FNB TUT managed to out-muscle FNB Rhodes to gain a 7-3 win in Makhanda on Friday evening.
Students and the Grahamstown community were buzzing as the FNB Rhodes side entered their third inaugural FNB Varsity Shield tournament, hosting FNB TUT. FNB TUT got the edge last time out in Pretoria, winning 25-17 against FNB Rhodes.
The game started with FNB Rhodes’s Bukhosi Mhlambiso getting sent off with a knee injury. Despite the injury, FNB Rhodes ramped up the pressure on FNB TUT, but that tide quickly turned. FNB TUT quickly found their rhythm and started disrupting FNB Rhodes’ set pieces and throw-ins to steal possession from dangerous positions.
FNB TUT’s backline worked the side up the field gloriously, and after a penalty punt into touch, FNB TUT put the final touches to a gloriously worked try from Mauritz Maritz who converted to make it a 0-7 lead in the first eight minutes.
FNB TUT continued to dominate the game and put pressure onto the home side. But FNB Rhodes turned a corner, mounting pressure onto FNB TUT, who then conceded a penalty that allowed Sandile Mantantana to convert for FNB Rhodes, making it 3-7.
FNB Rhodes, although fighting back, were unable to secure a long round of possession. They lost all but one of their many lineouts on FNB TUT’s 22 metre line where pressure was palpable and were unable to capitalise on counter attacks of their own.
FNB Rhodes had a whole string of chances to go ahead and get their first try of the season and game, but they failed, even after a brilliant cross-kick from Matt Royle saw a near try come along, but FNB TUT held to avoid conceding, just before half time, score remaining 3-7 to the away side.
For FNB Rhodes, the chances to win were numerous and many, and they were unlucky to not come away with a win, but a loss, even though their extraordinary efforts dictated they were capable of getting a first home win in the FNB Varsity Shield.
FNB Rhodes’ next fixture is against FNB Fort Hare, a side they edged out 13-12 at the Eastern Caoe Double Derby in 2019. FNB TUT will host FNB Varsity Shield 2019 champions FNB CPUT next week.
FNB Player That Rocks: Maritz Mauritz (FNB TUT)
Steers Kinging Award: Sino Ralo (FNB Rhodes)
FNB Rhodes: 3 (7)
Penalty: Sandile Mantantana
FNB TUT: 7 (7)
Try: Maritz Mauritz
Conversion: Maritz Mauritz
FNB Rhodes: 1 Sino Ralo (captain), 2 Athenkosi Nkewana, 3 Tatenda Tichiwangana, 4 Simon Cowley, 5 Sithembele Njokweni, 6 Lutho Selem, 7 Damian Hilpert, 8 Bradley van Heerden, 9 Cameron Amos, 10 Sandile Mantantana, 11 Matthew Royle, 12 Ntsika Ndungane, 13 Damian Morrow, 14 Simelela Mbanzi, 15 Bukhosi Mhlambiso.
Replacements: 16 Uzuqaqambe Nyanda, 17 Siyolise Qupe, 18 Odwa Xonxa, 19 Christopher Renwick, 20 Ongeziwe Shumi, 21 Viwe Makeleni, 22 Nicholas Butler, 23 Siyavuya Nqezo.
Coach: Carlos Katywa
FNB TUT: 1 Goabaona Mokone, 2 Joseph Kwinda, 3 Jakobus Roos, 4 Gerhardus van der Westhuizen, 5 Handro Horn, Rhudi Pretorius, 7 Laro Delport, 8 Mpho Kganakga (captain), 9 Michael Jacobs, 10 Mauritz Maritz, 11 Wandile Shabalala, 12 Musawenkosi Sili, 13 Nathan Nienaber, 14 Nhlalala Sithole, 15 Lusanda Xakwana.
Replacements: 16 Zandreé Nieuwoudt, 17 Lawrence Nong, 18 Andile Ngonyama, 19 Anré O'Neill, 20 Kazadi Mukendi, 21 Lungelo Mvelase, 22 Buhlebuyeza Ndunakazi, 23 Melusi Ndwandwe.
Coach: Kaya Malotana