A capacity crowd at the Fanie du Toit Sport Fields in Potchefstroom were left devastated on Monday night as FNB UJ claimed a hard-fought, well deserved 36-31 victory over hosts FNB NWU-Puk.
FNB NWU-Puk got off to a flying start when Lucian Cupido rounded off a backline move that screamed enterprise and innovation. FNB UJ twice in succession opted to go for the posts when awarded a penalty, with the second attempt paying dividends as Divan Nel found his target. FNB UJ then secured the lead when Aphiwe Dyantyi unleashed his afterburners to score a beauty. The conversion was good and FNB UJ led 14-7.
FNB UJ’s coach, Werner Janse van Rensburg would, however, have had some strong words for his team, particularly their lack of discipline. They were the recipients of two yellow cards. The second one was especially costly as it allowed FNB NWU-Puk captain Jeandre Rudolph to make like a wing and score down the touchline.
FNB NWU-Puk regained the ascendency two minutes into the second half when Sylvian Mahuza raced away for a nine-point try. FNB UJ did not take this lightly and mounted a massive offensive charge. Jeandre Rudolph was sin-binned for going in from the side as FNB UJ laid siege to FNB NWU-Puk’s tryline. A penalty try followed for the visitors and it wasn’t long before Dyantyi scored his brace after some stellar work by fullback Ronald Brown. FNB UJ led 33-23 at this stage.
The hosts refused to accept what looked like their heartbreaking fate and worked their studs off their boots to get Wilmar Arnoldi over in the left-hand corner. With only five points separating the sides, Rhyno Smith stepped up and kicked an almost 50m penalty from close to the touchline. It dissected the upright posts with glee. FNB UJ responded with a penalty of their own and it was high drama to the end. Some suspect decision-making proved detrimentally decisive for FNB NWU-Pukke.
After last week’s romp of FNB Tuks, this was a rude awakening for Jonathan Mokuena’s side while FNB UJ will paint Potch red, or in this case – orange.
Player that Rocks: Ronald Brown
Seven-point tries: Aphiwe Dyantyi
Nine-point tries: Aphiwe Dyantyi
Conversions: Divan Nel (3)
Penalties: Divan Nel (3)
Penalty tries: 1
Five-point tries: Lucian Cupido, Wilmar Arnoldi, Jeandre Rudolph
Nine-point tries: Sylvian Mahuza
Penalties: Rhyno Smith
Conversions: Rhyno Smith (2)
FNB UJ: 1 Siyakubonga Nzuzo, 2 Johannes Snyman, 3 Nico du Plessis, 4 Jeremy Jordaan, 5 David Antonites, 6 Wian Conradie, 7 Kyle van Dalen, 8 Jakobus Porter (C), 9 Hilton Mudariki, 10 Divan Nel, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 12 Robert Brown, 13 Bradley Moolman, 14 PJ Walters, 15 Ronald Brown
Replacements: 16 Emmanuel Morowane, 17 Kyle Kruger, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Phenyo Seriteng, 20 Johannes Esterhuizen, 21 Kobus Engelbrecht, 22 Godfrey Ramaboea, 23 Waldo Weideman
FNB Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Lucian Cupido, 13 Sylvian Mahuza, 12 Hendrik Marais, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Barend Janse van Rensburg, 9 Malherbe Swart, 8 Marno Redelinghuis, 7 Jeandre Rudolph (C), 6 Jaco Jordaan, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 Bartholomeus le Roux, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Mashudu Mafela
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Gideon van der Merwe, 20 Kurshwill Williams, 21 Schalk Hugo, 22 AK Nela 23 Mogau Mabokela
Photo Mario van de Wall/SASPA