FNB Oppierief leave it late to snatch the final 31-28

FNB Varsity Cup, Koshuis Rugby

The Internal Res League Cup was won by FNB Oppierief against FNB UJ SWC in an extremely tough final match of the season. The underdogs (FNB SWC) showed up, played very well for one another and fought till the last minutes sadly it wasn’t enough to win them their first final.

FNB UJ SWC scored their first ever Internal Res League final by beating FNB Chiros and they certainly played the final with the intensions of winning it. The Soweto boytjies played their hearts out first half managing to keep FNB Oppierief at bay. Both teams were cautious though, aiming not to give an inch of space to their opponents.

At times FNB Oppierief looked like they could through brick wall, great display of skill and aggression. The individual brilliance was certainly a trump card for the Auckland Park side with the likes of J. Mofokeng combining exceptionally well with his backline, BJ Ngwenya timing his runs to perfectly linking with the Oppie team mates, beautiful game of rugby. Phenyo Seriteng, eighth man from FNB Oppierief scored the first try of the match breaking through FNB SWC line of defence, great moment of brilliance from the power-house.

FNB Oppierief carried their momentum on setting up Msane for the second try of the match putting FNB Oppierief on 14-0. The FNB Oppierief fly-half, J. Mofokeng had a good spell converting for the two tries. The score-line was a wake call for FNB SWC team being led with no points on the score board. Five minutes before the end of first half, FNB SWC showed what was still to come in the second half.

A more courageous FNB SWC came out in the second half, blazing and ready to fight. The Soweto boytjies played with more courage, attacking FNB Oppierief relentlessly. A try followed through some awesome show of hands and ball work. S. Magagula broke through a small gap of the FNB Oppierief side to run all the way between the poles. Through two penalties and one try, FNB SWC were led 14-11.

Pressure was certainly there for FNB Oppierief but with mistakes/miss-tackles from FNB SWC, C. Mabace scored a try for Oppie followed by beautiful run from S. Magagula to retaliate for the Soweto based side. It was too good to be true, FNB SWC leading, first time in the match, can they do it? Bowels, Oppierief’s tricky scrumhalf, was the one who put the dagger through the FNB UJ SWC fans.

FNB Oppierief: 31

Tries: Msane; Mabace; Mathatho; Bowels
Conversions: 2/5
Penalties: 1

Magagula; Khubeka
Conversions: 4/5
Penalties: 3

FNB Oppierief Line-up:
15. B. Ngwenya; 14. T. Mlangeni; 13. N. Bangura; 12. L. Mabace; 11. H.T. Mathatho; 10. J. Mofokeng; 9. D. Bowels; 8. P.B. Seriteng; 7. X. Msane; 6 U. Tokota; 5. K. Chibi; 4. S. Mtshali; 3 H. Mbatha; 2. F. Dimba; 1. L.K. Mphuti
Subs: 16. S. Konzani; 17. C. Mutale; 18. E. Leyane; 19. K. Ndabeni; 20. A. Ngwenya; 21. M. Mdunge; 22. B. Sibanyoni

FNB UJ SWC Line-up: 15. S. Maseko; 14. S. Mgebisi; 13. L. Seeti; 12. S. Magagula; 11. K. Hlatshwayo; 10. J. Khubeka; 9. T. Niven; 8. S. Hlatshwayo; 7. L. Maelangwe; 6. M. Ngubo; 5. D. Meya; 4. L. Khawuleza; 3. L. Ngcobo; 2. L. Gqozana; 1. G. Ndou
Subs: 16. M. Yende; 17. G. Mulaudzi; 18. S. Hadebe; 19. T. Malatji; 20. L. Thavhiwa; 21. O. Makhawula; 22. M. Mashau; 23. K. Mthembu

By Jabu Mthombeni