Northwood vs Westville 4 May 2019
A physical game that had everyone the edge of their seats, that would be the best way to describe the match that saw Northwood’s 1st XV beat Westville at home 19-15 for the first time in decades.
The visitors were extremely physical upfront and the young Northwood tight 5 did well to lay a solid platform for the backs. With the ball being kicked away too often by the Northwood backs it gave lots of hope to the Griffons who made good ground on the counter.
Fortunately, a small box chip by scrumhalf Luke Cornelius paid off when captain Sasko Ndlovu collected after the chase to go over for the opening try of the match.
Westville made many metres in mid field where their big number 12, Mbambo, had some strong runs up field getting them on the front foot nicely. Westville had missed a few kicks at goal and this saw momentum swing back into the favour of the Knights. Taps Nyangani, the inside centre of the Knights, broke a few tackles of his own on the day, this led to many opportunities to link with Lina Majola at 13 who missed a few passes out wide where Northwood could’ve found themselves a few more tries ahead.
Westville did well to score at the end of the first half making the half time score 5-5.
With the game able to go either way both teams came out even more physical than before, could both sides showing hunger for the win. Fortunately, Sivu Mpendu the number 6 is always wherever the ball is and collected a great pass from a chip and chase to score under the poles making the score 12-5 to the Knights.
Northwood had found a new gear in Onyi John-Osunkwo who replaced injured Sivu Mpendu, the momentum left the Knights missing out on a few chances that they just didn’t capitalize on.
Westville got back quickly and managed a good try of their own taking the game to 12-12. Shortly after Westville received a penalty and took the chance at goal getting the score to 12-15 in favour of the Griffons.
With 7 minutes on the clock Taps Nyangani made a strong break off a set piece scrum and linked up well with Ntokozo Makhaza who was proving dangerous at fullback all game long. Northwood got a try that Ciaran Bigwood slotted from in front of the poles. With continued pressure Northwood did well to hold up a ball carrier resulting in a scrum with just seconds on the clock. The ball was subsequently kicked out and the Knights added a W to their score sheet as they gain even more momentum to take on the last 5 games of the season.
Report by: Mr J Scruby – Northwood Director of Rugby
Picture Credit: Marius Oosthuizen – Northwood Press Club