FNB Varsity Shield
The FNB UFH Blues dedicated their epic FNB Varsity Shield victory against champions FNB CPUT on Friday night to their deceased director of rugby, Elliot Fana.
The Blues beat the Capetonians 16-14 on their home patch in Bellville after FNB CPUT sharpshooter Feghon Snyders failed to convert a penalty goal after the hooter.
Speaking to VarsityCup.co.za after the match, Fort Hare hooker and captain Kamvilehle Fatyela spoke glowingly about Fana, who tragically lost his life in a car accident on 22 March.
“I’m very emotional right now,” said Fatyela. “It was a tough game but we managed to pull it through. We had to win this game for Elliot Fana. We honour him with this victory.”
Fana played a pivotal role in the development of Springboks Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi during their time at the Border Bulldogs when Fana was head coach.
He was also an influential figure for many of the Blues players.
“Mr Fana was more than a coach or administrator to us. He was a father figure and mentor,' said Fatyela. 'The least we could do is honour him by getting a victory at CPUT’s home ground where they haven’t lost for so long.
"We’re heading home now to the Eastern Cape to attend the funeral of Mr Fana, who was our hero.”
The visitors took the lead late in the game when centre Migobo Bovu scored a long-range intercept try in the 78th minute to take a slender two-point lead.
The Tekkies, spurred on by a boisterous crowd, won a penalty after the subsequent kick-off but Snyders’ kick in windy conditions went marginally wide.
“I was nervous at the end but somehow we managed to pull it through,” said Fatyela. “CPUT are a top team and have won back-to-back Varsity Shield titles.
I'm very happy with the result and couldn’t be prouder of my boys.”
By Shafiek Mouton
Main photo: Luigi Bennett/ASEM Engage