One does understand the need for playing "easier" matches in the earlier stages of the season as preparation but after attending the Graeme Rugby Day I am convinced that playing proper opposition early in the season is not a bad idea with the added bonus that the spectators will show their appreciation with their feet.
At the Trevor Bennison rugby day hosted at DHS, one can only come to the conclusion that the top schools were only looking for cannon fodder this early in the season. Glenwood beat Voortrekker PMB with 56-7, DHS 36-3 victory against Port Natal was as uninspiring and then Hilton played with one-third of their first choice team and still managed an easy victory of 34-5 against Clifton. The missing boys from Hilton's 1stXV were in England attending and winning the first Rugby School International u18 Sevens tournament at the world renowned Rugby School who was celebrating their 450th birthday.
Then the match that everybody, including myself, said that Grey College of Bloemfontein will overrun an under par Maritzburg College. Thankfully the rain served as an equaliser and the absence of Grey's star centre pairing of Rikus Pretorius and Janco van Heyningen also helped. The Grey backline with their flyhalf Christopher Schreuder and fullback David Kriel in fine form showed that even without their stars they still are able to run many a side of their feet. Unfortunately due to the weather, not much was seen of the much talked about Grey backline as the wet ball made handling almost impossible. The game will also be remembered or rather be quickly forgotten as both teams resorted to kicking in trying to adjust their game plan to the wet conditions. Maritzburg not as successful as Grey. Grey was leading 23-3 at halftime and weather conditions worsened in the second half Grey scored only one try after a series of mistakes by Maritzburg College. This match will only be remembered because of the spirit displayed by the Maritzburg College players who refused to be overrun by a far better team.