Zimbabwean Rugby Sides Gain Experience at South African Festivals

The regional airlines and long distance buses were busy this Easter weekend, as seven Zimbabwean rugby first teams travelled to South Africa and one to Namibia to take part in three different high school rugby festivals in preparation for next term’s Zimbabwean school boy rugby season.  South Africa’s Easter rugby festivals follow a format of three days of play on Thursday, Saturday and Monday, skipping the holidays of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The weekend festivals started Thursday, 24 March and wrap up today, Monday 28 March 2016.

Falcon College, Hellenic Academy and Watershed College’s rugby first teams are participating in the St Dustan’s Easter Festival. The annual three day festival in Benoni includes netball, boys and girls hockey and rugby and includes over 650 high school student athletes.    The three Zimbabwean schools as well as Hilllcrest College also sent boys’ hockey teams to participate at St. Dunstan’s.

On the opening day of the St. Dustan’s Festival, Falcon wiped out Tyger Valley, Pretoria 79-0.  Hellenic also showed a strong showing by beating St Peter’s 27-14.  Watershed narrowly beat Springs 11-8 in their first game. On Saturday, 26 March Falcon tied with Hans Moore in a tightly-contested 13-13 match, while Watershed beat SDC 24-7.   Meanwhile Hellenic shut out HeronBridge College 34-0.

Meanwhile, St George’s College, Churchill High School and Hillcrest College are taking part in the annual “Best of the West” Easter Rugby Festival at Krugersdorp which includes nine very competitive teams from Gauteng Province in addition to the three teams from Zimbabwe.  The three Zimbabwean sides have yet to record a win a the festival. Hillcrest lost to hosts Krugersdorp 19-24 yesterday, while St George’s suffered a12-27 defeat to Linden on Saturday.  On Thursday, St George’s recorded a 15-28 loss to Ermelo while Hillcrest lost 10-36 to Helpmekaar College.

St John’s College, Borrowdale is participating in a Johannesburg-based school boys rugby festival hosted by their namesake, St John’s College, Johannesburg. The boys from Borrowdale lost 15-23 to the hosts yesterday, after being tied 15-15 at the half.  They suffered another loss on Thursday, 10-36 to Helpmekaar College. The festival includes ten teams, including Viadana Rugby from Italy and eight South African teams with all ten playing three matches each between the 24th and 28th March.

Prince Edward Tigers have travelled to Namibia to prepare for their rugby season, playing matches against Windhoek High, Windhoek Technical and De Duine College.

Eight top rugby high school sides will return to Zimbabwe this week from Easter Festivals more experienced and bonded, ready to take on their upcoming local opponents. Looks like we are in for an exciting season of high school rugby ahead.