A rugby player remembers their first rugby ball, pair of rugby boots and first match of the beginning of the rugby season, but they also remember their first and last Derby matches.
In a town with some of the strongest rugby rivalries, New Orleans Secondary School and Klein Nederburg Secondary is thought to be the second biggest derby in this rugby mad town.
Faure street Stadium has been pivotal in hosting these games. It is where famous names such as Hilton Lobberts (Pumas), Burton Francis (Sporting Union Agenais), Clayton Blommetjies (Cheetahs) and Danwell Demas (Paarl Rugby Club) have shown that their rugby talent is as exceptional as any other.
For the young men of both the school’s rugby first teams, the 24th Derby on Saturday 11 August is a vital game in shaping their rugby future.
Matches which are played during the year by both teams enjoy high expectations. The players look forward to learning from and honing their skills against other schools who tour the town.
But, the Derby match is the main attraction and although they want to win every other encounter, the pressure as the derby approaches is overwhelming until the final whistle.
For many of the players this will be the last time they get to pull a first team shirt over their heads. They understand that pride and being a part of history overpowers the possibility of winning the game or signing with a franchise team after school.
This is the match that turns friends into enemies, but perhaps the most admirable tradition is the tradition that former players return to their alma maters.
The Old Student games are especially vital of course for those who can still play. Many provincial players, some who are even nursing an injury or have made it into the ranks of international rugby, return to their home town and glow with excitement to play.
The Old Students games are as exhilarating and thrilling as years before. It opens old wounds and rivals relive memories to get that feeling just once more.
Despite the highs which they have reached, previous players still share an unbreakable bond and respect for one another. The Derby is a game which they reminisce about forever. It is where they are shaped to become stellar rugby players and even better human beings.
For the 2018 season both schools have had players included in various Craven Week teams, namely Gilton Mangena, Alrich Hugo, Feghon-Leigh Snyders all of New Orleans Secondary School (NOSS). Klein Nederburg Secondary School (KN) on the other hand had Adri Kermis, Auden Neff and Shane-Cole Williams.
The main match kicks off at 15:55 at Faure Stadium. Statistics: 1994: NOSS won 33-3, 1995: NOSS won 32-0, 1996: NOSS won 19-12, 1997: KN won 11-5, 1998: NOSS won 17-8, 1999: NOSS won 9-5, 2000: NOSS won 32-3, 2001: NOSS won 17-0, 2002: KN won 14-12, 2003: NOSS won 15-9, 2004: NOSS won 8-0, 2005: NOSS won 12-3, 2006: NOSS won 7-5, 2007: KN won 13-10, 2008: KN won 24-23, 2009: KN won 16-3, 2010: KN won 19-17, 2011: NOSS won 15-9, 2012: NOSS won 25-8, 2013: NOSS won 17-13, 2014: KN won 22-13, 2015: Draw 10-10, 2016: KN won 10-7 and 2017: NOSS won 12-10
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