Craven Week 2017 – Fixtures

Venue City : St Stithians College, Johannesburg Dates : Mon 17- Sat 22 July 2017

Day 1
Griffons vs. Griquas CD
Limpopo vs. Border CD
Free State vs. Boland
Western Province vs. Pumas
Golden Lions vs. Border
Day 2
Valke vs. Namibia
Leopards vs. Zimbabwe
Griquas vs. EPCD
South Western Districts vs. Eastern Province
Blue Bulls vs. KwaZulu-Natal
Day 3 TBA after Day 1
Day 4 TBA after Day 2
Day 5 TBA after Day 4

 

Orignal Fixtures which sparked some comments below

Day 1    
Valke vs. Namibia
Griquas vs. EPCD
Blue Bulls vs. KwaZulu-Natal
Western Province vs. Pumas
Golden Lions vs. Border
     
     
Day 2    
Limpopo vs. Border CD
Griffons vs. Griquas CD
Leopards vs. Zimbabwe
Free State vs. Boland
South Western Districts vs. Eastern Province

12 Comments

  1. I wanted to post this in the main body of the blog but lets rather see what happens:

    You cannot help but raise a very big WTF!!! to this fixture list which sees Western Province, the Golden Lions, the Blue Bulls and what is expected to be very strong KZN team all on one side of the draw. The saving grace may come from the organisers slash decision-makers electing to reward the two best CW teams on display with places in the final irrespective of whether they are from the Day-1 or Day-2 group, otherwise it’s really hard to see the logic behind this set of fixtures.
    There is actually no harm in holding off on finalising fixtures, getting a feel for the trends during the schoolboy rugby season and then reviewing the anticipated strengths of teams that the top provinces will be put; and only then deciding on two well-balanced groups with paths to the final that improve the chances of seeing the best two teams at the youth week in action.
    In the Day-2 group Eastern Province, Free State and SWD have all had a tasted of CW glory in the recent past, so has to be cautious not to underestimate them. However SWD is a small region, highly dependent on just two top schools while EP and Free State do have their own set of challenges. In 2016, EP really seemed to come unstuck with their against the form-book selections made which appeared to contribute to their showing – if they don’t sort this matter out they won’t return to the top. Free State, in spite of having some seriously talented players, tend to find the quota requirement an uphill battle, and their team make-up every year creates the impression that there is little by way of talented players of colour in Bloemfontein outside of HTS Louis Botha school gate. So if Louis Botha isn’t strong in a given year, that usually equals 44% of Free State’s u18 team and suggests they will struggle at CW.

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  2. @beet: 100% in agreement. Who decides on this fixture list. As this years ‘finalist’ Lions and Province should have been in opposing pools. The day 2 group needs another big team in their pool to be fair.

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  3. I have no problem with the groupings and fixtures as is, couple of tasty match-ups on the cards. With the Lions Union dominating all comers at Jnr. level and the major Lions schools set to obliterate all opposition next year, this should surely be a walk in the park.

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  4. I think differently w.r.t. pools but these not set up to my thinking either. Each pool should be power vs power otherwise no real contests. No one says pool 1 must play pool 2 in final – or maybe they do? “Groot honde” bitch when other schools play “easier” opponents but now with provinces Lions and WP must suddenly get easy games? I want to see the kids perform under pressure. May be very tough on bodies to play 3 really hard games though.
    Agree that fixtures only need to be fixed much closer to CW.

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  5. @Ploegskaar: Yes great match-ups on Day 1 but there is something to consider given the traditional format and the fact that we have an unofficial televised final:

    Say WP, the Bulls and Lions all play well on Day 1, all recording wins.

    Now you have 3 good teams undefeated. So a great match up on Day 3 on the cards but between which 2 of the 3 unbeaten teams?

    For argument sake lets say they decide that the Bulls should play the Lions in the main game and WP gets to play against one of the other beaten teams in the group

    Now if say the Bulls win against the Lions and Province wins again, who goes forward to the final. Traditionally that honour would have gone to the Bulls in this scenario and they would have played the winner of the unofficial semi-final in the other group.

    So I stand by my opinion that this format is only good if the decision-makers have the vision to put the two best teams up against each other in the final irrespective of what Day group they are in.

    In this example about it would mean that WP could still be lined up to play the Bulls in the final while the unbeaten main team in the Day 2 group becomes the unlucky losers out.

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  6. @beet: With the success of school boy rugby maybe they must televise 2 or 3 games on the last day. With the pools as is there may be 2 unofficial finals on day 3

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  7. Velskoen….why don’t they make a better judgement closer to the CW, taken in account the results from the “bonde-dae” leading up to the CW.
    This will enable a much better strength to strenght draw.
    If it is the plan to give a smaller union a opportunity to play a main fixture, they will have to prove they deserve a spot.
    It is all getting out of control. They should change just becuse of change. Change does not always mean better!
    Surely it is not good for rugby.
    Doesn’t matter if it pans out the same, if that is what has been derived from the run-up or “bonde-dae” before CW.
    Atleast one thing is for certain that the stronger teams will be much better line-up for the un-official final!

    I can’t help to ask: “Are we sure they know what is best for the game?”….
    ….mind you, who’s keeping score?, ’cause as of late “we” are all winners at CW

    Missing you already Mr.Scoreboard!

    Kind regards

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  8. “However SWD is a small region, highly dependent on just two top schools while EP and Free State do have their own set of challenges. In 2016, EP really seemed to come unstuck with their against the form-book selections made which appeared to contribute to their showing – if they don’t sort this matter out they won’t return to the top. Free State, in spite of having some seriously talented players, tend to find the quota requirement an uphill battle, and their team make-up every year creates the impression that there is little by way of talented players of colour in Bloemfontein outside of HTS Louis Botha school gate. So if Louis Botha isn’t strong in a given year, that usually equals 44% of Free State’s u18 team and suggests they will struggle at CW.”

    What are we saying? Because you play for a certain school you are guaranteed to play Craven Week? Why are we not searching at ALL the schools in our area for suitable / talented players, or am I missing the trick here? A child might have all the talent in the world but get overlooked because he is going to ‘small school’ and not getting the opportunities as other boys are getting……..

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  9. @Valkie: I think that the selection process changed got ‘lazy’. A provincial coach that is mostly also n full time teacher can only attend his school games and get exposure to other schools at festivals where his own school is playing. Then comes trials. To hold trials between 1000+ schoolboys in even 1 month is close to impossible so the focus move to the big schools who would have mostly good players in their 1st team squads. So if a father from moer-and-gone complains that his child did not get a fair chance then he could be right. So it is up to the parents/ supporting structures to make sure that they get exposure. Also keep in mind that big fish in a small pond often gets eaten in the ocean. I have seen it at CW this year again. So Valkie I am in agreement with you but who is to be blamed?

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  10. @Hooit: Jy is reg. Ek voel maar net jammer vir seuns wat nie gelyke geleenthede kry nie. Ek kan onregverdigheid nie verdra nie, dis my ‘tier’ …… Ek is op sekere plekke redelik tot erg ongewild omdat ek vir sulke seuns sal veg en afrigters hou nie van teenkanting nie.

    Dit gebeur dat skoolafrigters seuns sal terug hou omdat hy (die afrigter) nie vir seun om die een of ander rede nie ‘n kans wil gee om net te probeer nie.

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  11. I see on FB media release today Bulls vs Sharks is part of day 2 and FS vs Boland moved to day 1. So day day 3 main game should be WP/Lions/FS and day 4 Bulls/Sharks/EP. Seems more fair.

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  12. @Hooit: Thanks for the heads up.

    HATS OFF TO THE DECISION-MAKERS for making the logical changes.

    There is more balance now.

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