MATCHDAY WRAP: Awesome Ikeys crush Ixias, Tuks hold off UWC

FNB Varsity Cup

FNB UCT hammered FNB CUT in a top-of-the-log FNB Varsity Cup clash at Tuks Stadium on Monday, while FNB UP-Tuks claimed a hard-fought win against FNB UWC.

FNB UCT IKEYS 76 (42) FNB CUT IXIAS 5 (0)

FNB UCT confirmed their status as FNB Varsity Cup title favourites by thrashing FNB CUT, writes Bronwen Bain.

This top-of-the-log clash between the only two unbeaten teams in the competition was one-way traffic from start to finish as the Ikey Tigers scored 12 tries, including a hat-trick by fullback Athi Gazi. Coming into this fixture, FNB CUT had conceded just seven tries in four matches.

Scrumhalf William Rose opened the scoring for FNB UCT with an early try, before point-of-origin tries from Gazi and winger Rethabile Louw made it 21-0.

In typical 2021 FNB Varsity Cup fashion, hooker Devon Arendse got his name on the scoresheet, before centre Le Roux Malan scored FNB UCT's bonus-point try. Flank Neil Otto went over on the stroke of half-time to make it 42-0.

FNB CUT's woes continued in the second half when Gazi’s second try was followed by a yellow card to Brendon Fortuin. Gazi scored his hat-trick try in the lock’s absence.

FNB UCT were reduced to 13 men when replacement wing Rihaz Fredericks was red-carded for a dangerous tackle and Louw was yellow-carded shortly after for another high shot.

The Ixias used their forwards to get their only try of the game from an excellent rolling maul, but the 13-man Ikey Tigers then scored twice, through replacement hooker Josh van Vuuren and winger Liam Kloosman.

Louw completed the rout with a last-minute, seven-point try.

FNB Player That Rocks: Le Roux Malan (FNB UCT)

FNB UCT Ikeys – Tries: William Rose, Athi Gazi (1x7, 2x5), Rethabile Louw (2x7), Devon Arendse, Le Roux Malan, Neil Otto, Gary Porter, Josh van Vuuren, Liam Kloosman. Conversions: James Tedder (5).
FNB CUT Ixias – Try: Hans Terblanche.

FNB UWC 25 (10) FNB UP-TUKS 31 (26)

FNB UP-Tuks returned to winning ways as their five tries were enough to hold off a resilient FNB UWC, writes Dan Lombard.

The Stripe Generation fielded a vastly different team as player rotation comes into play after four brutal rounds, with Zander du Plessis starting at flyhalf instead of his usual position of fullback. 

FNB UP-Tuks were in control for the majority of the match, with their set moves off set plays providing countless opportunities on attack while their defence repeatedly frustrated Udubs.

However, two yellow cards to FNB UP-Tuks at the death allowed FNB UWC to creep back into the match. 

It didn't take the three-time champions long to breach Udubs' line as scrumhalf Johan Mulder darted over before prop André van der Merwe, outside centre and captain Louritz van der Schyff scored. Du Plessis then secured the bonus-point try in the 31st minute.

Udubs scored their first points in the 25th minute via the boot of flyhalf Ethan Diston before inside centre Jason Cloete ran a deft line to leave FNB UP-Tuks' defence dumbfounded to touch down, with the conversion reducing the deficit to 16 points at half-time.

The third quarter was certainly not as flashy as the first 40, with Diston slotting a penalty before FNB UP-Tuks replacement hooker Llwellyn Claasen profited off the back of a strong lineout drive. 

The Stripe Generation's discipline took a dive in the final 10 minutes as they were reduced to 13 men within a minute, with replacement loose forward Divan Venter (repeated team infringements) and Van der Schyff (taking out a player in the air) yellow-carded. That ensured that the men from Pretoria had to shift to defence mode to protect their lead. 

Ultimately, FNB UP-Tuks’ defence failed, although it should be credited for holding out as long as it did as Udubs exploited their two-man advantage with hooker Jason Alexander the man to score. 

It would be FNB UWC who scored the final points of the match with a minute remaining as No 8 Godfrey Muzanargwo's try was converted by Diston.

Udubs had a chance to attack from deep after the full-time hooter, but a questionable grubber kick was collected by FNB UP-Tuks, who ended the contest.

FNB Player That Rocks: Johan Mulder (FNB UP-Tuks)

FNB UWC – Tries: Jason Cloete, Jason Alexander, Godfrey Muzanargwo. Conversions: Ethan Diston (2). Penalties: Diston (2).
FNB UP-Tuks – Tries: Johan Mulder, André van der Merwe, Louritz van der Schyff, Zander du Plessis, Llwellyn Classen. Conversions: Du Plessis (3).

FNB Varsity Cup teams (Round 5)

The remaining three matches of Round 5 will take place on Tuesday – Freedom Day – at Tuks Stadium:

  • FNB UJ vs FNB UFS Shimlas (15:00)
  • FNB Wits vs FNB Madibaz (17:00)
  • FNB Maties vs FNB NWU Eagles (19:00)

All three matches will be broadcast live on the SuperSport Rugby channel (211).

FNB Varsity Cup and Shield fixtures and logs

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Photos: Christiaan Kotze/Varsity Cup