22 September – 3 October 23: Wynberg Water Polo dived in for 10 days of quality competition with the U14A playing in both the Rondebosch & Hilton College Tournaments over successive weekends, our U15A at home in the Ian Melliar Cup, and the first team away at SACS for the annual U19A Tournament.
U14A at RBHS Tournament
On the weekend of Friday 22 to Monday 25 September, the U14A water polo team participated in the RBHS tournament. At the end of the Pool stages, and after a few wasted opportunities in two drawn matches against Grey High School and Reddam, we managed to qualify for the quarter-finals. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take it over the line against SACS (5 – 7) and ended up playing for 7th/8th place against Grey High. Again, the big moments seemed to get the better of us and we lost narrowly (4 – 5). Whilst we undoubtedly played some good polo during the course of the tournament, it was frustrating to see the team come up short in the close finishes.
Well done to our captain, Sam Mocke, who was named the WBHS ‘player-of-the-tournament’.
U14A at the Hilton College Tournament
Thursday 28 September – Sunday 1 October 23: The tour commenced at 04h45 at Cape Town International Airport with the team immaculately turned out in school uniform and excited anticipation of the journey of growth and camaraderie ahead. Upon arrival in Kwa-Zulu Natal, WBHS boarded a bus alongside their Western Cape counterparts from Rondebosch, Paarl Boys’ High, and Paul Roos for the drive to Hilton College. The boys from these four different schools exhibited friendship and shared enthusiasm, a testament to the spirit of sportsmanship fostered by water polo.
Wynberg began the tour impressively with a commanding 19 – 6 victory against St Benedict’s College. This initial win showcased their teamwork and respect for their opponents. Following a long day of travel and the intense match, the team was treated to a delightful dinner by Hilton College’s kitchen staff. The players’ exemplary manners, marked by polite expressions of “please” and “thank you,” were evident, as they not only cleaned up after themselves but also assisted in tidying up tables left messy by other teams.
On Day 2, the team faced a setback with a narrow 5 – 6 loss to Westville Boys’ High School but bounced back with a 7 – 4 win over Kearsney College, securing a second-place position in their group. Despite the initial loss, their determination remained unwavering. The tournament then took a challenging turn as Wynberg had to face the formidable Rondebosch Boys’ High School in the quarter-finals on Day 3. Despite their best efforts, the team fell short, with Rondebosch securing a 3 – 11 win. The players demonstrated immense resilience and skill throughout the game, unfortunately not capitalising on multiple scoring opportunities.
In the match against St Stithians College, the team fought valiantly to secure a 6 – 5 victory, setting the stage for a rematch against Westville Boys’ High School for the 5th & 6th place playoffs. On the final day, the team, exhausted from the KZN heat and the demanding schedule, faced Westville once more. In a closely contested match, Wynberg Boys’ High School fell short with a scoreline of 4 – 5. Despite the outcome, their journey was marked by incredible growth and sportsmanship.
Captain Samuel Mocke and his teammates exhibited remarkable growth both as individuals and as a team. They embraced the ethos of fighting for each other and their school to achieve a common goal. The team also acknowledged the exceptional progress of Attilio Pironi during the tournament. The tour to Kwa-Zulu Natal was an unforgettable experience for the boys. Despite the challenges faced, their unwavering determination, camaraderie, and sportsmanship were truly commendable. The tour served as a valuable platform for personal and team growth, leaving an indelible mark on the athletes and their supporters.
U15A at the Ian Melliar Cup Tournament
Friday 22 – Monday 25 September 23: Congrats to the U15A on finishing third in the 16th Ian Melliar Cup, hosted by WBHS – full details on the link.
U19A at the SACS Tournament
Saturday 30 – Monday 2 October 23: WBHS U19A had a tough start to the short-format SACS Tournament drawing Clifton College in the first match. The boys followed up with a better game against the hosts but still couldn’t come away with a win. After close matches and no fewer than three drawn matches, the boys saved their best for last, finishing the tournament against Kearsney College with their first win at the event. Wynberg was down by 2 goals before switching on and coming back to equalise. But they weren’t done just then – Ryan Barkhuizen scored a great goal from the left wing, assisted by Aden de Costa. Ultimately it wasn’t the overall result Wynberg was looking for but the boys learnt a lot of valuable lessons to carry with them for the remainder of the polo season. A special mention must go to Captain Ziggy Riemer who managed to pull the team together after a tough start, leading the boys to a much better second and third days of play.
Clifton College: 1 – 6
SACS: 2 – 4
Grey College: 3 – 3
Jeppe High School for Boys: 3 – 3
St Alban’s: 2 – 3
Grey High School: 3 – 3
Bishops: 2 – 3
St Stithians: 2 – 5
Kearsney College: 6 – 5