• SA teams win four from five
• World Select XV victorious for Rest of the World
• Monument defeat Hartpury in match of the day
South African sides dominated matters on the opening day of the second-ever World Schools Festival at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch. Under clear blue skies, those present at the beautiful Markotter field witnessed some breath-taking running rugby, with tries the order of the occasion.
The pick of the matches saw Krugersdorp-based Monument face-off against Hartpury College from England. Much was expected from Monument’s captain and eighthman Izan Esterhuizen, but the loose-forward and his team suffered a major blow within the first minute of the match, when he went off with an injured knee.
Monument however bounced back brilliantly from the setback against a side that last year defeated Affies. The boys from Gauteng crossed the chalk five times on their way to a convincing 32-21 victory.
Esterhuizen admitted afterwards that it was an injury that he picked up during training a few days earlier, and was unlikely to be fit for his side’s second game on Friday.
The first match of the festival saw Glenwood from Durban take on debutants John McGlashan College from New Zealand. The Kiwi pack was particularly impressive, and took the fight to the “Green Machine”, but the South Africans proved too strong as they secured a hard-fought 32-17 win, with SA Schools Sevens player Nico Steyn getting a brace of tries, as did substitute Martino van Wyk.
The Rest of the World contingent captured their first win of the tournament when the World Select XV destroyed a Western Province Invitational outfit 76-29. The visitors scored a total of twelve five-pointers as they secured the first two points for the internationals in the Ryder Cup-style event.
SACS were full value for their win over Zimbabwean outfit the Zambezi Steelers in a highly-entertaining encounter. Both teams looked to run the ball, and produced a total of thirteen tries, with the Cape Town school securing a 43-24 win. SACS’ captain and lock Jordan Thomas was named man of the match, having scored two of his side’s tries.
The fifth and final match of the day saw Paarl Gimnasium go up against the Africa Pacific Dragons – a Barbarians-type outfit made up of mostly New Zealand scholars. As expected, the tourists did plenty of running with the ball, but Paarl Gym were fully prepared for their attack-minded opposition, with Stravino Jacobs shining brightest. The winger scored two of his side’s eight tries, as they wrapped up the day with an emphatic 50-24 victory.
With teams awarded two points for a victory, Tuesday’s results means that the South African sides carry an 8-2 lead over their foreign counterparts going into day two, which will see the remaining ten outfits make their first appearance at the 2019 event.
Ticket prices for the World Schools Festival are available at a discounted rate via Computicket and begin at R40.00 a day for Under 18s, and can be purchased at the following link:
Tickets can also be bought at the gate, with prices starting from R70.00.
Fans are reminded that the World Schools Festival is a cash-free event, and cashless cards will be available at the venue courtesy of www.proksimax.com
For those unable to attend, the tournament will be streamed LIVE via Australian telecommunications company OVO. Fans will either be able to watch the matches in real time, or at their own leisure as the games will be available on-demand.
For a once-off cost of approximately R106.00 (9.99 Australian Dollars), viewers will have access to OVO’s entire sporting bouquet for a six-month period, including the 2019 World Schools Festival, as well as last year’s event.
Subscribers can watch the World Schools Festival either via the OVO mobile app, available on both IOS and Android, or via desktop and can register at https://play.ovo.com.au/live/6065.