FNB Varsity Shield
FNB CPUT outclassed the FNB TUT Vikings to claim a 47-10 bonus-point victory in round three of the FNB Varsity Shield at Tuks Stadium on Friday.
The reigning champions were in cruise control for much of the contest. Their scrum and maul fired, and they managed to convert that dominance into a 19-3 lead inside 20 minutes.
Flyhalf Mauritz Maritz converted his own try on the stroke of half-time to give FNB TUT some hope. At that stage, FNB CPUT skipper Siyasanga Ngubelanga was in the sin bin, and the Vikings were in a position to cash in on their numerical advantage.
A reckless piece of play by wing Wandile Shabalala, however, resulted in a yellow card for FNB TUT. FNB CPUT touched down after that transgression to secure the four-try bonus point and reassert their dominance.
They went on to score another three tries, including an end-to end effort in the final minute.
FNB CPUT have accumulated maximum log points from the first two fixtures of their 2022 campaign, and sit in second place on the FNB Varsity Shield log. While they trail the log-leaders – the FNB UFH Blues – by three points, they have a game in hand.
The Vikings, by contrast, remain winless after three matches.
Earlier, centre Ryan Maree and No 8 Yamkela Mzozoyana scored two tries apiece to boost the FNB UFH Blues to a 46-0 win against FNB Rhodes.
The Blues continue to impress via their balanced approach. While their execution occasionally let them down, their physicality at the set pieces and on defence was consistent.
Maree scored two of his team’s three tries in the first half. Having amassed a 22-0 lead, the Blues went into the second stanza as heavy favourites to secure the bonus-point win.
Mzozoyana powered through some weak defence to score two tries after the break. Thereafter, the men in black maintained their intensity to score seven tries in total.
The result marks the Blues’ third-straight win in this year’s tournament and they remain in control at the top of the FNB Varsity Shield log.
The Stallions, who face the threat of relegation, are still searching for their first victory.
In the last match of the day, a dominant display by the FNB UKZN Impi forwards set up a 31-8 win against FNB DUT in the KwaZulu-Natal derby.
It took the Impi less than three minutes to open the scoring when tighthead prop Tristan Trollip went over from a lineout driving maul. Winger Thobani Shangase then finished a slick backline move by handing off a defender and diving over in the left corner.
In the 32nd minute, a powerful 5m scrum allowed FNB UKZN scrumhalf and captain Johan Maritz to score a converted try that made it 17-3 at the break.
Fullback Mthokozisi Hlatshwayo got FNB DUT back into the game when he scored the first try of the second half, but another strong Impi scrum just before the strategy break resulted in a bonus-point try for No 8 Menzi Mabaso.
FNB DUT lock Alberth Kapenda was yellow-carded with 12 minutes remaining and the Impi scored almost immediately afterwards through centre Singele Mkhize.
FNB UKZN are now third in this season’s standings and FNB DUT fifth. However, the latter remain last on the combined 2021-22 FNB Varsity Shield log, two points behind FNB Rhodes, as the relegation battle heats up.
FNB Varsity Shield Round 3 results and scorers:
FNB Rhodes 0 FNB UFH Blues 46 (22) – Tries: Kamvelihle Fatyela, Ryan Maree (2), Yamkela Mzozoyana (2), Langalethu Susela, Mziyabulela Bathu. Conversions: Keith Chiwara (4). Penalty: Chiwara. FNB Player That Rocks: Yamkela Mzozoyana (FNB UFH Blues)
FNB CPUT 47 (19) – Tries: Iwaan Bloys, Joshua Paris, Siyasanga Ngubelanga, Roland van der Heever, Darren Alexander, Keano Cookson, Christopher Andrews. Conversions: Feghon-Leigh Snyders (6). FNB TUT Vikings 10 (10) – Try: Mauritz Maritz. Conversion: Maritz. Penalty: Maritz. FNB Player That Rocks: Joshua Paris (FNB CPUT)
FNB UKZN Impi 31 (17) – Tries: Tristan Trollip, Thobani Shangase, Johan Maritz, Menzi Mabaso, Singele Mkhize. Conversions: Jarryd Nicholls (3). FNB DUT 8 (3) – Try: Mthokozisi Hlatshwayo. Penalty: Hlatshwayo. FNB Player That Rocks: Wilhelm Fenske (FNB UKZN Impi)
Round 4 fixtures (Sunday, 20 March, Tuks Stadium)
FNB DUT vs FNB CPUT (15:00)
FNB UFH Blues vs FNB WSU All Blacks (17:00)
FNB TUT Vikings vs FNB UKZN Impi (19:00)
Photos: Catherine Kotze/ASEM Engage