There were upsets galore in the MTC Rugby Premier League on Saturday as the top three teams were all beaten at home.
United lost 26-25 to Rehoboth, Wanderers lost 22-19 to Mariental and Reho Falcon lost 35-34 to Unam.
United will rue some poor goalkicking by flyhalf Tuna Amutenya that saw them lose by a single point to Rehoboth at United’s home ground in Olympia.
Amutenya took over the goalkicking after fullback Robert Herrdige went off injured, but missed three conversions in the second half that eventually proved decisive.
Rehoboth flyhalf McGeechan Christians succeeded with three penalties to one by United fullback Robert Herridge, and when Rehoboth fullback Desmond Snyders jinxed over for a converted try Rehoboth were leading 16-3.
United reduced the gap through a try by eighthman Morne Blom but Rehoboth struck back with a converted try by John Tobie van Wyk to stretch their lead to 23-6 at the break.
United started the second half in great style with tries by flanker Morten van Kradenburg and hooker Shaun du Preez to cut Rehoboth’s lead to 26-18.
United had most of the possession but struggled to break through some spirited defence by Rehoboth.
United’s pressure finally paid off in the final minutes when scrumhalf Herman Stroh took a tap penalty and raced through for a try, and although Amutenya added the conversion, Rehoboth still held a one-point lead.
In the final minute, United winger Arthur Bouwer cut through Rehoboth’s backline to send Stroh over for a try, but the referee ruled that the ball had been knocked on and the try was disallowed, as Rehoboth held on for the win.
At the Wanderers field Mariental caused a big upset when they beat Wanderers 22-19.
Mariental took the game to the hosts from the start and tries by eighthman Riaan Louw and centre Johan Adriaanse saw them taking a 12-0 lead after 20 minutes. Wanderers opened their account through a try by scrumhalf PJ van Wyk but a penalty by fullback Fabian Routh gave Mariental a 15-7 lead a the break.
Mariental stretched their lead to 22-7 after a converted try by flyhalf Morne Blaauw, and then defended superbly as Wanderers tried to come back into the match. The hosts scored two late tries, one by flanker Angelo Engelbrecht, but it was not enough as Mariental hung on for a shock victory.
The defending league champions Reho Falcon also suffered a shock defeat going down 35-34 to Unam in Rehoboth. It was Unam’s second consecutive victory on the road, after they beat Mariental 12-10 a fortnight ago.
At Suburbs Park, Western Suburbs recorded a comfortable 29-3 victory against Kudus.
Suburbs scored four tries by fullback Shaun Kaizemi, lock Virgil Bester, eighthman Brandon Walters and hooker Rathony Becker, while centre Justin Nel added nine points with the boot.
Aurelio Plato scored a penalty for Kudus.