Rugby Report 2019
SACS Rugby Report
This will be my final report as Head of Rugby. I have decided to focus on other areas of my portfolio after being in charge of rugby for the past 12 years. Mr Graeme Wepener will be taking over as the new Head of Rugby. It certainly has been a rewarding experience and I have thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience. I can apply a lot of what I have learnt into other areas of my job. It certainly has taught me to be a positive spectator and school boy rugby supporter. I have also admired the amount of work that each coach puts into his team (this is not seen by most parents).
Although this has not been one our best years if one reflects of our results, it certainly has not been our worst. The most consistent measure is to use the same schools we have played since I have kept statistics from 2006. Below one can measure each year’s results according to the past 14 years.
When one compares the 2019 season to the average, it certainly was not a poor season, but when compared to the past 5 years, it certainly was disappointing. I am absolutely amazed at what some our coaches do for their teams off the practice field. Simply read the 1stXV report and you will see the lengths that 1stXV coach, Nick Maurer, went to prepare his team both physically, mentally and socially for the 2019 season. All these personalities were involved at some point this year for the 1stXV either as guest speakers, coaches or to do a jersey handover with some words of advice. Gary Kirsten, Gary Pagel, Steve McIntyre, Tank Lanning, Professor Tim Noekes, Andre Vos, Neil de Kock, Jordan Chait, Siya Kolisi, Warren Griffiths, Jason Wolfsun, Dimitri Hadzigrigoriou, Brendan Kleynhans, Matthew Currie and Harold Kesslar. Then there are the countless hours, mostly after hours or on weekends, that Nick spends analysing video material of his team and that of the opposition. This work ethic and value-add these boys receive is truly something special.
I am exceptionally proud of our SACS coaches and the work and care that they put into their respective teams. SACS is fairly unique in the fact that they have so many teachers involved in rugby. Their contribution to your sons’ rugby on and off the field is often under-valued. I would like to see how many school match the amount of teachers we have involved in the coaching. We are continually empowering the development of our coaches and I cannot thank them enough for their enthusiasm in this regard.
The educational aspects of what our teacher-coaches instil in the SACS players is something to value. We are not a “win at all costs” school and hopefully never will be. We want our players to play the game to the best of their ability, to win in a humble fashion, to lose with dignity and have respect for their opposition. We want them always to respect the referee’s and most importantly, enjoy playing rugby. We have the most amount of teams in the Southern Suburbs and this is something to be proud of as a school. SACS will continue to upskill our coaches and we will continue to put structures in place to ensure quality coaching. SACS plays in a league which is arguably the toughest in the world. Below are our league results, excluding friendlies and touring teams.
SACS had 40 coaches for its 18 teams. This investment in coaching is vital to ensure that boys are getting the coaching they need all the way through the different teams. Unfortunately, the other southern suburb teams could not match us for fixtures, but we were able to arrange some mid-week fixtures. Mr Wepener was able to arrange fixtures when possible for some of the lower teams who miss out on games when we play against A league teams.
Our sponsors have been fantastic once again. The Hussar Grill, our title sponsor, go well beyond their sponsorship agreement. They host teams and coaches at their restaurant, sponsor fundraising events and are also present at our games. I hope that in return our SACS families frequent their restaurants and enjoy their most amazing food and service. Investec continue to be wonderful sponsors and we would also like to thank Colette Smart for all her support on Saturday mornings.
The SACS Percy Montgomery Foundation deserve my biggest praise. These volunteer parents arrive at 5am on a Saturday morning and leave well after 3pm. Their fundraising efforts support boys financially and also fund the school gym, which is used by all sporting codes, as well as supply rugby equipment. I would particularly like to thank Duncan “Doc” Laurenson who has volunteered for 8 years now as he bows out when Devon finisher’s at the end of the year. We are always looking for volunteers to help on Saturday mornings, so please let us know if you are able to help. As we know, rugby funding is becoming a massive part of schoolboy rugby, so if we would like to keep up with other schools in our league, we need a massive effort. We will be introducing some new initiative next year.
Our unsung heroes are also the First Aiders. Thank you Mrs Parker and your team of First Aiders. You do an outstanding job. Always professional and always which such care. Your follow-up to parents is something that SACS can be proud of doing. This is a wonderful life skill that the boys are learning. Well done to all.
We are grateful to the parents who passionately support the SACS boys on a Saturday morning and help to lift boys all over the peninsula. We value your support and thank you for respecting our philosophy in how SACS supporters should behave on the side of the field. I would like to encourage the players to always strive to perform at the best of your ability on the field and for parents also to encourage the boys to practice and look after their conditioning. Can I encourage players to improve on their individual skills as much as possible. These require hours of practice.
I would like to leave you with some simple advice given by Paddy Upton. Just love watching your son play. Time passes by so quickly.
Let the boy’s play!
Mr Barry van Selm