The Midlands Derby

Thu, 04 May 2017 21:26
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SCHOOLS PREVIEW: It is a special day on the rugby calendar and on the social calendar - the match between Hilton and Michaelhouse in the beautiful Midlands of KZN.

At 15.00 on Saturday, Hilton College will host Michaelhouse in the first of two yearly fixtures between the schools. This will be the 197th fixture between the two great schools.

It is a popular KZN Midlands affair which can draw crowds of over 10 000 people. The spectators can enjoy a day of picnics and a sporting spectacle which culminates in a rugby match between the two schools’ 1st XV rugby sides.

The day is full of rich tradition, where intense rivalry contrasts a sense of mutual respect and close friendships which can be found both on the field and in the spectator stands. The two schools first met on the rugby field in 1904.

Of the 196 fixtures that have been played to date, Michaelhouse has the slight upper hand having won 99 of them. Hilton has won 87 times and there have been 10 draws. The longest winning streak that either team has enjoyed is seven straight matches.

Apart from the result favouring Michaelhouse on 14 out of 19 occasions in the last decade, it is evident that not a lot has separated the schools’ score sheets over the years. This is not surprising when you consider some of the unique similarities between them.

Both schools only admit boys and every scholar is a full boarder. There are fewer than ten schools like this in the world and astonishingly these two are only 35 minutes apart. Both schools have about 570 pupils.

Some of the former pupils, that have left spectators in awe on the hallowed school grounds of Meadows and Gilfillan over the years, turned into prominent rugby players. This includes the likes of Springboks Gary Teichmann, Bob Skinstad, Pat Lambie and Ruan Combrinck to name a few.

The only two schools that Hilton and Michaelhouse have both played against this season are Kearsney and DHS.

Michaelhouse enjoyed a 26-24 victory against Kearsney whilst Hilton went down 10-13 to them. On the contrary, Hilton won 10-6 against DHS and Michaelhouse suffered a heartfelt 24-29 defeat against the boys from Durban.

These results suggest that Saturday’s match might well come down to the wire again. Hilton has the home ground advantage, but as history has previously suggested, anything can happen on Derby Day!

From Xillon van Rooyen of Michaelhouse

Hilton:  15 Gareth Schreuder,  14 Fadzai Mushonga, 13 Chipo Mupeso, 12 Heinrich Marx, 11 Thomas Fraser, 10 Nicholas Winskill (captain),  9 Graham Curtis, 8 Tristan Warren, 7 Jared Venter, 6 Vaughn Williams, 5 Andrew James, 4 George Putter, 3 Henty Beukes, 2 Timothy Densham, 1 Jono Smit

Michaelhouse: 15 Liam England, 14 Kuhle Khumalo, 13 Wesley Turkington, 12 Marco Parau, 11 Thomas Rorich, 10 William Glassock, 9 Tom Price, 8 Fraser Jones, 7 Nicholas Kershaw, 6 Christian Opperman, 5 Oliver Calvert-Evers, 4 Luke Jonsson, 3 Keynon Knox (captain), 2 Solomon Marx, 1 Andrew Holt.
Replacements: Mpho Mthethwa, Liam Friend, Matthew Myers, Ant Fleischer, Roo Béchard, William Norton, Odi Lasaba.

Date: Saturday, 6 May 2017
1st XV kick-off: 15.00
Venue: Hilton College, Hilton

Michaelhouse vs Hilton, 2000 - 2013

2000: Michaelhouse won 16-12 & Hilton won 7-3
2001: Michaelhouse won 19-15 & 15-7
2002: Michaelhouse won 12-10 & Hilton won 30-12
2003: Hilton won 23 15 & 19-17
2004: Michaelhouse won 20-8 & 10-9
2005: Hilton won 12-5 & 30-6
2006: Hilton won 19-16 & 23-19
2007: Michaelhouse won 40-0 & 44-17
2008: Michaelhouse won 31-16 & 21-18
2009: Michaelhouse won 40-20 & 13-8
2010: Michaelhouse won 23-20
2011: Hilton won 18-14 & Michaelhouse won 30-29
2012: Michaelhouse won 12-11 & Hilton won 26-22
2013: Hilton won 42-12 & 43-34
2014: Michaelhouse won 20-13
2015: Michaelhouse won  24-18 & 38-24
2016: Hilton won 10-8 & Michaelhouse won 21-17