Grahamstown – The chants of “15 years in a row” still haunt my every thought of K-Day since I have become an Old Kingswoodian. I matriculated in 2008, which in all honesty should have been the year Kingswood finally won K-Day but alas, some rookie errors crept in on the day as they usually do. St. Andrews College has won K-Day for the last 17 years now but that does not detract from the magnitude or excitement of the event. If you are familiar with K-Day you will hear the same statements year in and year out “What If”, “They are looking very good this year” and my favorite “This is the year”.
What is it about K-Day that makes this event one of the biggest school derby’s in South Africa? The term K-Day is said to have originated in the 1980’s by St Andrews College in Grahamstown. The first rivalry dates back to 1898 in which Kingswood lost a close fought out match 5-6. The following year saw much of the same antics except Kingswood ran out victors 3-0. This year it appears that it will be no different to the origins with both teams not having great seasons. St Andrews have played 11, won 4, lost 7 while Kingswood has played 6, won 4 (albeit some weaker sides than St. Andrews played) and lost 2.
K-Day officially started on Wednesday with the boy’s hockey fixtures. It was a very even match and the final score told the story with it ending in a 0-0 draw. Kingswood and College were both strong on and off the ball but Kingswood could not finish when it counted.
This year’s 1st XV rugby fixture for K-Day should be a fantastic spectacle even to the neutral supporter. Both teams winning a mere 4 games each this season will want to prove who the better side is on the field. The true colour of each school is definitely shown on this derby as the pride of “ruling the town” is at stake.
Some key players to look out for will be Kingswoods top try scorer (5 tries) and captain, Ruru Msutu who will don the number 14 jersey. Msutu is deadly on attack; his pace as well as a side step even Bryan Habana would be proud of makes him that much more of a threat. Laine Collet who will be wearing the number 8 jersey is a very strong runner. His ability to break the line as well as his cool, calm and collected kicking style will need to be at their best come Saturday. Some other key players to look out for will be in the form of Jonathan Braans (6), Lihleli Xoli (10) and strong centre runner Migael Wahl (13). St Andrews also have a few star players in their team in the form of Ryan Kankowski’s younger brother, Jason. Jason is College’s top try scorer (7 tries) and he will run out with the number 6 jersey. His ability to run with the ball as well as good upper body strength ensures good physical contact at any break down. The nippy scrum half, Michael Rushmere, will also pose a threat to Kingswood as no gap is too small for him to penetrate. William Cahill will wear jersey number 13 will have a good match up against the centre paring of Kingswood. Other key College players to look out for are: Chris Ford (15), Ryan Horne (14) and 8th man Anthony Everard.
Kingswood is strong on defense and College will have to do well to break it. If Kingswood gel on Saturday, who knows what may come of the game. College on the other hand enjoys a free flowing and running game which enables them to spread the ball to their wings. Expect them to be lethal on attack if they don’t kick the ball away. All in all I think this is going to be an evenly fought out contest with the better team walking away with bragging rights.
Kick-off: 15:30 at Lower, St Andrews College
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Click here to see the full K-Day Program and Team Sheet