

Mar­itzburg Col­lege first team play­ers Jacques Con­radie and Vuyo Khathide will be look­ing for vic­tory over Grey High School when the 150th Rugby Fes­ti­val gets un­der­way to­day.

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