BERTRAM successfully defended their title when they edged Hillside 12-0 in the final of the Northern Areas High Schools Rugby Night Series at the Adcock Stadium at the weekend.
The game was a repeat of last year’s final and Bertram once again dominated in a game characterised by schoolboy mistakes.
The game started slowly, with both sides guilty of handling errors and poor decision-making at crucial times.
But it was the determined Bertram boys who finally capitalised on their territory and possession when centre Riaan Maarman scored the first points of the game with a teamwork try.
Cheslen Mapoe, who failed to convert it, made amends when he added two more points with a penalty just outside Hillside’s 22m line. In this competition, penalties and drop goals are worth two points and conversions three.
The half ended with Bertram leading 7-0 after Hillside’s flyhalf Dillon Calvert’s ambitious 50m penalty just went wide. Mapoe also failed to kick two penalties.
The second half was no different as both sides continued to make handling errors and there were many forward passes, leading to numerous stoppages.
Bertram scrumhalf Ruvan Jantjies put the match to rest 12 minutes from time when he scored a try after a driving maul to dot down under the posts.
Bertram coach Ashwell Adams dedicated the victory to the school’s director of rugby.
“We salute Mr Rossouw who is very sick in hospital with this trophy. We did it for him. Our hard work paid off,” Adams said.
Hillside coach Kenny Joseph admitted they did not deserve to win.
“To be honest we didn’t play to our potential. We didn’t take our chances and Bertram did. We played better in the last three games, but it was a learning curve for the young boys,” Joseph said.
Tournament founder Shaun Fondling said they were happy with how the tournament went. He said they were hoping more teams would participate in the next tournament.