Fans left in awe by Springboks prop Ox Nche’s DEMOLITION of Ulster pack

Jared Wright
Ox Nche and Tom O'Toole during the United Rugby Championship (URC) match between the Sharks and Ulster.

Ox Nche and Tom O'Toole during the United Rugby Championship (URC) match between the Sharks and Ulster.

Springboks prop Ox Nche is renowned for his scrummaging prowess and he flexed that during the United Rugby Championship (URC) clash between the Sharks and Ulster.

Heading into the match, the Sharks had won just one of their URC fixtures in 2023/24 that being the 69-14 thrashing of the Dragons back in November.

However, that changed on Saturday as the Durbanites marched to an impressive 22-12 home win over Ulster, promising a change of form from the Springbok-ladened squad.

Ox Nche and Vincent Koch dominate

Paramount to their performance was their dominance in the tight five, with Springboks Ntuthuko Mchunu and Bongi Mbonambi starring in the first half, Hanro Jacobs in the front-row, and Eben Etzebeth and Gerbrandt Grobler behind them.

The Sharks‘ dominance continued unabated in the second half, with the introduction of Nche and Koch by head coach John Plumtree – the latter making his highly anticipated debut for the side since joining from Stade Francais and marking his first appearance since the World Cup semi-final win over England.

In fact, in the pair’s very first scrum since coming onto the pitch, they made their mark by winning a penalty.

Nche showed his power with a drive that forced Ulster’s tighthead to pop out of the scrum, while Koch anchored his side of the front-row against Andrew Warwick, who stood up under pressure.

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Praise for commentary and Sharks scrum

Nche is known for his sweet tooth and mantra “Salads don’t win scrums” and while many praised his and Koch’s efforts in the scrum, the South African commentary team was also hailed for the summation of events.

“What a picture, what a picture! Don’t get confused by the teddy bear look and the smile on his face; it is brute force at scrum time,” marvelled commentator and former Bulls player Mthunzi ‘Fudge’ Mabeta.

“Scrum time especially when you have Bongi Mbonambi in the middle, Ox Nche on the left and Vincent Koch, incredible technique.

“You look at his movement through and work through that scrum, his shape before contact, during and after top notch.”

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Co-commentator Andy Capostagno added: “There is the man that blames it all on cake.”

Mabeta continued: “Look at Vincent Koch and how he just sticks on Bongi Mbonambi, giving no choice to Andrew Warwick taking him completely out of the game and then, it’s just OX NCHE, the picture tells the story.”

Fans lauded Nche as well as the commentary team’s appreciation for the set-piece.

“I have to say SA comms are probably the best in the world, I’ll give them that. Also helps that they have killer names as well. Just sounds better,” Ulster enthusiast Jack Fogarty wrote on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

That was in reply to a clip of the scrum with Riaan Louw’s caption reading: “Commentators loving scrums? Now I love them as well!”

Another post read: “I wish more commentators would be positive and show the value and excitement of a great scrum. Just like impressive skill in any other part of the game.”

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