‘We will now be taking part in the Menlopark 60-year anniversary tournament being held in Pretoria. This tournament will take place during the same time as the Wildeklawer weekend’ – Deon Carney, NCH head of rugby
IN WHAT has come as somewhat of a surprise, one of the local schools that was not invited to the 2023 Absa Wildeklawer Sports Tournament is Northern Cape High School (NCH).
The DFA managed to speak to the head of rugby at Northern Cape High School, Deon Carney, who said that their teams are very disappointed that they were not chosen to be part of the 2023 Wildeklawer.
“We are very unhappy about not being chosen,” Carney said. “We know we didn’t have a great season last year, but our rugby this year has improved so much. We were also told that there are fewer teams this year, and unfortunately, we were cut, along with Waterkloof and Menlopark, both from Pretoria.”
Carney said that the school had made alternative arrangements.
“We will now be taking part in the Menlopark 60-year anniversary tournament being held in Pretoria. This tournament will take place during the same time as the Wildeklawer weekend.
“Northern Cape High School, Menlopark High School, Waterkloof High School, Transvalia High School, Trio High School, and Heidelberg High School will now hold their own tournament,” he said.
Carney said, however, that there were advantages and disadvantages to the tournament in Pretoria. “On the one hand, it is good for rugby and the players, but on the other hand, it is putting us on the backfoot. We now have to spend money on travelling, accommodation, food, and all those things just to take part in the event, while the Wildeklawer is on our doorstep on the same weekend.
“We will also have no supporters there, and that makes playing so much more difficult. Our supporters are all loyal to us every year, and now that we were not invited, they will not be there.”
Though the NCH rugby head’s disappointment at being excluded from the prestigious 2023 Wildeklawer tournament is understandable, especially since the school’s rugby team has improved significantly since the previous season, participating in the Menlopark 60-year anniversary tournament with other top schools provides a great opportunity for the school to showcase their talent and compete at a high level.
While it may come with additional costs and logistical challenges, this experience will only make them stronger and more competitive in the future.
It is also worth considering the potential benefits of creating a new tournament with other high-calibre schools. Perhaps this could become an annual event, attracting more attention to these schools and providing a platform for talented players to be scouted by professional teams.
Ultimately, while it is disappointing not to be part of the Absa Wildeklawer tournament, Northern Cape High School and the other schools participating in the Menlopark tournament should focus on making the most of this opportunity and showcasing their skills on the field of play.