On a cold and extremely windy Tuesday night, Pretoria Noord Hoërskool hosted Montana, also from Pretoria for a “Stadsbeker” match. School Rugby (Rugby15) paid a visit after receiving an invite from Pretoria Noord Hoërskool.
Pretoria looked dangerous right from the start as they carried it up with their forwards but it was Montana that scored the first of many tries when they pounced on a loose ball and scored against the run of play. The conversion was missed due to a very strong cross wind blowing across the field. Pretoria Noord didn’t take long to respond as they scored from a lineout with the conversion also going wide. They kept applying the pressure and were rewarded with a penalty which they converted to make the score 8-5 almost halfway through the first half.
The game opened up after that with positive running rugby from Pretoria Noord dominating play. Pretoria Noord scored two converted tries including a nice show and go from flyhalf Brendan Coetzee before Montana got one back from a rehearsed lineout move. Pretoria Noord had the game in the bag as they scored two quick tries before half time. Including a beautiful individual try by centre Sheldon van den Berg. He gathered a clearance kick from Montana and ran all of 60meters while stepping past hordes of defenders to score the try of the night. Pretoria Noord went into the break with a comfortable 32-12 lead.
In a repeat of the first half, Montana scored first but then started slipping plenty of tackles, allowing the Pretoria Noord speedsters plenty of space. Pretoria Noord jumped at the opportunity in front of them and scored a further two well-worked tries. With a lead of 44-17, the Pretoria Noord coaching staff cleared the bench to give every player a run. This however led to Montana somewhat clawing their way back into the game. Montana scored an easy try under the posts when a massive gap in defense opened up and as they launched another attack a lob pass got intercepted by Pretoria Noord to put the score at 51-24 with only few minutes remaining. Montana launched attack after attack and earned themselves countless penalties while they kept advancing. Montana went on to score another two hard-worked tries before the referee blew the final whistle with the scoreline at 51-34.
Players that clearly stood out for Pretoria Noord was their big and mobile flank Riekert Hattingh as well as flyhalf Brendan Coetzee who managed his backline very well and had a few sniping runs of his own. But the star player of the night was surely centre Sheldon van den Berg. He tore up the Montana defensive lines each time he had ball in hand. His stepping and running was exceptional and he also worked extremely hard on defense.
Result: Pretoria Noord Hoërskool 51 (32) vs Montana 34 (12)