Hilton favourites to beat Pretoria Boys’

Hilton College will be targeting a 10th consecutive win when they play Pretoria Boys’ High in the capital on Saturday. THEO GARRUN reports.

However, coach Brad MacLeod-Henderson insists thoughts of an unbeaten season are the furthest thing from his mind.

‘It’s a cliche but every game is a new challenge and we take it one game at a time,’ he said.

‘It’s a fantastic opportunity for all 500 boys [20 teams] to go on “tour” up to Pretoria and play a traditional boys’ school like Pretoria Boys’ High. There are 10 buses taking all the boys up and so I am sure there will be some fun and games en route.

‘It’s also great to be playing against a school that we don’t traditionally play. Pretoria Boys’ are a proud rugby school and we know that they will be coming for us. I’m sure the Hilton teams will give a good account of themselves. The boys will need to learn when to focus and when to relax.’

It’s been a great year so far for Hilton. They beat their traditional rivals Michaelhouse 22-5 last weekend and although they will be meeting them again later in the year, that alone makes for a successful season.

Hilton won all three games at the St John’s Easter Festival and have also beaten Midlands rivals Kearney and Maritzburg College.

‘The season has gone really well so far, with us being fortunate enough to end on the right side of the scoreline,’ said MacLeod-Henderson. ‘The commitment level of the boys has been outstanding and we are continuing to try and improve every week.’

The signs are there that Pretoria Boys’ are responding to the coaching of Rudi Dames. After a poor start to last year, they showed a steady improvement as it went on and they have continued that in 2018 with three wins and several close defeats.

‘The season so far has been up and down for us,’ Dames said. ‘All the games have been close and could have gone either way. Hilton are by far the favourites on Saturday as they have not lost a game yet. But we are playing at home so hopefully we can be at our best and may the best team win.’

The 1st XV game kicks off at 1:15pm.