FNB UWC made history in Cape Town as they defeated FNB UFH 39-18 to win not only the contest, but promotion to Varsity Cup as well.
The hosts got off to a great start after sustained pressure led to hooker Justin Theys barging his way over the try line. Lyle Hendricks converted to give his side an 8-0 lead. Fullback Tristan Leyds got his side’s second converted try of the match through a break through the middle of the field, extending his side’s lead to 16-0 after seven minutes.
The visitors responded in the 12th minute through a well-worked try from Lonwabo Ntsundwane who would have been disappointed to see the conversion missed, 16 – 5. The Bushies distanced themselves even further with a powering try from Mark Bright which took his side to 24 points after the conversion.
Sokhaba Mpemba pulled one back for Fort Hare but Reece Bocks ensured UWC had the final say of the half with an immediate response on the stroke of halftime, taking the scores to 29 – 13 at the break. Speedster Kurt-Lee Arendse was not to be left out the action as the winger bagged a try of his own in the 44th minute. Hendricks failed to convert, leaving the score at 34 – 13.
The visitors refused to go down without a fight and Sibongile Novuka flew down the wing for his own five-pointer. Richards’ conversion went wide as the hosts maintained a 34-18 lead with 15 minutes remaining on the clock.
The Bushies were smelling blood and continued to threaten the UFH try line. Alwayn Carstens broke the visitors’ resistance with his first try of the light. Unfortunately, the conversion was missed, leaving the scores at 39-18 with 10 minutes remaining.
The hosts managed to hold on and claim their most important victory yet, earning them promotion to the Varsity Cup.
FNB Player That Rocks: Kurt-Lee Arendse (FNB UWC)
FNB UWC: 39
Tries: Jacque Van Zyl, Tristan Leyds, Mark Bright, Reece Bocks, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Alwyn Carstens
Conversions: Lyle Hendricks (3)
FNB UFH: 18
Tries: Lonwabo Ntsundwani, Sokhana Mpemba, Sibongile Novuka
Conversions: Keenan Richards
FNB UWC: 15. Tristan Leyds, 14. Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13. Lubelo Scott, 12. Lyle Hendricks, 11. Mujaahid Vasn Der Hoven, 10. Aidynn Cupido, 9. Clayton Daniels, 8. Adrian Paarwater, 7. Mark Bright, 6. Athi Magwala, 5. Reece Bocks, 4. Alwyn Carstens, 3. Justin Theys, 2. Jacque Van Zyl, 1. Bradley Jumaats.
Replacements: 16. Luan Du Randt, 17. Luvo Bazi, 18. Lebohang Mokane, 19. Angelo Rossouw, 20. Hadley Hendricks, 21. Keagan Fortune, 22. Darren Japhta, 23. Branden De Kock.
FNB UFH: 15. Novuka Sibongile, 14. Sinethemba Mkaza, 13. Jonathan Booysen, 12. Lazola Hleli, 11. Sikhokele Buhlungu, 10. Keenan Richards, 9. Lindokuhle Kenene, 8. Sokhana Mpemba, 7. Chuma Biyana, 6. Lukhanyiso Tosholwane, 5. Philisani Ncoko, 4. Lwando Nteta, 3. Thabo Ntunja, 2. Mkhonto Caku-Caku, 1. Edwin Nxumalo.
Replacements: 16. Mzingabantu Nkohla, 17. Anele Nkohla, 18. Bulelani Mdodana, 19. Sibusiso Gwexana, 20. Yamnkela Mzozoyana, 21. Yamnkela Mahintsho, 22. Lonwabo Ntsundwani, 23. Curtley Christoffels.