Stingers defend their Championship Title

 Tshuma Stingers sacrificed their home ground advantage to play in a central venue at UJ West Sport and allow young stars from all over Johannesburg’s rugby clubs to witness the 2018 Grand Challenge Final. Midrand’s very own junior club boys were present to witness the Stingers solidify what has become a winning culture of the club. Their enthusiasm was felt by our gallant troops as they took to the field. They were that invisible sixteenth man.

That atmosphere was electric! The hard working staff at Tshuma Stingers took their places on the side of the field and braced themselves to watch their immaculately conditioned boys relive the pressure and excitement of playing the Cup Final with a resolute determination to win. Kagiso were on a high after knocking out Southern Knights at the semis and were burning with fortitude to put up a worthy fight in the finals.

Their determination could not however deny the mighty Stingers from taking the lead before the halftime whistle, with Divine Kawadza crossing the whitewash for the opening try. Lwando Yiliwe wasted no time in finding the upright to convert the try for two points. Stingers forward pack was the most physical, dominating the scrums and winning the majority of line outs in the game. At break the Stingers lead Kagiso 7 – 0.

The second half saw men willing to sacrifice life and limb in an epic battle where not one side wanted to emerge a looser. A change of mind saw Stingers take charge of the game. There’s no doubt the formidable Stingers coach contingent of Lofty Tyebileyo, Vusi Barry Nkosi, Jean Patrick Sissing and Mfundo Ngubane called for far greater composure for the second half.

The last half saw great display of quality offloads in contact from impact player Rofhiwa Mundalamo and number two player Vuyo Bacela who also took his share of picking up the score board by breaching the oppositions defence to score under the posts.

Calm and uncompromising defence played a major role in allowing Tshuma Stingers to perform under pressure throughout the season and that was the order of the day in the finals. Kagiso built up some pressure but that did not change the defending Champion’s intentions of lifting the cup again. Kagiso had a sniff of a brief lead but this was thwarted by the unyielding Stingers who deployed the well drilled tactics to break the gain line and proceeded to win the game 21-19.

The mighty Stingers were crowned Champions of the Golden Lions Senior Grand Challenge for the 2018 rugby season amidst the cheering crowds and the popping of champagne bottles. The Midrand Junior Rugby Club boys loved seeing their rugby idols lift the cup. They were also given an opportunity to hold the cup with strict instructions on continuing the culture of the club.

Taking a deep victory breath Head Coach Sifundile Lofty Tyebileyo congratulated his players for the perfect display of great character: “You can achieve anything that you aim for in life. I am very excited for the next season and can’t wait to do it again.”

The road to defending the cup was not an easy one. Tshuma Stingers is ecstatic that when the dust settled, this Grand Challenge campaign and overall season was a success.

Mr Ndumiso Tshuma founder and CEO of the Tshuma Stingers thanked the coaching staff and congratulated the winning team for their remarkable success throughout the season:

“Our team from management to coaches to players, right through, are incredible. What a culture. Growing beautiful young men who are such positive role models for our kids. We made a promise to defend the cup and we delivered on that promise. You can definitely take our word when we say we will come with even greater determination in 2019.”

Further Mr Ndumiso extended his gratitude to the supporters, and match officials who braved the windy and very cold weather to see the mighty Stingers show the mind-set of winners the second year in succession. Cheers to the Champions!