On the fast, flat stages of the area around Secunda, it came down to scant seconds between the two, as Poulter and Coetzee went into the 14th and final stage with a lead of just 1.2 seconds.
They won that final stage by exactly one second to take the rally by 2.2 seconds.
Also read: Leeroy Poulter dominates Sasol Rally
Behind the two factory crews, Toyota Yaris privateer Ernie van der Walt, with new navigator Gerhard Snyman, got into a real ding-dong for third with Ford Fiesta crew Wilro Dippenaar and Kesevan Naidoo - who surprised everybody by winning Stage 1 - until the Fiesta's alternator cried enough after Stage 10, gifting Van der Walt a comfortable third, his best placing yet in a national rally, and Toyota a clean sweep of the podium.
Things kept going right for Toyota as defending champions Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle made it three wins in a row with a flag-to-flag victory in Class S1600 for front-wheel-drive vehicles with engines up to 1600cc. They also finished fourth overall, ahead of local heroes AC Potgieter and Tommy du Toit in a Volkswagen Polo R2, who were second in Class S1600, and Andrew Heine and Lloyd Brady, in another R2 Polo.
The rally proved very tough on cars - there were just nine finishers out of 21 starters.
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Original source: Secunda thriller goes down to the wire