St Andrew’s College vs Michaelhouse 1923

St Andrew’s College 1st XV vs Michaelhouse

History of rugby between St Andrew’s College and Michaelhouse

In 1923 the Michaelhouse Ist XV, 3 staff members and supporters embarked on an historic tour of the Eastern Cape. The trip, described as a ‘great adventure’, involved travel by boat, rail and car.

The team and their entourage arrived in East London, where they were hosted by Selborne College and played their first match. They then journeyed again by boat overnight to Algoa Bay, where five taxis were waiting to transport them overland to Grahamstown.

On Wednesday 27 June 1923, George Grey (Espin 1924) lead the St Andrew’s College Ist XV onto Lower field in their first encounter against the Michaelhouse Ist XV, captained by John McKenzie.

The St Andrew’s College Ist XV coach at the time was Col. AF Murray and the Headmaster was the legendary Canon PWH Kettlewell.

The outcome that day was in favour of the visitors with a score of 11- 6 to the red striped team from Natal and so began the much-anticipated rugby rivalry between these two schools which still exists today, 100 years later.

The Currey/Clark Cup

In acknowledgment of this auspicious occasion, a cup will be presented to the victorious team after each future rugby match and will be known as the Currey/Clark cup in recognition of two Old Andreans who have held leadership positions at Michaelhouse, namely R F Currey (OA Upper 1913, Rector of Michaelhouse 1930 – 1938) and AR Clark (OA Armstrong 1974, Current Rector of Michaelhouse).

In 1938, Ronald Currey (OA, Upper 1913), then Rector of Michaelhouse was called by the St Andrew’s College Council, to return to his old school to take up the reigns as the 10th Headmaster.

He resigned from Michaelhouse and returned to his beloved alma mater, where he enjoyed 16 years as a highly respected and successful Headmaster.

Similarly, in 2019 Antony Clark (OA, Armstrong 1974, 16th Headmaster of St Andrew’s College) was called upon to take up the reigns as Rector of Michaelhouse.  

In 2023 the Currey/Clark Cup will be introduced as a symbol of this unique relationship between the two schools.

CLICK HERE to watch this historic match on 6 April 2023 at 14:45 – celebrating 100 years!



Vol. 45, part 2., No. 176.


1st XV. vs Michaelhouse (Natal)
Lower Field, 27th June 1923

Lost 6 – 11

J. Broster took Flemmers’s place at wing three-quarter.

The play at first settled in mid-field, the tackling of both sides being to good for any back movements to develop. Michaelhouse were the first to score, their left wing going in between the posts after a fine run. The try was converted and they led 5 – nil. Our forwards were keeping the ball tight and trusting to loose rushes; these tactics worked the game down to Michaelhouse line where Glenton broke and transferred to Hill, who dived over the line but unluckily lost the ball. From the subsequent scrum Glenton broke again and went in himself, the kick failing. For the rest of the half each side attacked in turn. College relying on their forwards and our opponents showing pretty combination whenever they had a chance to open out the game. But for a sound tackling by May, Broster, Hill and Cazalet their score would have been increased on several occasions.

In the second half College started to heel the ball, but the backs could do little with it. After Holmes has spoilt one fine chance by hanging on too long. Grey at length found an opening and went all out for the line, but was tackled just short of it by the opposing fullback, who was hurt in the consequent melee and carried off the field. Scrum followed scrum in their territory, till Glenton put us ahead with another unconverted try. A desperate forward battle ensued, until our opponents scored again from a clean break by one of the centres. Just before the close an injudicious piece of play by H. Mullins gave Michaelhouse a soft try from a lineout, and this provided a somewhat unsatisfactory conclusion to an otherwise stirring and well contested game.

The match afforded a great contrast in styles, our forwards nearly winning the day for us. They gave a very strenuous if rather unfinished exhibition in the loose, but their heeling was far to slow, particularly in the second half when they were trying to get the ball out to the backs. The three-quarters were inferior to their opponents in method and tactics, and persisted in standing up in a straight line when on the attack, with the inevitable result that they never got going. Grey had few chances, and spoilt others by his wild methods, often interfering with players on his own side; but as usual did the work of two in defense. Broster did well in his first game, employing a very useful smothering tackle when faced by two opponents, and May was reliable at full-back. Of the halves Glenton showed up, using his head more than usual and breaking effectively from the scrum; Cocksedge with the rest of the backs was weak in attack.

Michaelhouse were beaten forward but showed some good and fast work in the backs; they varied their attack well and used long swinging passes with great accuracy. Both wings were strong and fast runners. Mackenzie in particular striking one as above the average of schoolboy players.



Vol. IV., No. 12



Won 11 – 6

Played on the St Andrew’s ground at Grahamstown, and won, after one of the most exciting matches of the season, by 11 points to 6.

Play for a short time centred in midfield, keen tackling on both sides stopping all openings. After about ten minutes, Robertson got away on the blind side. The ball was quickly got out to John McKenzie on the left wing, who outran the field to score a try between the posts, which Armstrong easily converted.  After this the St Andrew’s forwards kept the ball close, and dominated the game for some time. Eventually they forced the ball down to our line, where Glenton brake away and passed to Hill, who crossed the line, but lost the ball. Shortly after Glenton broke again, and this time scored himself. The kick failed. From now to half-time both sides attached in turn, and it was only deadly tackling by St Andrew’s that kept our threes out. Half-time arrived with the score 5 -3 in our favour.

The St Andrew’s forwards started off again with a great rush, and Grey found an opening, and, going all out, was only brought down a yard from the line by Armstrong. Unfortunately, Armstrong’s tendon was injured, and he was carried off the field to take no further part in the game. Scrum succeeded scrum right on our line, and eventually Glenton put them one point up with an unconverted try. At this point things looked black for us. Our eight forwards had failed to hold the St Andrew’s park, and now that Philipps had to be taken out to take Armstrong’s place it did not look as fi the seven were likely to succeed where the eight had failed.  But it is the unexpected that often happens, and undoubtedly from now on we began to get a fairer share of the ball from the scrum. Probably the immense work the ST Andrew’s forwards had to do in going across to stop our wings began to tell; but certainly, our forwards as time approached seemed to get more life and were able to feed the backs for frequently. From one of these scrums Trotter broke right away, and McKenzie cutting in from the wing to support him, received the ball at the right moment and scored. Trotter did almost exactly the same a few minutes later, but unfortunately Fynney, who was this time in attendance, over-ran him, and a forward pass resulted. A few minutes later Neil McKenzie got the ball unmarked in the line-out, and raced across, and time arrived with us leading by 11 – 6. Armstrong being incapacitated, Trotter took the last two kicks, and made very poor attempts from fairly easy angles. The excitement during the last ten minutes was immense, and it was a great finish to a most enjoyable tour.

It was a curious game to watch. /the St Andrew’s forwards till the last ten minutes completely over-matched ours. Just as they outclassed us in the scrum, so in pace, handling, running and general cleverness our backs beat theirs. It was another instance of the difficulty a pack of forwards, however good, have in winning a game if not adequately supported by their backs. It was a fine, clean, fast game, and thoroughly enjoyable to watch.

St Andrew’s: J. May, B. Hill, G. Grey, E. Holmes, C. Broster, D. Cocksedge, P. Glenton, E. Brayshaw, H. Olsen, P. McCarthy, H. Mullins, H. Duffield, H. Cazalet, C. Mullins, B. Drake.

Michaelhouse: R. Armstrong, J. McKenzie, V. Shaw, K. Trotter, E. Fynney, B. Campbell, J. Robertson, G. Hart-Davis, J Crowe, N. McKenzie, E. Philipps, G. Mousley, G. Pennington, C. Beningfield, J. Ardington.