THE exciting nature of the Northern Areas High Schools Rugby Night Series was vividly illustrated when Bertram edged Bethelsdorp with a “golden try” in extra time at the Adcock Stadium yesterday.
After the first round encounter ended deadlocked at 5-5 at the end of regulation time, the teams played five minutes each way, with the first side to score being declared the winners.
Time was running out with about two minutes left when Bertram, who had dominated much of the game, forced their way upfield and eventually No8 Kurt Clarke forced his way over from a driving maul.
A strong wind made it difficult for the players yesterday, but it did not dampen their enthusiasm.
It made for an exciting spectacle, although the handling and passing was at times marred by the conditions.
Bethelsdorp took the lead in the first half through a try by No8 Marco Draai which was cancelled out following a good backline move which saw Bertram centre Rishaan Jantjies race over.
In the second half, Bethelsdorp thought they had crossed for a try but were called back for a knock-on. Bethelsdorp also tried two penalties, but the swirling wind pushed the attempts wide.
To further encourage running rugby, the organisers have adopted the Varsity Cup rules of awarding three points for a conversion and two for a penalty.
This gave Chatty the unusual rugby score of 2-0 against David Livingstone, while, on Monday, Paterson were pushed all the way before edging Woolhope 10-8 in their opening encounter.
In yesterday’s late games, Gelvandale proved too strong for Walmer High, winning 36-13, while Hillside had a tight contest with Arcadia, eventually getting through 15-10.
The first round results were:
Boys: Booysen Park 21 Chapman 0, Sanctor 8 St Thomas 8 (St Thomas advance to next round), Paterson 10 Woolhope 8, Chatty 2 Livingstone 0, Hillside 15 Arcadia 10, Westville 0 Morningside 0 (Westville advance), Bertram 10 Bethelsdorp 5, Gelvandale 36 Walmer 13.
Girls: Bertram 43 Paterson 0, Hillside 12 Chatty 0, Booysen Park 10 Walmer 0