There was no love lost on Valentine’s Day when defending FNB Varsity Shield champions FNB CPUT hosted FNB WSU in Bellville, only for the latter to deliver a shock by winning an entertaining game 22-12.
The All Blacks dominated the set-pieces and were well deserved victors in the end.
The game started at a rapid pace with both sides looking to play running rugby. The visitors gained the early ascendency especially at scrum time and took a deserved 3-0 lead after 15 minutes when fullback Litha Nkula slotted a penalty.
The All Blacks had a strong wind at their backs and together with their domination in the scrums set up camp in FNB CPUT’s red zone. The home team somehow survived the continued onslaught on their line and eventually got out when captain Lunathi Nxele took a quick tap from a penalty and stormed upfield.
FNB CPUT threatened FNB WSU’s line for 5 minutes before halftime but would have been happy going into the break trailing by 0-3 only. The visitors’ Tebogo Madigoe (wing) earned a yellow card and was sent to the #AfkoelStoel just before the break.
Thokozani Ngodwana (hooker) joined Madigoe on the #Afkoelstoel just after halftime but that seemed to spur his teammates on and flyhalf Lwandile Mapuko ran 70 metres to score after intercepting a FNB CPUT pass.
The home team then send the large crowd into a frenzy when fullback Mueez Damon scored after slick handling from the Tekkies. The match when into the final strategy break in the balance with the All Blacks leading the exciting game by 10-7
A late try by scrumhalf Anathi Senxhani sealed the deal for the All Blacks. Tauriq Gamieldien (wing) scored a consolation try in the final minute but by that time the horse had bolted.
FNB WSU’s Mapuko (flyhalf) and Nkula (fullback) had strorming games whilst Butsha Mputa and Muller van der Westhuizen (flankers) played their hearts out for the Tekkies. Nxele was also colossal in the first half but didn’t reappear after halftime after picking up an injury.
FNB Player That Rocks: Lamkela Nyembe (FNB WSU)
Steers Kinging Award: Lwandile Mapuko (FNB WSU)
FNB CPUT: 12 (0)
Tries: Mueez Damon, Tauriq Gamieldien
Conversion: Feghon-Leigh Snyders
FNB WSU: 22 (3)
Tries: Lwandile Mapuko, Anathi Senxhani, Siphosihle Magawu
Conversions: Litha Nkula 2
Penalties: Litha Nkula 2
FNB CPUT: 15. Mueez Damon, 14. Tauriq Gamieldien, 13. Randy Brinkhuis, 12. Lunathi Nxele (captain), 11. Keenan Williams, 10. Feghan-Leigh Snyders, 9. George-Lee Erasmus, 8. Siyasanga Ngubelanga, 7. Muller van der Westhuizen, 6. Butsha Mputa, 5. Bradley van Boven, 4. Carlo van Greunen, 3. Itumeleng Mononyane, 2. Francois Bruwer, 1. De-Angelo Williams.
Replacements: 16. Bekithemba Gqibithole, 17 Jean van Wyk, 18. Phumlani Mkhaliphi, 19. Shaurick Blom, 20. Leonard van den Heever, 21. Hugan Engelbrecht, 22. Branden Douries, 23. Imibongo Vabasa.
Coach: Alastair Theys
FNB WSU: 15. Litha Nkula, 14. Wanga Shumi, 13. Scelo Tole, 12. Yamkela Nyembe, 11. Tebogo Madigoe, 10. Lwandile Mapuko, 9. Anathi Shenxane, 8. Mihlali Mosi, 7. Ayabonga Ntaba, 6. Siphosihle Magawu (captain), 5. Hlomla Payi, 4. Bonginkosi Ngqushwa, 3. Xolani Loki, 2. Thokozani Ngodwana, 1. Xolani Jacobs.
Replacements: 16. Zanokuhle Nkabi, 17. Lwando ZInto, 18. Hlumelo Nondonga, 19. Ayabulela Zono, 20. Mankoe Mokonenyana, 21. Siphenkosi Goloza, 22. Sinegugu Lituka, 23. Damon Sinuka.
Coach: Akhona Mgijima