So near and yet…!  SACS and WP Academy Week outside centre Rihaz Fredericks prepares
to stretch out in a vain attempt to reach the Wynberg tryline during his side’s 20-6
home win on Saturday 1 June 2019.  (photo: Mark Engelbrecht)

Coming, as it does, at just the right time to rekindle the fire that burns in passionate schools rugby supporters, the Swartland Festival, which takes place on Thursday 4 and Saturday 6 July 2019 in Malmesbury, really shouldn’t require much advertising.

Of course, many will offer the televised Craven Week matches as an alternative, especially when watching them does not involve wrapping oneself up warmly and driving around 40 minutes down the N7 from Cape Town.  No excuse, I’m afraid: Western Province, Boland and SWD all play on Wednesday !

For those made of sturdier stuff, this year’s event features no fewer than six new sides, three of whom will be playing on both matchdays. 

Uitenhage’s Muir College, WP Premier B side Bellville and English tourists Stonyhurst, who hail from Lancashire, each have two matches - actually the tourists have three, if you count a match against Schoonspruit on the Tuesday - while Stockport’s Cheadle Hulme, local Premier A side SACS and Boland form-team Robertson have each opted for a single fixture.

Organizer Bertie Gerber has managed to come up with a programme that seems largely to avoid the perennial problem, the mismatch, although Vredenburg will find themselves up against it in their two games against WP Premier B opponents.

Gill College from Somerset East, part of the festival furniture by now, will be testing their enterprising brand of rugby against HTS Bellville and Brackenfell in what should be two keenly-contested games.

Obviously, SACS’s game against Tygerberg will be the focus of a great deal of attention just after lunch on Thursday, but Durbanville, whose clash with Muir promises to be a battle royal, might well claim top billing for two reasons.

Firstly, the Durbeez beat SACS at the start of the current season and, secondly, the team coached by well-travelled Shaun Huygen and headmaster George Germishuys, has been racking up some huge scores against its second league peers (62-14 away against Tygerberg, 71-10 vs Brackenfell and 94-5 vs Parel Vallei).

Perennial over-achievers Schoonspruit, hosts’ Swartland’s cross-town rivals, face two daunting outings, against Bellville and Durbanville

The programme is :

Thursday 4 July

09:30  Strand vs Vredenburg
10:40  Gill College vs HTS Bellville
11:50  Labori vs DF Malan
13:00  Schoonspruit vs Bellville
14:10  SACS vs Tygerberg
15:20  Durbanville vs Muir College
16:30  Swartland vs Stonyhurst (Eng)

Saturday 6 July

08:30  Gill College vs Brackenfell
09:40  Muir College vs Bellville
10:50  Vredenburg vs DF Malan
12:00  Robertson vs HTS Bellville
13:10  Cheadle Hulme vs Strand
14:20  Tygerberg vs Stonyhurst (Eng)
15:30  Swartland vs Labori
16:40  Schoonspruit vs Durbanville

And don’t fret, the catering is always more than adequate, the pancakes being a major drawcard for a large number of spectators.  After the rugby, of course !

Meanwhile, for those who enjoy the joys of the junior age-groups, it’s Brackenfell time, where Stokkies Truter has organised a feast of fun under the ever-popular Landrover N1City Junior Rugby Festival banner.

With his younger son, Chean, finishing school last year, it seems the genial giant doesn’t see any reason for holidays.  If he’s not buzzing around orchestrating the TSRF, you can find him hard at work with the Northern Suburbs Reitz Week team or on the TSRF Rhinos overseas tour.  Or at this very interesting event.

Lots of different schools have entered plenty of teams, the most notable being English team John Cleveland and the three Eastern Cape sides (Muir College, Nico Malan and Otto du Plessis).

The programme is :

Thursday 4 July 2019

A Field

09:00  Weston U16 vs John Cleveland U16 (England)
10:00  Brackenfell U15 vs Nico Malan U15
11:00  Hopefield U16 vs BTDF U16
12:00  Wynberg U16 vs Muir College U16
13:00  Bellville U16 vs Nico Malan U16
14:00  HTS Bellville U16 vs Swartland U16

B Field

09:00  De Kuilen U15 vs Otto du Plessis U15
10:00  DF Malan U15 vs Weston U15
11:00  Swartland U15 vs Bellville U15
12:00  HTS Bellville U15 vs Curro Langebaan U15
13:00  Brackenfell U15B vs Curro Hermanus U15
14:00  Wynberg U15 vs Tygerberg U15


C Field

09:00  Brackenfell U14 vs Nico Malan U14
10:00  Swartland U14 vs Weston U14
11:00  Tygerberg U14 vs Bredasdorp U14
12:00  DF Malan U14 vs Wynberg U14B
13:00  Bellville U14 vs Hermanus U14
14:00  Wynberg U14 vs Worcester Gym U14

Saturday 6 July 2019

A Field

08:30  Oakdale U16 vs Wynberg U16
09:30  Swartland U16 vs Nico Malan U16
10:30  HTS Bellville U16 vs Muir College U16
11:30  Brackenfell U16 vs Weston U16
12:30  Bellville U16 vs BTDF U16
13:30  Wynberg U15 vs DF Malan U15
14:30  Brackenfell U14 vs Swartland U14

B Field

08:30  Nico Malan U15 vs Bellville U15
09:30  Hopefield U16 vs John Cleveland U16 (England)
10:30  Tygerberg U15 vs Curro Hermanus U15
11:30  De Kuilen U15 vs Weston U15
12:30  Brackenfell U15B vs Curro Langebaan U15
13:30  HTS Bellville U15 vs Swartland U15


C Field

08:30  Nico Malan U14 vs Worcester Gym U14
09:30  Brackenfell U15 vs Otto du Plessis U15
10:30  Tygerberg U14 vs Wynberg U14B
11:30  DF Malan U14 vs Weston U14
12:30  Bellville U14 vs Bredasdorp U14
13:30  Wynberg U14 vs Hermanus U14

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