In the second game of the Eastern Cape Double Derby at Madibaz Stadium on Friday night, hosts FNB Madibaz were shocked 19-14 by a very solid FNB WSU outfit.
This victory puts WSU on top of the FNB Varsity Shield log after two games, having now overcome both 2019 finalists, away from home.
WSU applied early pressure almost camping out in die Madibaz half for the first five minutes of the game. Even though the Blues kept the pressure on, Litha Nkula missed a fifth-minute penalty. This however did not slow down the WSU train as they kept coming at the Madibaz defense - dominating territory and possession
The Madibaz were clearly having a tough time with their opponents physicality and struggled to get out of their own half. It looked inevitable that the deadlock would be broken, and two yellow cards in two minutes for Madibaz – for an illegal cleanout by prop Le-Kleu Stokes and a deliberate knockdown by wing Luciano Jones – opened the door for WSU.
Mihlali Mosi duly took advantage on 21 minutes, as the eighthman peeled off a scrum, hit and spun past the first Madibaz defender and barged his way over. Nkula missed the conversion, as flyhalf Lwandile Mapuko did when Mosi doubled-up in the 28th minute. This time the 24-year-old wrecking ball took advantage of a turnover (couresy of Madibaz trying to play out time for their players to return from the Afkoelstoel).
Madibaz tried hitting back but only got as far as the five metre line of WSU.
Then, on the stroke of halftime, Mapuko put a penalty over to make the score 13-0 - leaving Madibaz (who went unbeaten through the league phase in 2019) with much to ponder.
With coach Jarryd Buys making early changes in the second half, the Madibaz looked like a better outfit and it didn’t take long for the changes to take effect.
In the 51st minute, replacement prop Tembelihle Yase rumbled over from a pick-and-go to bring the Madibaz to life with Jordan Koekemoer adding the extras.
WSU, though, clawed some of that back on the hour mark when Nkula converted another another penalty to leave the score at 16-7 in their favour.
Madibaz remained determined to please their supporters and duly did so, when prop Robert Lyons emerged with the ball having forced his way over. Koekemoer converted again to give the Madibaz hope with the score at 14-16 and 15 minutes to play.
Déjà vu saw Nkula slotting a third second penalty to take WSU’s lead to 19-14.
Nkula missed another penalty with five minutes to play but it didn’t matter as WSU kept the Madibaz out to remain unbeaten. There will be convern, however, for whether their captain Siphosihle Magawu will be able to play next week after being knocked out cold trying to tackle Yase. That said, he was able to walk off the field.
FNB Player That Rocks: Mihlali Mosi (FNB WSU)
Steers Kinging Moment: Mihlali Mosi (FNB WSU)
FNB Madibaz: 14 (0)
Tries: Tembelihle Yase, Robert Lyons
Conversions: Jordan Koekemoer 2
FNB WSU: 19 (13)
Tries: Mihlali Mosi 2
Penalties: Litha Nkula 3
FNB Madibaz: 1 Robert Lyons, 2 Tembekile Boltina, 3 Le-Kleu Stokes, 4 Reyno du Toit, 5 Ikheteleng Nkhereanye, 6 Dirk Ferreira, 7 Siyamthanda Jwacu, 8 Laken Gray, 9 Dundré Maritz, 10 Luvo Claassen (captain), 11 Charles Radebe, 12 Jordan Koekemoer, 13 Mihlali Nchukana, 14 Luciano Jones, 15 Chadwyn November.
Replacements: 16 Duan du Plessis, 17 Tembelihle Yase, 18 Moses Gunda, 19 Cameron Cato, 20 Sibusiso Ngcokovane, 21 Johan Lombard, 22 Kyle Cyster, 23 Warwick Griffin.
Coach: Jarryd Buys
FNB WSU: 1 Xolani Jacobs, 2 Thokozani Ngodwana, 3 Xolani Loki, 4 Bonginkosi Ngqushwa, 5 Hlomla Payi, 6 Siphosihle Magawu (captain), 7 Ayabonga Ntaba, 8 Mihlali Mosi, 9 Anathi Shenxane, 10 Lwandile Mapuko, 11 Tebogo Madigoe, 12 Yamkela Nyembe, 13 Scelo Tole, 14 Wanga Shumi, 15 Litha Nkula.
Replacements: 16 Zanokuhle Nkabi, 17 Lwando Zinto, 18 Hlumelo Nondonga, 19 Vuyisa Ngesi, 20 Phuzukuvela Sithole, 21 Siphenkosi Goloza, 22 Sinegugu Lituka, 23 Damon Sinuka.
Coach: Akhona Mgijima
Reporting by Werner Wippenaar