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Glenwood v Westville: preview

Written by beet bailey (beet)

Posted in :Original Content, School Rugby, Sharks on 17 Jun 2011 at 13:50
Tagged with : , ,

Glenwood High School and Westville Boys High School will battle it out in the last big match of the Kwazulu-Natal school’s second term*. The match should provide a fitting ending to what has been a very good and at times unpredictable local schoolboy rugby season.

Should Glenwood win, they will emerge as the undisputed champion team of KZN for yet another season. However if Westville spoil the home team’s party, determining the number one team in the province will probably spark a great debate and in all likelihood come down a matter of opinion with Westville supporters possibly having a slightly strong claim for top honours than those of College, Kearsney and Glenwood.

It has been an unusual season for the Glenwood team in terms of home games. The decision not to play Michaelhouse this year, in addition to no longer having a set fixture against Hilton, meant that the Glenwood team not only had 2 weekends off slap bang in the middle of the season but they have also played in just one low key home game against a very determined George Campbell back in April. Saturday’s match will be viewed as the first major home game of the season by many local residents, so it is bound to be a well attended affair and expecting a crowd of 6000-8000 people won’t be out of the question. This kind of home support is bound to play a major role in the outcome. Westville haven’t been the best travelers. They have lost games on the road again St Andrews and Pionier that they should really have won quite easily.

Glenwood have risen to occasion in big games this year. Last weekend’s away win against College on Reunion Day was further evidence of how well they are able to perform under pressure against a good team. Westville comfortable fits this definition of “good team.” Although Glenwood has always been known for their physicality at and around the tackled ball, it’s been their enterprising back line play that’s caught the eye this season. Good utilisation of the ball, particularly in the second half when opponents’ legs start to tire and the gaps begin to appear, has seen them produce beautiful flowing try scoring rugby at times. This suggests that Westville’s fitness will be put to the test. Covering the lines of Glenwood support runners is of great importance. Fortunately having the need-for-speed loose forward trio of Buthelezi, Ngconco and o’Neill, means there is no local school better equipped than WBHS to counter the threat of dangerous backs and turnover balls in the process.

For Westville, their two best avenues to the tryline remain big centre Tyler Fisher and speedster Keegan Boulle. In Fisher’s case, simple giving him front foot ball has been all it takes to make something happen. However with Glenwood welcoming back big hard hitting centre Dean Moolman this week, the stage is set for possibly the most sought after matchup of the season. This despite Moolman being an inside centre and Fisher playing at no.13.

It hasn’t been a memorable season for most KZN goalkickers. Glenwood kicker Tom has had his fair share of off days but these pale in comparison to the WBHS kicking woes. Since David Watkeys limped off against Michaelhouse back in March, several kickers have been tried and failed, some more miserably than others. The best kicking option appears to be scrumhalf Cameron Wright, however more often than not he plays back up to the in-form Dylan Marcus.

A great day of schoolboy rugby lies ahead. For both schools this is in a sense the quiet before the storm. Based on the number of 2012 returning players involved in tomorrow’s first team game, expect big things from Glenwood and Westville next year.

*Glenwood and College have matches scheduled for the 3rd term.

Michaelhouse vs Hilton
St Charles vs Kearsney


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