NMMU-Madibaz trailed for most parts of the match, but finished strongly with two tries in the final few minutes to defeat UCT 46-33 at the FNB Stadium on Monday afternoon. Two teams both winless in 2016, were both looking to notch up their first victory of the season as UCT and Madibaz did battle at a sunny Soccer City on Monday afternoon. The teams would also be playing for the Morne Taljaard trophy in honour of the late UCT player.
UCT scored early on through Lihleli Xoli, who was their standout player of the match, as he broke the line. Madibaz enjoyed an extended period of pressure early on, really dominating the scrums, but couldn’t convert the pressure into points. But eventually they strung together a fine passage of play, which resulted in a nine-point try by Bradley Janse Van Rensburg.
UCT hit straight back, as Lihleli Xoli gathered the restart and crossed over for another nine-point try. It was 18-9 after 20 minutes. Just seven minutes later, Tyler Paul crossed over for Madibaz, and they were two points back at 16-18.
As the match continued to sway, UCT’s Gary Porter shoved his way over after extended period of possession and UCT were up 23-16 at half-time. The match was evenly balanced until the 54th minute, when a brilliant chip through was gathered by UCT winger Bradley Janse Van Rensburg, who scored a seven-point try. Just before the strategy break Madibaz made the most of some poor UCT defending to cross over and bring scores back to UCT 30-23 Madibaz.
Just after the strategy break, Madibaz’s Junior Pokomela broke four tackles to crash over for a seven-point try and put his side in front for the first time in the match 32-30 with 19 minutes to play. UCT were back in the lead with 13 minutes to play when Thomas Bednall converted a penalty brilliantly to put his side ahead 33-32. But it was Madibaz with a late surge, as two tires in the last 10 minutes took them to victory.
Madibaz earned their first victory of the season, defeating UCT 46-33.
Photo credit: SASPA