The mighty FNB TUT Vikings registered their first loss in this year’s Varsity Shield competition last night when they hosted log leaders University of Western Cape in front of a roaring crowd at the TUT Stadium. Following a stimulating start into the competition winning all three matches in row, the Vikings’ winning streak was disturbed by a resilient UWC side that beat them 77-18 in highly competitive clash.
The two sides came into the encounter without any losses in their previous matches, hence rugby analysts dubbing it a “final before the final”.
Both sides came prepared and lived to the high anticipation that was expected of them, it was the visitors who opened with a try literally a minute into the match and scored the conversion.
The Pretoria-based Vikings redeemed themselves shortly after the first strategic break to score their first try, which was converted by right wing Lebohang Chapole. The teams went to the half time break with no points separating the two.
After the break, the tempo went higher as both sides kept searching for a lead. The visitors managed to take the lead again scoring two tries 10 minutes into the second half but the Vikings pulled one back through Arno Brits to reduce the gap, but the visitors were just too resilient and kept on pushing for more tries. The Vikings substitution Bongani Zwane came in with an impressive try but his side failed to convert and the visitors gained confidence to add more tries through their left centre Lyle Hendricks .
“Let’s give credit where credit is due,” said FNB TUT coach Marius Scholtz. “They were quick to capitalize and great in their execution, which clearly shows that they have experience and are a well-balanced team.
“Experience is not only gained by winning, but also through losing. You need to go through tough times to grow and that is exactly what we will take out of this game. Last night meant taking the short route to our goal or the long route and that is it. We will focus on the task ahead and continue with our plans on the way to our goal.”
William Thompson, the Vikings captain, gave credit to FNB UWC on coming up to Pretoria and playing the way they did. He said every time they started to gain momentum they were able to stop them which was really a massive blow resulting in his team becoming negative.
William insisted that at the same time he is also happy that the visitors were able to perform as they did so that they may know what is expected from them in the next coming games and when they play them again.
“We were unable to make this hurdle but the race isn’t over yet and we can still achieve our goals. We need to forget what happened last night and start preparing for another big game at Walter Sisulu University this Thursday,” he said.
FNB Player of the Match: Lyle Hendricks (FNB UWC)
FNB TUT: 18
Tries: Lebohang Chapole, Arno Brits, Bongani Zwane
Conversions: Miche Grownewald
FNB UWC: 77
Tries: Tristan Leyds, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Mark Bright, Eugene Grootboom, Reece Bocks, Justin Thys, Jacques Van Zyl, Lyle Hendricks, Carlton Fortune (2)
Conversions: Lyle Hendricks (9)
FNB TUT: 15 Jason Makhari, 14 Lebohang Chapole, 13 Matthew Mpofu, 12 Miche Grownewald, 11 Arno Brits, 10 Sandile Sibande, 9 Marco Michau, 8 Mpho Kganakga, 7 Johan Du Preez, 6 Zavien Klassen, 5 William Thompson, 4 Andre O neil, 3 Reginald Standers, 2 Rudan De Lange, 1 Leon Etsebeth
Substitutes: 16 Dalton Dreyer, 17 JJ Nelson. Keagan Das Neves, 18 Lean Smit, 19 Andile Ngonyama, 20 Simon Prinsloo, 21 Bongani Mtshali, 22 Bongwane Zwane, 23 Sandiso Kolisi.
FNB UWC: 15 Tristan Leyds, 14Kurt-Lee Arendse Jesse Herbert, 13 Lubelo Scott, 12 Lyle Hendricks, 11 Mujaahid Van Der Hoven , 10 Aidynn Cupido, 9 Clayton Daniels, 8 Adrian Paarwater, 7 Mark Bright, 6 Eugene Grootboom, 5 Reece Bocks, 4 Alwyn Carstens, 3 Justin Theys, 2 Jacque Van Zyl, 1 Muammir Salie.
Substitutes: 16 Athi Magwala, 17 Bradley Jumaats, 18 Hadley Hendricks, 19 Angelo Rossouw, 20 Branden De Kock, 21 Keagan Fortune, 22 Carton Fortune, 23 Hendrik Calitz.