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Eagles crowned 2023 FNB Varsity Cup champions

FNB NWU Eagles claimed their second FNB Varsity Cup title with a hard-fought 27-25 victory over FNB UCT Ikeys at the Fanie du Toit Sports Ground in Potchefstroom.

First-half tries from Vernon Paulo (2) and Tino Swanepoel, converted by Zinedine Robinson gave the Eagles the edge heading into halftime. Robinson also landed a penalty. Ntokozo Makhaza was successful with three penalties but it wasn’t enough as the home team went to the break with a 20-9 lead.

Ikeys made their intent clear at the start of the second half, coming out all guns blazing and scoring a quick point-of-origin try through Reynhardt Crous to make it 20-18. The Eagles remained under pressure for much of the half with the visitors being relentless on attack.

Tino Swanepoel showed why he was voted as the FNB Player That Rocks in the semi-final against FNB Maties last week as he scored a try to get the Eagles out of a difficult position, making it 27-18.

Ikeys however continued with the pressure and a late try by Jac van der Walt made it a two-point game at 27-25. Had a few balls gone to hand and the ball bounced their way, it may have been a different outcome.

In the end, the Eagles held their nerve to lift the coveted Varsity Cup trophy for the second time after they first did so back in 2016.

FNB NWU Eagles 27 (20) – Tries: Vernon Paulo (2), Tino Swanepoel (2). Conversions: Zinedine Robinson (2). Penalty: Robinson.

FNB UCT Ikeys 25 (9) – Tries: Reynhardt Crous (POR), Jac van der Walt. Conversions: Ntokozo Makhaza (2). Penalties: Makhaza (3).

FNB Player That Rocks: Reynhardt Crous (UCT Ikeys)

FNB NWU Eagles: 15 Swanepoel Tino Santino, 14 Windvogel Keano Ricardo, 13 Pretorius Theunis Gerhardus, 12 Phatudi I. S. Vincent Phatudi, 11 Jaarts Naiden, 10 Robinson Zinedine, 9 Hassien Sylvester, 8 Erlank Gustav Zacharias, 7 Bertram Karl-Heinz Henlein, 6 Vermaak Chris, 5 Nel Wihan, 4 Krugel Stephan, 3 Swiegers Ruan (Sampie), 2 Paulo Vernon, 1 du Plessis Ruben.

FNB UCT Ikeys: 15 Koevort Duran, 14 Louw Rethabile, 13 Boulle Joshua, 12 Lamb Kyle, 11 Makhaza Ntokoza, 10 Hayes David, 9 Moos Asad, 8 Delport Laro, 7 Ndiao Kyle, 6 Dyonase Siphumezo, 5 van der Westhuizen George, 4 Crous Reynhardt, 3 le Roux Bryan, 2 Blanckenberg Keagan, 1 Woji Luthando.

by Lesiba Dikhoba

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