FNB UFH left it until the dying moments to withstand an imminent upset from the FNB CPUT on Monday night in Alice.
The home team struggled to get their rhythm going as they conceded an early try after they lost possession on the opposition 22-metre line to allow FNB CPUT winger Pickard Mure a runaway try under the sticks. Flyhalf Andre Swanepoel comfortably converted to make it 8-0 to FNB CPUT.
FNB UFH struck back quickly after the first strategy break through a well set driving maul which sent FNB UFH’s Sokhana Mpemba crashing over the tryline. It was a tight contest in the next phases with brilliant plays back and forth. The next points came from the boot of flyhalf Andre Swanepoel who slotted a penalty to make the score 10-5 to the visitors at halftime.
The Capetonians were not done yet; they set the second half alight with a well worked try from the backs. Inside centre Roode Malan finished off after some slick handling and interlinking from the FNB CPUT outside backs.
The home side played their hearts out to close the margin in the 54th minute when they were awarded a penalty try after FNB CPUT succumbed to a dominant FNB UFH scrum. It seemed like that was exactly what FNB UFH needed to get back into the fight as they went through some brilliant passages of play using their powerful forward momentum to pin FNB CPUT in their half. The sustained pressure paid off after a penalty in front of the posts led to a scrum which pushed over the visitors to make an easy run in for replacement utility forward Yamkela Mzozoyana.
After the try was converted the score was 18-17 to FNB UFH in the last minutes of the match. With only one point in it, it was game on with either team eager to secure a win. The crowd was kept on the edge of their seats as both teams desperately scrambled for territory and possession. The hosts fiercely held on to a well-deserved victory over FNB CPUT, 18-17 at fulltime.
FNB UFH: 18
Tries: Sokhana Mpemba, Yamkela Mzozoyana, Penalty Try
FNB CPUT: 17
Tries: Pickard Mure, Roode Malan
Cons: Andre Swanepoel
Pens: Andre Swanepoel (2)
Yellow Card: Pickard Mure
FNB UFH Starting XV: 15 Sibongile Novuka, 14 Sinethemba Mkaza, 13 Jonathan Booysen, 12 Lazola Hleli, 11 Sikhokele Buhlungu, 10 Lazola Hleli, 9 Lindokuhle Kenene 8 Sokhana Mpemba, 7 Chuma Biyana 6 Lukhanyiso Ntosholwane , 5 Lwando Nteta, 4 Philisani Ncoko, 3 Thabo Ntunja, 2 Mkhonto Cakucaku, 1 Edwin Nxumalo
Substitutes: 16 Mzingabantu Vitsha , 17 Anele Nkohla, 18 Bulelani Mdodana, 19 Sibusiso Gwenxane , 20 Yamkela Mzozoyana, 21 Yamkela Mahintsho,, 22 Curtley Christoffels 23 Canzi Beni
FNB Rhodes Starting XV: 15 Duwayne Cupido, 14 Pickard Mure, 13 Jacobs Henrico 12 Roode Malan, 11 Sambaba Kyle, 10 Andre Swanepoel, 9 Baron Jaiden, 8 August Jevan, 7 Mthwa Siyabonga, 6 Mackenzie Mongezi, 5 Myburg Xavier, 4 Van Greunen Carlo, 3 Commons Damian, 2 Brundyn Sven, 1 Mthethwa Mlungisi
Substitutes: 16 Phillips Lucien, 17 Jacobus Neethling, 18 Mkwayi Morne, 19 Blom Shaurick, 20 Macala Sesona, 21 Manuel Duran, 22 Petro Fagme, 23 Stevens Cameron