Rustenburg Impala are South Africa's new open-club champions after beating Roodepoort 13-11 in appalling conditions in George on Monday.
The incessant rain made sure the final was tightly contested, as both sides resorted to the pick-and-drive tactic for much of the match. The game produced a try apiece: the first came from slick handling by the Impala outside backs, which was rounded off by eighthman Leon du Plessis in the corner. It was well converted in difficult conditions by Naas Olivier. Roodepoort struck back almost immediately through a powerful 5m scrum. Junior Gray picked up and spun away from a few tackles before crashing over.
The driving rain made handling difficult and players struggled with their footing, which resulted in a penalty for Impala at the ruck and Olivier stretched his team's lead to 10-5. Hendrik Oosthuizen reduced the deficit with a penalty to bring the score to 10-8, but a penalty after the hooter enabled Olivier to restore the five-point gap.
The sluggish contest continued in the second half, as Impala were content to hold on to their lead. The second half produced just three points from Oosthuizen in the 55th minute. Impala then rode the Roodepoort wave close to their line in the dying stages of the game to secure their first Community Cup title.
Earlier in the day, Hamiltons beat College Rovers 27-18 in the third/fourth play-off, Despatch blew Roses United away 57-21 and Centurion beat Old Selbornians 42-14.
Rustenburg Impala – Try: Leon Andries du Plessis. Conversion: Naas Olivier. Penalties: Naas Olivier (2).
Roodepoort – Try: Jaun Shaw. Penalty: Hendrik Gerhardus Oosthuizen (2).
Other Monday results:
Third/fourth play-off: Hamiltons 27 College Rovers 18
Fifth/sixth play-off: Despatch 57 Roses United 21
Seventh/eighth play-off: Centurion 42 Old Selbornians 14
Photo: Petri Oeschger/Gallo Images