The semifinals of the Momentum Schools Rugby Board Trophy League take place at the National Rugby Stadium this weekend in the absence of the powerhouses of Namibian schools rugby, Windhoek High School.
WHS failed to reach the Super League knockout stages of the competition for the first time after finishing fifth in the U19 league, and have now been demoted to the U19 A league title race.
WHS have dominated the Metropolitan schools trophy, which this year was renamed following the merger between Momentum and Metropolitan.
Since the competition’s inception in 1992, WHS have won the Super League trophy on 15 out of a possible 21 occasions, while they have won it for the past six years in a row.
This year, however, they had to start building from scratch after losing all of their top players from last year and this showed on the field of play as they struggled to maintain their superiority of previous years.
“WHS lost a lot of players who were in Matric last year, even down to their third team. They had to start from scratch with a lot of youngsters and it hasn’t been easy,” the league organiser Hermann Rust said.
During the league stages of the competition WHS lost four matches against Windhoek Gymnasium, Walvis Bay, Elnatan and Tsumeb and eventually finished fifth on the log.
With only the top four teams progressing to the U19 Super League semifinals, WHS will now battle it out for the U19 A title when they take on HTS in their semifinal tomorrow. HTS, ironically, is the second most successful school in the competition’s history, winning the Super League title three times, but they too failed to make an impact this year and finished eighth on the log, after winning only three of their league matches.
In WHS’s absence, Windhoek Gymnasium will start as the favourites to win the U19 Super League trophy for the first time in their history. They beat WHS 13-0 at the HTS Rugby Festival in April, and since then have remained unbeaten in the Momentum League.
Windhoek Gymnasium take on Tsumeb Gymnasium in the first semifinal at 21h00 on Friday night, while Elnatan take on Walvis Bay at 17h30 on Saturday.
The U15 A semifinals will see Windhoek Gymnasium taking on Walvis Bay and WHS taking on Elnatan, while the U15 B semifinals will see Windhoek Gymnasium B taking on Dr Lemmer and WHS B taking on Oshakati Rugby.
U14 A semifinals will see Windhoek Gymnasium facing WAP and WHS facing Otji’s Rugby, while the U14 B semifinals will pit Elnatan against Mariental and M&K Gertze up against Walvis Bay.
In the U19 A semifinals, WHS take on HTS and Dr Lemmer take on WAP, while in the U19 B semifinals, WHS II take on Jan Mohr and Windhoek Gymnasium II take on Etosha.
In the U19 C semifinals, Dr Lemmer II take on Rehoboth and Pro-Ed Academy take on Walvis Bay II, and in the U19 D semifinals, Windhoek Gymnasium III take on Dr Lemmer III and HTS III take on Keetmanshoop Schools II.
The semifinals start at 13h00 today, continuing through till 22h00 on Friday night, and then continue at 07h30 through to 18h30 on Saturday.
It is the 21st successive year that Momentum Namibia has sponsored the tournament, with this year’s sponsorship amounting to N$140 000.
Tagged under Gymnasium HTS Schools U19 Walvis Bay WHS