Itembelihle of PE vs Union High of GR
MATCH REPORT: Itembelihle secured a remarkable win over Union High.
Itembelihle blitzed Union in the first ten minutes, scoring two good tries. First scrumhalf Makweila Mnyungula, broke from a ruck to score close to the poles. Centre Lotto Kete converted.
Five minutes later, Mnyungula broke again, and, when stopped, No.8 Kwi Tshaka was there to take the pass and score under the poles for Kete to convert.
Union High now recovered from this early setback, and came back in the game, mauling and hitting us with their forwards from second phase. Their No.8 broke through and passed to their flyhalf who scored an unconverted try.
Now it was our chance to attack and we were awarded a penalty on their 10-metre line, which centre Kete converted.
Union High regained the ball from the kick-off and came for us. The referee now penalised my side heavily, and Union High kept on kicking for the corners to set up their driving maul, but they simply could not get over the line. From a ruck close to our line their flank fell over for an unconverted try. We went in at half-time, leading 17-10, and I knew that we had to score first to stop Union High from getting too confident.
From the kick off Union High attacked relentlessly but the stern defence kept them out. For the next twenty minutes nobody could score, with Union High controlling territory and possession.
They camped in our half, but we managed to get a penalty on our try-line and we kicked it out, won the lineout, and attacked. Lock Du Preez and flank Simamkele Gqala were prominent in giving us, “go forward” ball. Scrumhalf Mnyungula broke blind in their 22 and fed flyhalf Ntsiko Jonas, who drew two defenders before passing to wing Sbu Mbatyoti, who used his pace and sidestep, to break through the defence to score an unconverted try.
Five minutes later, we launched an attack from our own 22, with lock Afro Tola getting through a gap. Fullback Odwa Shuwana joined the line and fed wing Mbatyoti, who came from the other side to round the wing and fullback, for a try under the poles, Kete converted.
Union High would not give up and came back at us. They were awarded a penalty inside our half and kicked for the corner, again their maul couldn’t get over, but their wing Junior Duba cut around the blindside to score a converted try under the poles.
Now the game swung up and down the field, with Union High trying to run the ball at us, but when they lost possession in our 22, we counterattacked. Centre Shoun Oniwe, was almost through, and when Mbatyoti came into the line, they just managed to stop him.
From a scrum on their ten-metre line, No.8 Simamkele Gqala broke wide and, when stopped, popped the ball over the opponents’ heads to flank Akhona Sonti, who broke through a couple of tackles for a converted try under the poles. We now led 36-17.
Union High tried their best to score one more try, but the resolute defending kept them out. The final whistle then blew and we had scored a great victory against a very good side.
By Theo Pieterse, Itembelihle’s coach