Queen’s College will clash with old rivals Dale College in King William’s Town on Saturday.
The teams will line up on Dale’s First XV Field, nicknamed ‘the Graveyard’, in the first of their encounters of 2016.
These schools first met on a rugby pitch in 1891, a fixture which Dale won 19-3. The derby became an annual fixture in 1926. Although largely dominated by Queen’s in the past decade, Dale pulled off the double in 2015, winning both their home and away fixtures for the first time since 2011.
Dale have only lost once so far this year, going down 32-5 to Glenwood at the Kearsney Easter Festival. They started the season with a 40-0 victory over Port Rex at the Border Rugby Day and followed that with a 22-3 win over Pearson at the Graeme College Rugby Day. They won their first two fixtures at the Kearsney festival, 25-16 against Maritzburg and 46-17 against Framesby, before that loss to Glenwood.
Dale then thrashed Stirling 60-12 and claimed their 100th victory against Selborne away from home, 24-19. Two victories at the Grey High Festival saw them rack up 74 unanswered points against St David’s and hammer Goudveld 64-7. Last week they thrashed De Vos Malan 53-0 at home.
While Queen’s have lost two more games than Dale this season, they have had tougher fixtures so far and managed to come away with eight wins.
They began the season with a 23-7 win over Hudson Park at the Border Rugby Day, before going down 31-17 to Kingswood at the Graeme College Rugby Day. They beat Northwood (36-8) and St Benedict’s (30-27) at the KES Easter Festival , before losing 41-20 to Jeppe on the final day.
Queen’s then recorded home victories over Marlow (25-15), Selborne (33-29) and Graeme College (50-6), before beating Pearson (40-18) and Framesby (20-12) at the Grey High Festival. Last Saturday, they lost 31-17 at home to Grey High.
Meanwhile, the biggest match in KwaZulu-Natal this Saturday sees Maritzburg College taking on Northwood. Both teams have struggled this year, with Maritzburg winning just three matches and Northwood two.
Eastern Cape schools fixtures (14 May):
Grey High vs Wynberg
Muir vs Die Brandwag
Cambridge vs St Andrew’s College
Dale vs Queen’s
Daniël Pienaar vs Punt
Stirling vs Hudson Park
Pearson vs Kingswood
Otto du Plessis vs Nico Malan
St Andrew’s School vs St Alban’s
Despatch vs Cillie
KwaZulu-Natal schools fixtures (14 May):
Clifton vs Pinetown
DHS vs George Campbell
Maritzburg vs Northwood
By Lea-Ann van der Merwe
Photo: Dale College