Rugby doesn’t begin and end in the Western Cape

A journo pal in Durban posted some interesting facts regarding the origins of rugby in South Africa following the Sharks victory over the Stormers on Saturday. Something for those Stormers / Western Province supporters to ponder for they do tend to be rather arrogant believing that their team is the be-all and end-all to rugby in South Africa.

So the question, Where did rugby start in South Africa?

Commenting on Facebook after the Sharks / Stormers game, Jos Robson a sports writer well known for his contribution to media in KZN had this to say about the origins.

I met a couple of young rugby players now attached to the Southern Districts Sharks Academy in Port Shepstone wearing Stormers Jersey’s and asked the question ” Where did rugby start in South Africa?” Needless to say they all responded IN THE WESTERN CAPE.

Yes Hamilton Sea Point RFC is the oldest rugby club in South Africa founded in 1875 and the first official club rugby league started back in the late 1870’s.

However the first 15 man rugby game played on not just South African soil but also African soil as a whole took place in Pietermaritzberg between Pietermaritzberg High School now Maritzburg College and Hermanberg on the Market Square in 1870.

Maritzburg College vs Hermannsburg

Maritzburg College vs Hermannsburg

Then in 1873 the oldest piece of Silverware in World Rugby The Moor Cup was manufactured and designed ny one George Unite. The Historical piece of Silverware was first played for in 1875 in Kimberly for a game between the Colonials and the Locals. The Colonials won and the cup was raffled amongst the winning side and flittingly another George won the Cup he was George Moor. He decided that the winners of the best of three game between Colonials in The Colony of Natal and Kimberly. Natal duly won and the Cup was to be used for the Grand Challenge in the Fairest Cape. The Moor Cup was born but went missing for 81 years to suddenly reappear in fittingly Pietermaritzberg where the first rugby game on the African continent was played..

So all you wonderful Western Province supporters know your history ‘IF YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT YOUR PAST AND WHERE YOU CAME FROM WHAT IS THERE TO PLAY FOR’

Well done to the Sharks on an amazing performance and with the famous victory they go top of the log.”

Well it seems we rugby loving fans will have to find something else to do on a Saturday for a while now that all rugby, Super Rugby, Pro-14, Sevens, in fact virtually all sport forms internationally, having been put on hold. Rather sad though if the Over-50’s series being played in the Western Cape was called off. For some of these guys it will be their last opportunity to play representative cricket.


Hermansberg still is in existence today and was recently purchased by Zola Mkumla who attended Hermansberg – 

 Previously disadvantaged scholar buys ‘alma mater’  

Also read Hermannsburg was established in 1854