MATCHDAY WRAP: CUT shock Maties, Eagles edge Wits

FNB Varsity Cup

FNB CUT overturned a 15-point half-time deficit to beat FNB Maties 23-18, while there were also Round 6 FNB Varsity Cup wins for FNB UFS Shimlas, FNB UWC and FNB NWU.

FNB CUT IXIAS 23 (0) FNB MATIES 18 (15)

FNB CUT recorded their greatest feat as they scored a last-minute try to beat FNB Maties at the Tuks B-Field, writes Dan Lombard.

With the scores locked at 18-18, a spilt ball from Maties on halfway was picked up by FNB CUT lock Derik Pretorius, who stormed upfield before putting fullback Cohen Jasper away for the match-winning try.

It is the first time that the three-time FNB Varsity Shield winners have beaten the five-time FNB Varsity Cup champions.

As expected, the massive storm in Pretoria during the night and long into the morning, caused both teams to struggle to assert themselves as unforced errors ruled the day.

The Maroon Machine found their attacking groove on one occasion as scrumhalf Lian du Toit was on hand to receive the final pass to score an early point-of-origin try. 

However, the first half dissolved into a stop-start affair, with opportunities to attack being stifled by mistakes and the remaining points coming courtesy of flyhalf Christian Schreuder's boot.

A yellow card to FNB Maties flank Mitchell Carstens allowed the Ixias to fan the flames on attack, which they capitalised on off a powerful lineout drive with flank Hans Terblanche being credited with the try. 

With their tails up, FNB CUT were rampant on attack and received their just rewards as inside centre Heino Bezuidenhout smashed his way over for an unconverted try just before the second strategy break.

A penalty apiece by the kickers saw the scores level until Jasper snatched a dramatic win for the Ixias.

FNB Player That Rocks: Zinedine Booysen (FNB CUT Ixias)

FNB CUT Ixias – Tries: Hans Terblanche, Heino Bezuidenhout, Cohen Jasper. Conversion: Charles Williams. Penalties: Williams (2).
FNB Maties – Try: Lian du Toit (1x7). Conversion: Christian Schreuder. Penalties: Schreuder (3).

FNB MADIBAZ 20 (5) FNB UFS SHIMLAS 24 (12)

FNB UFS Shimlas scored an 81st-minute try against the FNB Madibaz to record their first win of the 2021 FNB Varsity Cup, writes Dan Lombard.

The Free Staters opted to kick a late penalty to touch rather than at goal, which would have given them a draw. And that bold approach paid off as replacement wing Luyanda Mkhize scored in the right-hand corner.

Much like the earlier match on the Tuks B-Field, proceedings were dampened by the conditions. However, it did little to prevent Shimlas from running from all areas on the pitch as they capitalised on the Madibaz’s poor discipline.

Shimlas inside centre JP Duvenage knocked over four penalties to hand them a 12-0 lead at the first strategy break, before FNB Madibaz lock Hardus van Eeden crashed over from a lineout for an unconverted try.

The second half belonged to the men from the Eastern Cape as an early penalty coupled with two tries courtesy of wing Nkoka Ngobe and prop Le-Kleu Stokes gave them a slender lead, despite Shimlas scoring a try via inside centre Janco Klinck.

But the men from Bloemfontein snatched victory when Mkhize – who had just come off the bench – touched down in the corner, with Duvenage adding the conversion.

FNB Player That Rocks: Luyolo Dapula (FNB Madibaz)

FNB Madibaz – Tries: Hardus van Eeden, Nkoka Ngobe, Le-Kleu Stokes. Conversion: Tiaan Schutte. Penalty: Tiaan Schutte.
FNB UFS Shimlas – Tries: Janco Klinck, Luyanda Mkhize. Conversion: JP Duvenage. Penalties: Duvenage (4).

FNB UWC 31 (0) FNB UJ 5 (5)

FNB UWC scored three second-half tries to claim a comfortable win against FNB UJ at Loftus Versfeld, writes Bronwen Bain.

FNB UJ scored the only try of a tight first half, but it was the Capetonians who dominated the second, with two late tries by centre André Manuel inflating the score.

After an uneventful first 20 minutes, FNB UJ broke the deadlock when winger Prince Nkabinde powered over from close range to score.

FNB UWC were reduced to 14 men late in the first half when lock Bronlee Mouries was yellow-carded for collapsing an FNB UJ maul. However, they did not concede any points while he was off the field.

FNB UWC scrumhalf Branden de Kock kicked a penalty early in the second half before FNB UJ No 8 Siyabonga Masuku was sent to the sin-bin.

Four minutes later, FNB UWC replacement flyhalf Ethan Diston scored a superb point-of-origin try, with De Kock kicking the conversion and then adding a penalty to make it 15-5.

FNB UJ had more than one chance to get back into the game but their execution and finishing cost them.

FNB UWC then sealed the deal when Manuel ran in two late tries, the first a seven-pointer, to secure their second win of the competition.

FNB Player That Rocks: Justin Theys (FNB UWC)

FNB UJ – Try: Prince Nkabinde.
FNB UWC – Tries: Ethan Diston (1x7), André Manuel (1x7, 1x5). Conversions: Branden de Kock (3). Penalties: De Kock (2).

FNB NWU EAGLES 22 (6) FNB WITS 20 (5)

Flyhalf Keagan Fortune kicked an 82nd-minute penalty goal to give the FNB NWU Eagles a dramatic win at Loftus Versfeld, writes Bronwen Bain.

It was Fortune’s fifth penalty in a match that was played in pouring rain for most of the first half. He punished the indiscipline of FNB Wits, who outscored their opponents by three tries to one and took a 20-19 lead in the 79th minute.

FNB Wits came into this match with confidence having thrashed the FNB Madibaz on Tuesday, while FNB NWU were looking to get back to winning ways after a disappointing loss to FNB Maties.

As the rain bucketed down at Loftus, Fortune kicked an early penalty for FNB NWU before prop Keagan Glade went over for FNB Wits’ first try.

FNB Wits were dealt a heavy blow after losing experienced lock Kevin du Randt, who was stretchered off the field, and Fortuin’s second penalty gave the Eagles a slender 6-5 lead at half-time.

No 8 Travis Gordon showed great strength and skill to score FNB Wits’ second try early in the second half, but Fortune’s boot reduced the deficit to one.

In the 57th minute, FNB Wits flyhalf Kurt Webster was red-carded for a shoulder charge and FNB NWU finally gained momentum through the maul, with replacement hooker Gustav du Rand scoring his seventh try of the tournament.

Their lead was short-lived, however, as FNB Wits centre Yanga Hlalu sliced through the defence to score under the posts and fullback Christian Humphries’ first conversion of the evening put his side ahead 17-16.

Fortune and Humphries then exchanged penalties, but it was the Eagles No 10 who would have the final say.

FNB Player That Rocks: Chuiner van Rooyen (FNB NWU Eagles)

FNB NWU Eagles – Try: Gustav du Rand. Conversion: Keagan Fortune. Penalty: Fortune (5).
FNB Wits – Tries: Keagan Glade, Travis Gordon, Yanga Hlalu. Conversion: Christian Humphries. Penalty: Humphries.

FNB UP-TUKS vs FNB UCT IKEYS

Friday’s other Round 6 match, between FNB UP-Tuks and FNB UCT Ikeys, was cancelled in line with Covid-19 protocols and declared a 0-0 draw. Both teams received two log points.

FNB Varsity Cup teams (Round 6)

Having resolved their internal challenges, the WSU All Blacks will continue to play in the FNB Varsity Shield when the tournament resumes on Sunday.

The following Round 5 matches will take place at Tuks Stadium:

  • FNB DUT Rhinos vs FNB TUT Vikings (15:00)
  • FNB CPUT vs FNB UKZN Impi (17:00)
  • FNB Rhodes vs FNB WSU All Blacks (19:00)

FNB UFH Blues have a bye

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: Brendan Croft/Catherine Kotze/Varsity Cup