FNB UKZN snatched victory at the death against FNB WSU in East London, as the visitors beat the hosts 28-27 on Monday night.
The rain played out for the Buffalo City Rugby affair. The mighty WSU All Blacks fans braved the weather and showed loyalty to the team even after they lost two consecutive home games, a great crowd showed up. After a long week of rain in East London, not a single drop was visible during the match.
The FNB UKZN played with the wind in the first half and they managed to use their advantage by kicking the ball behind the WSU All Blacks early in the game and putting the home side under immense pressure. The Impis wasted no time as in the fourth minute they received a penalty and Dylan Coomber scored to give the visiting team an early lead. However, FNB WSU slotted one of their own through the boot of Lusanda Xakwana to equalise. In the 15th minute Lusanda missed an opportunity to take the lead for the WSU All Blacks after he failed to convert a penalty. In the 20th minute Coomber converted to take a 6-3 lead for FNB UKZN. Lusanda Xakwana re-joined the party when he converted for the hosts.
In the first half FNB UKZN dominated the ball position and showed their intent when they had the ball in hand. They were eventually rewarded with a try when Dylan Coombe dived over to score and converted his own try to give the visitors 13-6 lead going to half-time.
Even though the visiting team were in the lead, the crowd was not silenced and hoped for a better second half. Dylan Coomber opened the second half with a try and converted to a 16-6 lead. Walter Sisulu came back guns blazing to score a brilliant individual try by Lusanda Xakwana who ran 60 metres to score under the poles in the 47th minute and he converted his own try to take the home team to 13 points to 16. A minute later Sinegugu Lituka scored after a beautiful inter-passing display by the boys from Potsdam and Lusanda Xakwana easily converted to give FNB WSU a lead of 20-16. The fire was rekindled in the WSU All Blacks as they started playing some good rugby deep in the opponents' half, piling on the pressure.
In the 54th minute Lusanda scored another well-worked try and converted it to give the home side 27-16 lead. FNB UKZN Henry White scored in the corner to bring the visiting side back into the game with 21 points. FNB WSU were unlucky on several occasions as some 50/50 calls went against them. Six minutes later Minenhle Ngubane scored after several penalties to the visiting team and Dylan Coombe converted once more to take the lead 28-27.
FNB WSU suffered another setback while chasing the game when Luvo Matiwane was sinned binned on the 68th minute for a dangerous challenge when he contested a high ball. FNB UKZN kept ball possession and received multiple penalties in which they chose to scrum and frustrated the home side until the final whistle.
FNB PLAYER THAT ROCKS: Lusanda Xakwana
STEERS KINGING MOMENT: Onke Jiba
FNB WSU: 27
Tries: Lusanda Xakwana (2), Sinegugu Lituka
Conversions: Lusanda Xakwana (3)
Penalties: Lusanda Xakwana (2)
FNB UKZN: 28
Tries: Dylan Coomber, Minenhle Ngubane, Henry White
Conversions: Dylan Coomber (2)
Penalties: Dylan Coomber (3)
FNB WSU: 1.Thabo Ngcem 2. Thokozani Ngodwana 3. Xolani Loki 4. Xolani Jacobs 5. Bonginkosi Ngqushwa 6. Phuzukuvela Sithole 7. Mihlali Langa Mosi 8. Mihlali Nchukana 9. Anathi Shenxane 10. Sinegugu Lituka 11. Wanga Shumi 12. Yamkela Nyembe 13. Lwandile Mapuko 14. Luvo Matiwan 15. Lusanda Xakwana
16. Sivuyisiwe Gcilitshan 17. Phumlani Blaauw18. Lindokuhle Gift Seteni 19. Mankoe Mokonenyana 20. Chumani Tau Mjacu 21. Sakhele Ngeno 22. Thembani Kori 23. Tebogo Daniel Madigoe
FNB UKZN: 1. Lindelwe Cele 2. Mfanelo Mhlongo 3. Melusi Mthabela 4.Mpumalanga Monareng, 5. Richard Van Den Berg 6. Charl Cuttings 7. Sphephelo Mabuza 8. Byron Booysen 9. Dylan Coombe 10. Ruan Kotze 11.Tonderai Ndudzo 12.Brogan Boulle, 13. Wandile Shabangu 14. Onke Jiba 15. Jordan Janse Van Rensburg
16. Mpumzi Tantsi 17. Asiphe Fanele 18. Minenhle Ngubane 19. Luthando Mhlanga, 20. Henry White 21. Sibonakaliso Dubazane 22. Linamkele Mcwabeni 23. Lungelo Dlamini