Sharks’ Craven Week team faces toughest opener

21 June 2024

(Article by Marlowe Bloem)

The Stadio Craven Week, which is being hosted by Krugersdorp’s Hoërskool Monument, kicks off on 24 June, with the final day’s action happening on 29 June.

First played in 1964, the Craven Week brings together South Africa’s leading schoolboy rugby players in provincial competition. Ever since 1974, a South African Schools team has been selected at the conclusion of the week.

No doubt, in recent years the dominant team has been Western Province. Since 2012, the Craven Week has been played 10 times – Covid-19 prevented it taking place in 2020 and 2021 – and Province has appeared in seven of the unofficial finals, winning every single time.

Twice in that time, the Sharks have made the final. In 2017, in Johannesburg, the Golden Lions beat the KZN side 45-18. The following year, in Paarl, Western Province outplayed the Sharks 47-8.

The 2024 Sharks’ squad features 24 players from nine of KZN’s premier schools, with Westville‘s Dusty Noble serving as the side’s head coach for a second year in succession.

Durban High School (DHS), with nine players in the squad, is the leading provider of talent. Westville Boys’ High has three players in the lineup, Maritzburg College has three, Michaelhouse has three, Hilton College one, Northwood one, Kearsney College one, St Charles College one, and Glenwood one.

They open their challenge on Monday, 24 June, with, perhaps, the toughest task of them all – a showdown with Western Province. One has to go back to 2017 to find the last time that Province was beaten at the Craven Week.

The results of each and every game are considered when deciding on which teams will contest the prestigious final. Beyond that, too, the manner in which wins are achieved, the style of the victory, are considered when coming to that decision.

Pinnacle Schools will be reporting on all three of the Sharks’ Craven Week fixtures. I predict the Sharks to impress in the tournament as KZN has many talented players and a growing rugby culture to back its mettle.


Aka Boqwana (Durban High School), Adriano Jackson (Durban High School), Cameron Veenstra (Kearsney College), Zingce Simka (Durban High School), Jadrian Afrikaner (Westville Boys’ High), Luke Davidson (Michaelhouse), Matthew Fick (St Charles College), Khanyisa Stamper (Durban High School), Hanu Pieterse (Hilton College), Chris Cloete (Westville Boys’ High), Jake Jansen (Maritzburg College), Sibusiso Mahlangu (Durban High School), Bongani Dlamini (Durban High School), Junior van Wyngaardt (Glenwood), Phiwayinkosi Kubheka (Maritzburg College), Aiden Botha (Maritzburg College), Aphiwe Shelembe (Michaelhouse), Carlyle Hawkins (Michaelhouse), Mahle Sithole (Durban High School), Marcwin Nero (Durban High School), Duncan Basson (Durban High School), Zekhethelo Siyaya (Westville Boys’ High), Vuyo Gwiji (Northwood).


Day one

Sharks vs Western Province
Eastern Province vs Border
Boland vs Leopards
South Western Districts vs Valke

Day two

Blue Bulls vs Golden Lions
Free State vs Griffons
Pumas vs Limpopo Blue Bulls
Griqualand West vs Western Province XV


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