FNB KUDUS regained the lead in the Rugby Premier League title race when they stunned former log leaders FNB Wanderers 29-25 at the Wanderers field on Saturday.
Fullback Lloyd Jacobs was the star of the show, scoring three of Kudus’ five tries, but it was a great defensive team effort that ensured their victory, while inflicting Wanderers’ first defeat of the season.
In a high-tempo encounter of all out action, the momentum swung throughout, with the lead changing hands several times.
Wanderers took an early lead through a penalty by flyhalf Elmarco Beukes, but Kudus soon struck back when centre Justin Newman collected a chip kick to dot down and with Kyle Wentzel adding the conversion they went 7-3 ahead.
Kudus kept on attacking, laying siege to Wanderers’ try line, and after lock Tertius Arangies and eighthman Lezardo Vos were just held up, Arangies finally barged over for an unconverted try midway through the first half.
Barely a minute later Wanderers struck back as Beukes cut through the backline to touch down and added the conversion to reduce the deficit to 12-10.
Kudus continued attacking and could have stretched their lead when they won a penalty, but Wentzel missed a relatively easy attempt that drifted wide.
At the end of the first half the momentum had once again shifted to Wanderers, who bashed away at Kudus’ line, but committed defence kept them out.
Wanderers regained the lead at the start of the second half when Bredell Wessels went over for a try after a great run by Nandi Karuuombe, but Kudus soon struck back with Jacobs going over for his first try after selling a great dummy that caught Wanderers’ defence napping.
Wanderers once again regained the lead at 22-17 when flanker Darius van Solms barged over from a quick tap penalty, but Kudus struck back and when Jacobs went over for his second try after a backline overlap, the teams were level at 22-all.
Wentzel once again missed an easy penalty attempt, and Wanderers seemed to have sealed the win when Denzo Bruwer put over a penalty with four minutes remaining.
Kudus, however, came back with a vengeance and after winning a penalty they spurned the chance to go level, instead running the ball, and their gamble paid off as Jacobs once again flummoxed the defence with a great dummy to go over for his third try, to seal a famous victory and send the Kudus fans wild with elation.
The win put Kudus at the top of the log on 24 points, while Wanderers are now second on 22.
FNB Unam, meanwhile, went third on 19 points after beating FNB Reho Falcons 28-19 in Rehoboth, with hooker Jeandre Cloete scoring three tries and wing Shareave Titus one, while fullback Aljareau Zaahl added four conversions.
For Falcons, scrumhalf Enrique Husselmann scored a try and conversion, while fullback Franklin Busch added four penalties.
FNB Western Suburbs went fourth on 15 points after a valuable 20-14 away win against FNB Grootfontein.
Prop Andrew Shikoneni and wing Morgan Esterhuizen scored tries, while flyhalf Justin Nel converted both and added two more penalties.
Grootfontein scored a penalty try and another try by prop Adriaan Potgieter and conversion by centre Dehan Reynders.
Rehoboth moved up to fifth position on 11 points after a 43-34 away win against Trustco United.
In a high-scoring match, both teams scored six tries, but United’s goal kicking let them down as they could only convert two of their six tries, while Rehoboth converted five.
United’s try scorers were JD Nel and Thomas Kali, who both scored two, and Mbiri Mbai and Eloff du Plessis, while Chris Arries added two conversions.
For Rehoboth, Jeandre Loubser and Francois Visagie scored two tries each, and Nando Denlinger and Udo Mall one each, while Geraldo Beukes added four conversions, Miguel Busch one conversion, and Dilhen Daries a penalty.