The 2023 FNB Varsity Cup has been turned upside down with defending champions FNB UP-Tuks relegated to the FNB Varsity Shield for the first time in history after losing to FNB Wits in the penultimate round of this year’s competition.
FNB NWU Eagles are topping the log with FNB Maties in second place and it looks like they will be hosting the two semi-finals. Who their opponents will be, remains to be seen.
Here are our standout players from round 6.
Litha Nkula (FNB UFS Shimlas)
Shimlas ran FNB CUT Ixias ragged in a try fest during the Bloemfontein derby. Fourteen tries were scored, with Shimlas crossing the try line nine times. The boot of Litha Nkula contributed three conversions and one penalty. The number ten’s all-round play was pivotal in sending his backline away towards the whitewash.
Zinedine Robinson (FNB NWU Eagles)
The Eagles were already assured of a place in the playoffs but that didn’t mean they slacked off against FNB UCT Ikeys in Cape Town. They overcame a four-point deficit at halftime to walk away victorious. Zinedine Robinson had a fantastic match, scoring 17 of NWU’s points. His decision-making was on point and he hardly put a foot wrong.
Rowan Malgas (FNB UJ)
For UJ it was all about pride and avoiding moving down a tier in Varsity rugby when they faced FNB Maties at home in Johannesburg. The Orange Army outplayed the Maroon Machine on all levels, with Rowan Malgas a standout among the many star players on the day. While his teammates scored the tries, he converted one after the other.
Mokethi Kabelo (FNB Wits)
Witsies played out of their socks in front of an enthusiastic home crowd to send Tuks packing to Varsity Shield in 2024. Even though the defending champions were on a five-match losing streak, nobody expected a sixth loss. The stellar play of Mokethi Kabelo at flyhalf was critical in how Wits crafted this massive victory. He was deservedly named the Player That Rocks.