The Pumas picked up a bonus point for losing by less than seven points. The homeside recorded first points of the match with a converted try in the first minute of the game. The visitors did not sit back, as they were granted two penalties within a space of five minutes that flyhalf Khaya Gala slotted over.
They continued to put pressure on Langa and it paid off when Aphelele Bangani went over for his side’s first try of the game while Gala was bang on target with his conversion.
But it was Langa that ended the half on a high, as Simpra Yam scored his second try of the game. Although Nkululeko Feks missed his conversion, he made up for it by slotting a penalty over just before the whistle blew for half-time.
Langa led 15-13 at the break. Masiphumelele recorded first points in the second half with a converted try. Langa, however, responded immediately with a converted try to take a 22-20 lead.
Fullback Athenkosi Dike slotted home a penalty for Masiphumelele, which meant a nail-biting end to the game. Langa winger Kanya Gonya drop-goal in the five minutes before the final whistle which was enough for his side to secure victory.
Masiphumelele coach Siya Mkiva said he believes his team played well despite the narrow defeat.
“All we needed was to have patience on the ball. We played well but needed to make the correct decisions on field. There were a few times that we led Langa and I believe that was where we had to capitalise and take the game away from them,” he said.
Masiphumelele has not been having the best of seasons as they have lost all eight matches but picked up five bonus points. Mkiva said that although his team is playing good rugby, a lack of concentration is costing them. “That first victory of the season will come, we just have to be patient and keep on believing. Most of our matches have been close defeats because of losing focus more to the end of the game. We are going into the mid-season break now and we will work on these issues and hopefully turn our season around,” he said.
Mkiva said the side main goal is to remain in SLC and to finish in the top eight. “We will not get ahead of ourselves but we can reach this goal as anything is possible. My players showed a great fighting spirit against Langa. We just need to brush up our mistakes. If we can do that we can reach our goals” he said.
Meanwhile, Langa Coach Wandisile Myokwana said despite his side’s victory, the game was not easy. “They (Masiphumelele) gave us a good run for our money and played well. We made a lot of errors and they disrupted most parts of our game,” he said.
Masiphumelele will travel to Kraaifontein to face Scottsdene Central, on Saturday July 16, following a four-week mid-season break.
In other SLC action, Elsies River United beat Blue Jets 31-17, Kylemore beat Lagunya 34-28; Raithby Universals beat Silverleaf 30-14; Paarl beat Scottsdene Central 36-17; Young Stars beat Hamediehs 26-16 and; Rangers beat Franschhoek United 30-21.