Monument successfully defended the Beeld Trophy for Macro Schools when they beat Waterkloof 26-25 in the final in Pretoria on Saturday.
This was the seventh time in the Krugersdorp school’s history that they have won this competition, or its predecessors (Administrator’s Cup and Director’s Trophy), and the 2010 side will go down in history as the first from the school to take the title outright two years in a row.
Monument won the Administrator’s Cup outright in 1953 and 1979 and shared it with Hugenote of Springs in 1980. They shared the Director’s Trophy with Affies in 1984, and won the Beeld Trophy in 2005, 2009 and now in 2010.
Saturday’s victory means that Monument have now won both the NuPower Tuks and the Beeld Trophy, both for the second year in a row, and their victory on Saturday means they lost just three times out of 19 games this season – 20-6 to Grey College at the Kearsney Festival at Easter, 30-16 to Paarl Gimnasium at the Wildeklawer festival in April; and 13-12 to Florida in their league encounter – a defeat they redressed by thrashing Florida 52-13 when the two schools met in the Golden Lions league final a few weeks later.
Their list of victories notably includes a 42-38 win over Pretoria’s Affies, a school that does not compete in either the Beeld Trophy or the NuPower Tuks competitions.
Saturday’s win over Waterkloof was as close as can be. Waterkloof had a drop goal shot with the final kick of the game in an attempt to clinch the victory, but it went wide, starting the celebrations for the Krugersdorp side and its supporters.
The Monument locks Ruan Venter and James Meecham were, as they have been throughout the closing stages of the competition, huge on Saturday. Meecham has a Matfield-like ability to read where the opposition’s lineout throw-in is going to go and he poached a number of Waterkloof balls.
Venter – one of the stars of this year’s SA U18 High Performance team – was a bundle of belligerent energy and it often took two or three opponents to stop him when he went on the drive. They were backed up by the loosies – Tiaan McDonald and Ruan Steenkamp in particular.
At the back flyhalf and captain Marais Schmidt was in good kicking form, converting the tries scored by Venter and prop Carl van Heerden, and adding two penalties.
Monument coach Wynand Moolman said the success of the side this season has been due to a team effort.
‘We didn’t have game-breakers like last year’s Bradley Moolman or Jaco Taute this year,’ he told keo.co.za. ‘The boys played for each other though and I’ve never seen a better team spirit.’
Moolman did single out the performance of his locks in the play-off stages.
‘We won 10 of the 14 lineouts on Saturday, which meant the dangerous Waterkloof backs never got enough chances to stop us from winning.’
The finals of all the divisions on the Beeld Trophy competition were played on Saturday.
Tzaneen’s Hoërskool Ben Vorster won the big schools competition, Nylstroom took the Medium Schools title and Alberton High, the only English medium school to go through the final stage, won the Small Schools competition.
Beeld Trophy Finals:
Macro Schools – Monument 26 Waterkloof 25
Big Schools – Ben Vorster 24 Helpmekaar 7
Medium Schools – Nylstroom 20 Linden 10
Small Schools – Alberton 18 Heilbron 12
?By Gauteng correspondent