FNB UFH get season underway with thumping win over FNB Rhodes

FNB Varsity Shield

FNB UFH exacted revenge for their 2019 defeat against FNB Rhodes, by taking full advantage of the error-strewn Stallions to thump them 52-7 at Madibaz Stadium.

UFH made their intentions clear from the get-go, in the early kick-off of the Eastern Cape Double Derby. They duly earnt their reward when, in the second minute, lock Mthandazo Gcubeni rumbled over from a pick-and-go. Flyhalf Keith Chiwara made no mistake with the conversion.

Rhodes, though, fought back on 10 minutes. Following a well-worked lineout turned rolling maul, the Stallions showed enough patience to allow their lock Sithembele Njokweni to dot down. Matthew Royle (who went off with a twisted ankle seven minutes later) levelled the scores with the conversion.

The Stallions became their own worst enemies, however. They committed many handling errors and often failed to protect their own ball at the breakdown. UFH didn't hesitate to take advantage and added three further tries to lead comfortably – and have their bonus point secured – at half-time.

Kamvelihle Menze scored their second (unconverted) following a quick line-out, before Mihlali Nobomvu scored twice (both converted by Chiwara). The second was an almost end-to-end effort after another Rhodes error at the breakdown.

The second half took it’s time to ignite as errors, indecisiveness and a raft of substitutions affected both teams ability to build up a head of steam. Until the 60th-minute strat break, that is…

Almost immediately after the game restarted, The Blues scored their fifth try. A bounce-pass to Chiwara deceived the Rhodes defence, allowing the flyhalf to break clear and then offload to Siseko Selman with only the tryline to get to. Substitute Lilitha Mdladlana added the extras. Then, three minutes, later, another unforced error by the Stallions allowed UFH to break upfield, draw-and-pass through the ailing defenders in purple, before Yamkela Mzozoyana dived over. Mdladlana converted again.

UFH weren’t done and substitute scrumhalf Kamvelihle Fatyela added two tries (the second converted by Mdladlana who could have dotted down himself). Shortly before the referee called an end to proceedings, UFH’s Migcobo Bovu was sent off for a dangerous tip-tackle, but it didn’t take the gloss away from The Blues’ dominant win.

FNB Player That Rocks: 
Yamkela Mzozoyana (FNB UFH)
Steers Kinging Moment: Mihlali Nobomvu (FNB UFH)

FNB UFH: 52 (26)
Mthandazo Gcubeni, Kamvelihle Menze, Mihlali Nobomvu 2, Siseko Selman, Yamkela Mzozoyana, Kamvelihle Fatyela 2
Conversions: Keith Chiwara 3, Lilitha Mdladlana 3

FNB Rhodes: 7 (7)
Sithembele Njokweni
Conversion: Matthew Royle

FNB UFH: 1 Mzingabantu Vitsha, 2 Mkhonto Cakucuku, 3 Edwin Nxumalo, 4 Mthandazo Gcubeni, 5 Likho Ndiyalwa, 6 Lukhanyiso Ntosholwana, 7 CJ Osode (captain), 8 Yamkela Mzozoyana, 9 Qhama Masiza, 10 Keith Chiwara, 11 Siseko Selman, 12 Migcobo Bovu, 13 Mihlali Nobomvu, 14 Aphiwe Rhilityana, 15 Kamvelihle Menze.
Replacements: 16 Wandile Mqgoqgi, 17 Mbasa Sonkosi, 18 Sibabalo Mnkani, 19 Farai Chikamhi, 20 Kamvelihle Fatyela, 21 Lwazi Madib, 22 Brandt Fields, 23 Lilitha Mdladlana.
Coach: Lumumba Currie

FNB Rhodes: 1 Sino Ralo (captain), 2 Odwa Xonxa, 3 Siyolise Qupe, 4 Simon Cowley, 5 Sithembele Njokweni, 6 Christopher Renwick, 7 Bradley van Heerden, 8 Lutho Selem, 9 Cameron Amos, 10 Matthew Royle, 11 Simelela Mbanzi, 12 Ntsika Ndungane, 13 Damian Morrow, 14 Ezra Mager, 15 Sandile Mantantana.
Replacements: 16 Uzuqaqambe Nyanda, 17 Tatenda Tichiwangana, 18 Athenkosi Nkewana, 19 Ongeziwe Shumi, 20 Lwazi Mzamane, 21 Viwe Makeleni, 22 Nicholas Butler, 23 Damian Hilpert.
Coach: Carlos Katywa