St Stithians host St Benedict’s in what should be an evenly contested clash between the Gauteng schools on Friday. TYRONE ENGEL reports.
St Benedict’s have won seven of their 14 games this season, while St Stithians have recorded just three wins from 11 matches.
St Benedict’s started their season with a run of five losses, including three at the KES Easter Festival against Waterkloof (17-7), Queen’s College (30-17) and Kingwood (30-22). They lost their opening game of the season against Jeppe (24-17), which was abandoned at half-time because of rain.
Following the KES festival, St Benedict’s departed on a tour of New Zealand in April. They lost their opening tour game, but won three of the next four. In their first game back in South Africa they beat St Alban’s 34-33 at home.
They went on to beat Parktown Boys’ (35-24) and Pretoria Boys’ (54-13) before losing at home against Helpmekaar (31-16). They beat St David’s Marist (20-7) at home the following week, but lost 51-24 at home to Kearsney last Saturday.
St Stithians started their season well, winning three of their four opening fixtures, including two at their own Easter festival against Graeme College (17-16) and Clifton (46-21). They lost their second festival game 17-16 against DHS. They followed the victory against Clifton with a 55-21 win at home against St David’s Marist.
From then on it has been a procession of seven losses away against Kingswood (37-23), St Andrew’s College (59-24), and Parktown Boys’ (34-7), at home to Jeppe (31-3) and St John’s (27-22), and away against Kearsney (80-5) and Pretoria Boys’ (16-10).
In Saturday’s other fixture, St David’s Marist will face a tough challenge when they host St John’s. The hosts have won just two, and drawn one, of their 12 games this season, while St John’s have won seven of their 13.
Gauteng Schools fixtures (18 June):
St Benedict’s vs St Stithians
St David’s Marist vs St John’s