The Victoria Recreation Ground, home of Queen’s College is where the 173rd game between Queen’s and Dale will take place. The closeness of the 123-year-old rivalry is told in the head-to-head where Queen’s hold a narrow 80-76 (16 draws) lead.
In a sense this match is also a “return of the prodigal son” encounter. Career choices took both Dale Head Coach Grant “Griffy” Griffith and Queen’s Head of Rugby John Duncan away from their respective schools for a short while starting in 2012. Griffith, a Dale legend was the first return to lead Dale in 2014 and recently the highly respected John Duncan has also made his way back “home” after his period in the non-rugby wilderness.
For either team just a win on it’s own in this tradition filled game is a huge deal. In the context of the whole season though, Saturday’s game is an opportunity for Queen’s to salvage something from a campaign that struggled to get going, depicted best by the early season defeat to Grens. There was however one memorable win against Grey High which showed the potential of the Queen’s 2014 team. For Dale the derby is possibly a make or break match. Win it and they can feel that they’ve got the rewards they deserve out of the season because they beat the teams they were expected to beat while forcing some of the big guns in SA rugby to dig deep in order to beat them.