Marlow captain Jaco Nel leads his team out for a schools rugby match in 2018. This year Marlow will play in the feature match against the hosts in the Pam Golding Properties Graeme Rugby Day in Grahamstown on March 14. Photo: Supplied
The Marlow Agricultural School rugby team will be looking to continue building momentum for the new season when they take on Graeme College in the Pam Golding Properties Graeme Rugby Day in Grahamstown on March 14.
Regular participants in the popular Eastern Cape event, the Cradock outfit have been given the honour of playing the feature match against the hosts on the Somerset field at 16.10.
The two teams have met in the Grey High Festival for the past two years, with Marlow winning 22-5 and 34-10. But coach Deon Gerber said they were preparing for a tough challenge from their Grahamstown opponents.
“We know that they will be a well-coached side with good structures in place,” he said. “Being a small school in the Karoo with 250 boys, we know that every game we play will be a big one.
“Playing in front of a great home crowd will lift Graeme’s spirits and it should make for a good, hard game.”
He added that the Marlow boys were excited about playing again in the Graeme Rugby Day.
“It is always a privilege to participate in the Rugby Day because all the top rugby-playing schools in the Eastern Cape are involved.”
Marlow will use the occasion to continue to build their team for 2020, having just four players back from last year.
“We appointed a conditioning coach in October and since then the boys have worked hard and developed well,” Gerber said.
“The team is young, but willing to learn more. Although we are an inexperienced side, we are making a step up every Saturday. We want to become a well-balanced side and we just need more game time for the structures to settle in.”
In a small school such as Marlow, who often have to punch above their weight, there is a strong ethos of rugby.
“We want our boys to enjoy every moment, play hard and leave it all on the field. We want to have respect for our opposition and show good sportsmanship at all times,” he said.
Gerber added that they were preparing for the KES Easter Festival and a win in Grahamstown would be the boost they needed ahead of the prestige Johannesburg tournament.
Article by Neale Emslie