Mary Waters and Nathaniel Nyaluza were on Saturday crowned the Albany High Schools Rugby League champions after winning the U15 and U18 finals respectively.
This is the second edition of the Albany High Schools Rugby league. The U15 league also forms part of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and South African Rugby Legends Vuka programme which is aimed at the promotion of rugby in disadvantaged communities and areas where it is not being played.
In the U15 final, Mary Waters beat Ntaba Maria 33-17 after besting Archie Mbolekwa 29-0 in last week’s semi-finals. Ntaba Maria was the final courtesy of a 12-5 win over Nathaniel Nyaluza.
As winners of last Saturday’s Vuka U15 final, Mary Waters took part in the provincial Vuka semi-finals in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday this week, beating Chapman High School 37-12. The youngsters will now play in the provincial finals against Ndondelelo in Port Elizabeth today (Friday).
In the U18 section, Nathaniel Nyaluza beat Mary Waters 18-13 in the final. Earlier in the week, Nyaluza had booked their spot in the final without even kicking a ball, after Nombuleleo failed to pitch. Mary Waters U18 had beaten Khutliso Daniels 22-5 and were a perhaps a bit tired against their fresher opponents.
The local league is run by the Albany High School Rugby Structure, in collaboration with the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and the Department of Education.
The VUKA U15 league consists of 14 teams split into two pools with the top two in each pool progressing to the semi-finals and the winners competing in the final. The Albany U18 league consists of nine teams that all played against each other with the top four teams making the semi-finals and the winners contesting the final.
An Albany U15 team was selected to take part in the SARLA Regional Legends Cup tournament at Somerset East, a tournament that served as trials for selection to the EP U15 Iqhawe team that will participate in the SARLA Iqhawe week in October.