Ricochet News

FNB Madibaz back to winning ways

By Marc Jacobson - Mar 23, 2016
FNB Madibaz back to winning ways

FNB Madibaz is back on track to avoid the Varsity Relegation battle, as they claimed their first win of the season against the FNB UCT Ikeys at the FNB Stadium, Soweto, on Monday afternoon.

Both sides headed into the match winless in the 2016 season, but it was the NMMU Madibaz who scored two late tries to win the game 46-33 after trailing most parts of the match. The teams were also playing for the Morne Taljaard Trophy in honour of the late FNB UCT player.

The Ikeys struck first blood in the match, as centre, Lihleli Xoli, broke the line and scored the initial try. After dominating in the scums and applying much pressure early-on, NMMU eventually strung together a fine passage-of-play with quick phase ball for Ivan-John du Preez to score a much-deserved nine-point try.

Xoli scored yet another nine-point try for the Ikeys, as he gathered the ball straight from the kick-off and crossed over the line, taking the scores to 18-9 after 20 minutes.

On the 26th minute, Madibaz flanker, Tyler Paul, then crossed over the line for a try – taking the scores to within two at 18-16.

After an extended period of possession and applying pressure, UCT managed to grovel up a try in an attempted rolling maul from lock, Gary Porter, to extend the lead to 23-16 at half-time.

The Ikeys then extended their lead even further in the 54th minute as a well-gathered chip kick sent winger, Bradley Janse van Rensburg, for a seven-point try.

The Madibaz then capitalised on some poor defensive errors from UCT, as they crossed the line for a try soon before the strategy break – taking the scores to 30-23 in favour of the Ikeys.

A minute after the strategy break, NMMU eighth-man, Junior Pokomela, then broke four tackles to buster over the line for a seven-point try, putting his side in the lead for the first time of the match 32-30.

UCT then reclaimed a 33-32 lead with a converted penalty kick with just 13 minutes to play, before a late surge from NMMU sent du Preez for his second try and a try from Brandon Brown in the last 10 minutes to seal victory for the Madibaz.

NMMU Madibaz are now placed third-last on the log and are on good swing to avoid facing a relegation battle at the end of the tournament schedule.

Their last two remaining fixtures will be against Tuks and CUT respectively – both scheduled to be played at the Cape Town Stadium, in Cape Town.

Image: NMMU Madibaz players celebrating with the Morne Taljaard Trophy after the match at the FNB Stadium, Soweto.