Bertram vanderPlank
Full names: Bertram Eustace
Date of birth: 29 Apr 1894
Place of birth: Melmoth
School: Maritzburg College
Springbok no: 190
Debut test province: Natal
Physical: 1.91m
Date of death: 22 Dec 1990 (Age 96)

Test summary: Tests: 2 Tries: 0
First Test: 13 Sep 1924 Age:30 Tight-head Prop against Britain at Crusaders (St George's Park), Port Elizabeth
Last Test: 20 Sep 1924 Age:30 Tight-head Prop against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town
Test history:
13 Sep 192430Tight-head PropBritainDraw: 3-3 Crusaders (St George's Park), Port ElizabethNatal
20 Sep 192430Tight-head PropBritainWin: 16-9 Newlands, Cape TownNatal

Skonk's stories : Toffa Hattingh

One Skonk story I always remember was about a forward with a bit of a boep called Vanderplank…

Skonk wanted us to remember to follow up on kicks at posts. He said that Vanderplank religiously followed up on every kick and never had any luck … Until one day when the ball hit the crossbar and bounded back onto his big belly. He managed to hold on and fell over under the posts for a try. So Skonk’s lesson: “Always chase after a place-kick.”

*Prop forward Bertram Eustace Vanderplank was born in Melmoth on 29 April 1894.

Mr Vanderplank of Eshowe Rugby Football Club and Natal (1924) was the fourth member of the 15 young men of the Red Black and White to represent the Springboks…

At the age of 30, Bertram propped the Bok scrum in a pair of Test matches – against the 1924 British Isles (now British &Irish Lions).

Bertram Eustace’s’s Bok debut was on South Africa’s own House of Pain… the Boet Erasmus Stadium in Port Elizabeth on 13 September 1924. His second – and last – Test match in the Green and Gold colours of South Africa was on the gentler turf of Newlands.

Clearly the Vanderplank determination that Skonk spoke of bore its just reward post-school…