Monnas Rugby History
When the school opened in 1921 ML. Brink held a meeting of boys to find out what games they wanted to play. They all opted for soccer, as was the custom on the bare fields of the Highveld at the time, upon which Brink promptly decided that they would all play rugby! The school played its first match on 1 April 1921 and drew 3-3 with Krugersdorp High School. Since then, the school has had many great sides – as in 1924, 1953, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1993 (when the team scored 143 tries in 28 matches) and 2004. Monument first won the Administrator’s Cup in 1953. It won again in 2005 , 2009 and then again in 2010. In 2003 they were Media 24 National Schools champions. These are all huge achievements given the number and quality of the competing schools.
After Martin Brink, who later became the school’s principal, famous coaches includes Jan Lange (1936 – 53), Pa Pelser (the famous Junior Springbok and Transvaal loose forward and provincial coach), Jan Lange (who coached the First XV for 16 years), Christo Meyer and Wollie Strydom (who coached together from 1964 to 1980), Frans Grobler, Neels Bornman and Hans Coetzee (who started coaching at the school in 1979 when he joined staff to teach history ). Coetzee started coaching the Monnas Frist XV in 1984 when his side reached the final of the Administrator’s Cup, which they shared with Affies in a 10-10 draw.
In 2003 Monnas won the Media 24 Trophy – an attempt to get the top schools in South Africa to compete against each other which did not take off. In 2005 they beat Waterkloof in the final to win the Beeld Trophy. That year they scored 145 tries in 24 matches, roughly six tries a match.
All Monnas teams (except the Seconds) play in white jerseys, and so they are the “Wit Bulle”. The Second XV has a special jersey and are called the “Kwaggas”. As one would expect from a school which achieves so much, Monnas has the largest representation of any school north of the Vaal river at Craven Week and in SA Schools.
The following have played for SA Schools: Johan van Biljon (1975), Jan van Genderen (1978), Kolie van Genderen (1980), Jacques Niewenhuys (1984), Gielie Swiegers (1984), André Venter (1989), Brendan Venter (1989-91), Dawie du Toit (1982/93), who scored 28 tries from fullback in 1993), Hein van Rensburg (1998). Jorrie Muller (1999). Morné Kruger (2001), Jonathan van der Schyff (2001), Justin Botha (2006), Tshepo Masuga (2006), Julian Redlinghuys (2006/07) and Alfred Ries (2006). Masuga Played for south Africa Under-19 at the IRB’s World Championship in 2006. Several players were playing top rugby in South Africa in 2007. Christo Bezuidenhout, Arno Coetzee, Reinhardt Gerber, Morné Kruger, Paul Schreuder, Jean Tiedt, Johan van der Schyff, Willem van der Wal, Warren van Rooyen, Freddie van Zyl and Walter Venter.
Seven Old Boys played for South Africa – Christo Wagenaar, Brendan Venter, Jorrie Muller Jaque Fourie , Heinke van der Merwe, Willem Alberts and Jaco Taute. Gert Peens and Quinten Geldenhuys has played for Italy. Willem Alberts and Jaco Taute The biggest recent achievement was when three old boys, Alberts, Taute and van der Merwe played against Ireland on the end of year tour in 2012.