Grasshoppers And Horseflies – The History Continues


DHS vs Glenwood, always the highlight of the season for both schools. A successful season has to include this local rival’s scalp. The 2017 DHS side has been their best in a decade maybe even two. The bulk of the team were handpicked at grade 7 level to ensure DHS had a successful team in 2016, their 150th year.

Whilst 2016 was a good year the 2017 side is far more experienced, conditioned and lethal. They have already played 13 games this year and only have 2 fixtures left vs Glenwood and Westville. Highlights have included wins over local rivals Michaelhouse 29-24 at home, Kearsney 12-11, College 48-31, Clifton 67-14 & Northwood 82-0. They had a very unlucky Saints festival with nail-biting close loses to the strong SACS side 16-20 and St Albans 22-24. There was also a disappointing loss to the powerful Hilton side at Kings Park, 6-10. The only side a class apart were Grey PE AT Saints, losing 17-50. 

DHS have 7 players in the final KZN Trials teams, all arguably good enough to make the A squad. These include the speedy & industrious Phendulani ‘Pepsi’ Buthelezi at loose forward who played SA U18 7’s & Craven Week in 2016, K Fatyela at flank, A Mnguni at flank, SA A Schools & SA U18 7’s Sanele Nohamba, Lwandile Menze at centre, T Nduzo at wing, L Buthelezi at wing and Cham Zondeki at fullback. One can see DHS’s strengths lie in the backs and loose forward’s which means a quick and exciting running style of play. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were not the quickest backs in the country. 

DHS have not beaten their neighbours since 2006 (28-21) and have only had 5 victories this century vs Glenwood’s 16 victories. This fixture used to be an annual home and away game but more recently DHS have battled for depth and putting enough teams. Only 3 years ago they battled to put out 12 teams on the Saturday.

Principal Erasmus helped improve this over the past few years and new Headmaster Tony Pinheiro from Glenwood will want to improve this over the coming years. Rumours are Pinheiro has built up a war chest of Old Boy money to put into DHS’s rugby program, watch this space. Pinheiro has also been able to entice some good rugby coaching talent across the road from Glenwood. DHS will want this victory badly! They have been the whipping boys of Durban for too long. KZN rugby really needs a strong again ‘SCHOOL’ and this is the year to prove their point.

Glenwood, on the other hand, started the season late and slowly. They were the last of the KZN big schools to start their season vs Voortrekker at DHS’s preseason rugby day winning comfortably 56-7. Since then the team have built up slowly and improving with each game. KERF was rusty with glimpses of brilliance, winning all three games vs Framesby (21-10), EG Jansen (24-19) and Noord Kaap (25-20). This was followed by a relatively easy win vs Westville (38-12) at home then Garsfontein with the same score at Wildeklawer (38-12). In that game, Siyanda Cele at fullback showed again why he is so dangerous in open play. A disappointing loss to SA’s No1 side Paarl Boys 12-30 has been the only loss this season. In that game, the boys seemed to lack the edge they had in previous games. In the next two games, it seemed the team had gelled and passes started to stick with big victories over perennial banana skins Kearsney (59-12) and new annual fixture Menlopark (39-0). The key to Glenwood’s success has been a solid pack of forwards, speedy backs and quick play.

Glenwood have 24 players in the final KZN trials squads with monster lock JJ van der Mescht (2,01cm & 130kg) 2016 SA A schools, Brendon Schwulst (hooker to loosehead prop convert), Eduard Laubscher (flank/lock), Dylan Kruger (centre to flank convert), Jaden Hendrikse (scrumhalf), Dylan Pretorius (flyhalf), Morne Van Rensburg (wing), Conan le Fleur (centre), Janus Hendrikse (wing) and Siyanda Cele (fullback) being the standout players. JJ van der Mescht has recently signed for the Sharks and slowly getting back to full fitness. Once he is firing on all cylinders he will be hard to stop in loose play.

If Glenwood can rumble in the forwards it’s going to be a long day at the office for DHS, but if the game gets loose the DHS backs could thrive. With Warren Whiteley being announced this week the Glenwood boys will be intensely proud and wanting to show what they made of. It’s going to be a classic derby in front of a good 7,000 to 10,000 spectators. There is something really special about this derby and on Dixon’s it’s likely to be a Glenwood victory by 10, but you never really know with derbies, it usually never goes to form. If DHS can upset the odds there will be a mass celebration! A humdinger awaits us…


The first mention of rugby being played appears in the October 1912 copy of ‘The Magnet’. It certainly makes interesting reading;

Rugby, that tenderly fostered shoot, has sprung up marvellously since goalposts and other accessories have materialised. The keenness of the players now leaves nothing to be desired, save perhaps fewer ‘devil-thorns’on the pitch. Doubtless, a three-quarter when tackled will rise from a patch of lusty ‘devil-horns with more alacrity than from mere grass, and this makes a faster game…..A heartfelt prayer for a cleaned-up playing ground arises every Thursday. When will it be answered?’

In 1913 the School obtained a set of new jerseys. The School was able to field two teams, although the Second XV contained two masters. The First XV played DHS that year but DHS ‘were too much for our fledgelings’. By all accounts, the side nevertheless acquitted itself well. The two masters in the Second XV ‘played well and gave the boys a hot time, on the whole’.

School matches vs DHS were played at the Lord’s Ground (at Durban Rugby Club) due to the state of the Glenwood pitch. It was there that Glenwood won their first game vs DHS in 1925. Official annual fixtures only commenced in 1922. In 1923 JR Sullivan a New Zealand Áll Blacks’ trialist, who had emigrated from New Zealand, joined the Glenwood staff and took over as Head Coach. He is the one who introduced the 7 man two-three-two scrum to Glenwood rugby.


Glenwood– 7 plus NanyakDala for Canada

Wally Clarkson (Centre) – 1921 to 1924

Mauritz Van den Berg (Lock) – 1937

Roger Sheriff (Lock) – 1938

Don Walton (Hooker) – 1964 to 1969

Rodney Gould (Fullback) – 1968

John Allan (Hooker) – 1990 to 1996

Warren Whiteley (No8 - Captain) – 2015

SA Schools Players (10) – Dennis Baronet (1985), Jaydon Hill (2002), Derek La Marque (1979 – Capt), Shaun Malton (2008), PetrosMethula (2001), Fred Schnetler (2009), Jaco Coetzee (2014 – Capt), Kenny Van Niekerk (2014), MorneJoubert (2014), Marco Palvie (SA A Schools 2015) & JJ van der Mescht (SA A Schools 2016)

DHS– 5 plus Greg Rawlinson for NZ

Nevile Tod – 1928

Dirk Froneman – 1977

Andre Aitken (No8/flank) - 1997

BJ Botha (prop) – 2006

Alistair Hargreaves (lock) – 2010

SA Schools Players (3) – Michael Barker (1978), Chris Beukes (1990) &Shaun Gage (1985).

Results (Since 1912, 1922 officially) – Glenwood Perspective

Played: 135

Won: 56

Lost: 68

Drawn: 11

% wins: 41%

Longest Losing streak – 18 games between 1937 & 1945

Longest Winning streak – 11 games between 2006 & 2016

Largest Loss – 0-38 (1948)

Largest Win – 46-14 (2013)


  • School Bell Ringing - It’s tradition each year for the boarders at each school to both protect the school bell and try and ring the opposing school's bell. It’s usually been just a bit of fun, but a few times in the past it’s ended up in a fight with damage caused at each school. Old Boys usually involved, so not sure if this tradition continues today. Also, the 1stteam usually use the opposition school blazer as matt in the week prior to the game.
  • War Cries – ‘Swat the Fly’ coming from Glenwood, zzz ‘Swat the Fly’. DHS repost with Í would rather go to School than go to Glenwood High’. DHS is known as ‘School’, war cries can be as basic as just shouting ‘School!, School! School!’. Both schools have Jimolayo Ji as their main war cry, in different formats. Glenwood usually sings Óh Flower of Glenwood’, a version of Óh Flower of Scotland’ at half-time following the band's performance. DHS have more recently started to spell DHS within the schoolboys using their blazers. Glenwood repost with Áll you see is green and white, ooh ah Glenwood’, by opening and closing their blazers. Shouts with large pauses of ‘Green Machine, Green Machine, Green Machine’, precede the 1st team's arrival on the field, usually from the stairs at Glenwood and DHS, but now from the Ivan Clarke Pavilion change rooms for the past 5 years or so at Glenwood, running under a Green Machine banner. Both schools have a war-cry leader dressed in a long tailcoat and bearing a long school flag to direct the warcries. DHS have in the past shouted ‘Blue Typhoon, Blue Typhoon etc’.
  • Hanging Carrots from Posts – a tradition started in the 80’s, hen Old Boys hang carrots on the opposition schools post.
  • Mascots – DHS have a Bear dressed in a DHS uniform, name unknown. Glenwood has ‘Stormin Norman’ a grasshopper that is placed at the halfway line next to the DHS Bear, who sits in a deck chair.


Why Grasshoppers and Horseflies?

Nicknames are shrouded in time, but one of the explanations is as follows; In the years between the two great wars, many of the properties on the Berea near DHS still had stables for horses and whenever there are horses there are horseflies! A similar problem existed at Glenwood, but with locusts. The locusts, or grasshoppers, had markings similar to the colours of the Glenwood rugby jersey. So bad was the locust problem at one stage, the detention punishment involved catching a bottle full of locusts before being allowed to go home!

By: Alan Morrissey