The FNB Maties delivered a workmanlike performance en route to their 62-24 victory over FNB CUT at the Danie Craven Stadium on Monday night.
The crowd was sparser than the season-opener and the wind was tough, but the men in maroon played some of their most disappointing rugby in quite a while. The team had a bye week to prepare but looked rusty and after the first quarter they held a slender 5-0 lead courtesy of a try from leftwing Anton du Toit. CUT though caught the hosts napping when number 8 Hardus Nel scored with flyhalf Charles Williams converting.
It was Du Toit who scored again shortly thereafter and as the try had originated in the Maties half of the field it counted for seven points and suddenly the score was 12-7. The poor goal-kicking from the Maroon Machine continued when veteran wing Munier Hartzenberg went over for his first try of the evening (also a point-of-origin score), making it 19-7 just before the break. The last action of the half saw a penalty try awarded after the Ixias illegally held up an advancing Maties maul (for which lock Jacques Ackerman earned 10 minutes on the Afkoelstoel) and the whistle went with the home team leading 26-7 and having wrapped up the try-scoring bonus point before the break.
After the break, Du Toit was again the spark and he scored his hat-trick try with a superb effort. A conversion finally was added by flyhalf Reinhardt Fortuin when he converted his own try shortly thereafter and at 38-7 Maties had the result sewn up after just 46 minutes of play. Du Toit scored a remarkable fourth try and Fortuin converted to make it 45-7 and Maties' coaching staff sent on their contingent of replacements.
Another try by the bearded wonder Hartzenberg made it 50-7 before CUT struck back courtesy of two tries by replacements Matthew Sekele and Rassie Breedt. The Breedt try was a point-of-origin try and narrowed the gap to 50-19 after 66 minutes of action.
The final scoring of the night saw Maties' replacement scrumhalf Luciano Elias dive over before the visitors' Jan Kotze scored a fourth and bonus point clinching try. A late penalty try was just reward for some determined Maties attack and would have seen a wry smile on the faces of the home coaching staff.
Maties (who are third with a game in hand) travel to battle FNB UWC in a Cape derby next week with FNB CUT hosting FNB UCT in Bloemfontein, with both teams knowing there is a lot of work to do in the next seven days!
FNB Player That Rocks: Anton du Toit (FNB Maties)
Steers Kinging Award: Rassie Breedt (FNB CUT)
FNB Maties: 62 (26)
Tries: Anton du Toit 4 (1 point-of-origin), Munier Hartzenberg 2 (1 point-of-origin), Penalty Try 2, Reinhardt Fortuin, Luciano Elias
Conversions: Reinhardt Fortuin 2
FNB CUT: 24 (7)
Tries: Hardus Nel, Matthew Sekele, Rassie Breedt (point-of-origin), Jan Kotze
Conversions: Charles Williams 2
FNB Maties: 1 Dian Bleuler, 2 HJ Luus, 3 Sazi Sandi, 4 Zirk Jansen, 5 Ben-Jason Dixon (captain), 6 Gift Dlamini, 7 Driaan Bester, 8 Marcel Theunissen, 9 Remu Malan, 10 Reinhardt Fortuin, 11 Anton du Toit, 12 Waqar Solaan, 13 David Brits, 14 Munier Hartzenberg, 15 Adriaan van der Bank.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ricky Nwagbara, 18 Leon Lyons, 19 Albert Liebenberg, 20 Mitchell Carstens, 21 Luciano Elias, 22 Cornel Smit 23 Mike Mavovana.
Coach: Drikus Hancke
FNB CUT: 1 Quintin Vorster, 2 Janus Venter, 3 Tebogo Masemola, 4 Brendon Fortuin, 5 Jacques Ackerman, 6 Johannes Terblanche, 7 Luvuyo Ndevu, 8 Hardus Nel, 9 Xavier Swartbooi, 10 Charles Williams, 11 PJ Krugel, 12 Heino Bezuidenhout (captain), 13 Neil Stannard, 14 Christiaan Nel, 15 Cohen Jasper.
Replacements: 16 Wandré Nortjé, 17 Edward Davids, 18 Katleho Morapane, 19 Matthew Sekele, 20 Jan Kotze, 21 Jaco Wilkinson, 22 Rassie Breedt, 23 Karabo Maqeba.
Coach: Pieter Bergh