Following a five-game losing start to the season, FNB Shimlas finally found a way to win on Monday, with their hooker Hanno Snyman the unexpected hero.
Shimlas claimed a 26-25 victory over FNB UJ to leave the Orange Army as the only winless team remaining in the 2020 season and in desperate battle to retain their FNB Varsity Cup status with three rounds of action remaining. At the same time, the hosts (who donned their deep red alternate jersey) ended any relegation fears their indifferent start to the season had prompted – neither UJ, nor FNB UWC, can now overtake them on the combined 2019-2020 log which will determine the relegation candidates.
WHY SHIMLAS ARE SAFE: FNB Varsity Cup 2019-2020 Combined Log as it stands
That all was secondary to the unusual end to the game – with UJ believing they had won, and initially being confirmed as such by the on-site refereeing team, before being overruled on appeal.
“It was a very very tight game, but luckily at the end of the day – with a bit of controversy – we pulled it through,” Snyman matter-of-factly told varsitycup.co.za while reflecting on the game at practice on Wednesday.
THE TOUR VISITS BLOEM: What happened when Oupa Mohoje returned to Shimla Park?
Column inches and social media debates notwithstanding, it would be wrong for the Point-of-Origin rule and it’s influence on a confusing end to the Shimlas-UJ clash to take away from Snyman’s performance. After all, the fourth year BEd Senior Phase student (who reaches the eligibility age of 25 on April 18), scored four tries.
Asked if he ever has or expected to dot down that many times in a game, Snyman’s answer does not surprise… especially considering he’s a hooker (with pink boots nogal!).
WATCH HOW SNYMAN SCORED HIS FOUR TRIES: FNB Shimlas vs FNB UJ highlights
“Ja definitely not, it just happened! It was a team effort… rather a pack of forwards effort, but, I’ll take it.”
With a trip to playoff-chasing FNB UCT next up in Round 7, the Shimlas will undoubtedly need more than the modus operandi for Snyman’s tries if they are to now climb the table with back-to-back wins.
“Looking at UCT's highlights against FNB Maties this past Monday it’s going to be a tough game down in Cape Town, especially at the ‘Green Mile’ with the strong Cape Town wind,” Snyman reckons.
At the very least, Shimlas now know what winning feels like again, and free from the shackles relegation possibilities seemed to pose who can guess who might be their next hero…