Monument beat Helpmekaar 57-11 in the North Vaal Virseker Cup final at Tuks on Saturday. THEO GARRUN reports.
Helpmekaar beat Monnas when the sides met a fortnight ago, and a close final was expected, but this Monument side was simply too good on the day. They were dominant throughout, scoring nine tries in all, including five to one in the second half.
Helpmekaar didn’t see enough of the ball to be competitive. Monument had them reeling in the scrums and they won the loose-ball battle hands down. Helpmekaar’s lineouts went seriously wrong and they lost quite a number of their own throw-ins.
They also had no answer to the hard, straight running of the Monument backs. Centres Henco van Wyk and Douw Scheepers seemed able to break their defensive line at will, and the big Monnas forwards – with Franco Schutte, Izaan Esterhuizen and Morné Brandon in the van – got across the gainline, time and again.
It was one of those days for Helpmekaar. There were too many unforced errors and when they did try to run what little ball they did manage to win, they invariably turned it over.
Monument, on the other hand, were clinical. Their passes went to hand and they hardly missed a tackle all afternoon. In retrospect, the contrasting semi-finals that the teams played may have had an effect. Monument romped to a 45-15 win over Garsfontein, while Helpmekaar edged Transvalia 34-33 in a titanic struggle.
Monnas looked up for it while Helpmekaar, frankly, seemed tired.
Helpmekaar were first on the board via a Tiaan Botes penalty in the fifth minute, but Monument came straight back with a try by Ruben Barnard. Botes slotted his second minutes later, putting his side 6-5 up, but that was to be the last time they led in the game.
Scrumhalf Zihan Coetzee, fullback Jason Freeman and wing Diaan Oosthuizen got touchdowns to put Monument 24-6 up at the break, and when Oosthuizen got a second in the second minute of the second half, it was effectively all over.
Monument had the last laugh, however, when Henco van Wyk rounded off a good performance with a try two minutes from the end.
Zihan van Wyk was in good goal-kicking form and converted six of the tries to keep the score mounting.
Monument – Tries: Ruben Barnard, Zihan Cotezee, Dian Oosthuizen (2). Jason Freeman (2), Morné Brandon, Douw Scheepers, Henco van Wyk. Conversions: Coetzee (6).
Helpmekaar – Try: Brink Marx. Penalties: Tiaan Botes (2).
Shield final: Oos-Moot 29 Ben Vorster 20
Plate final: Eldoraigne 40 Noordheuwel 29
Photo: Theo Garrun