The 2016 edition of the Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival closed in style on Saturday evening, 30 April, with the hosts Prince Edward going down 19-24 to a determined Churchill on Jubilee Field.
In 2015, the rivals played three games throughout the course of the season, with the Tigers emerging victors in all three. So far this year the rivals have met twice, first as the opener for the Blue Bulls’ vs Cheetahs’ clash facilitated by Kyros Sports and yesterday as the featured final match at the Dairibord Festival. The tables seem to have turned, as Churchill have now claimed two wins from two games in 2016.
Although based on form, the scale tilted towards Churchill as they have performed better on the local scene, this encounter is one where form plays no part. It all comes down to who wants it the most on the day and to some extent to the team with the loudest group of supporters in the bleachers.
Prince Edward had been guilty of dirty play, getting multiple yellow cards in each of their first two encounters this past week, but it looks like Head Coach Sean De Souza got his boys to behave yesterday. The Tigers kept cool heads and avoided any send-offs, at times leading the scoreboard 7-0, 12-10 and later 19-17. However, the Bulldogs capitalized on the minor errors that the opponents made and had the scoreboard reading 24-19 to their advantage when the full time whistle was blown.
Earlier Kyle College also ran in another upset, defeating St George’s College 7-0. Although they failed to convert their chances, the St George’s College Dragons seemed more organized in midfield. Loose head prop Cody Van Rensburg is definitely one to watch this season. If Saints continue on this upward trend they could enjoy a relatively solid schools rugby season and register some upsets of their own.
The team to watch, St John’s College, made it three out of three at this year’s festival with a final day 27-10 victory over Eaglesvale, after defeating Lomagundi 45-7 and Falcon 21-18 earlier in the week . A lot of onlookers had predicted a massacre of Eaglesvale by the Rolf Valley boys, but Vale stood strong and didn’t embarrass themselves against the big boys.
Midlands Christian made their trip from Gweru worthwhile, opening the final day of the tournament with a 19-7 defeat of Lomagundi. Hellenic was utterly merciless in their clash against Petra registering a half century tally, 50-5. Petra only had an unconverted consolation try to their name.
SSN is putting together a dream team of the week based on all the games played at the Dairibord Schools Rugby festival, stay locked to see who made it into our dream team.