MATCHDAY WRAP: Tuks, UCT to contest FNB Varsity Cup final

FNB Varsity Cup

FNB UP-Tuks dethroned FNB Maties before FNB UCT dominated FNB NWU in the FNB Varsity Cup semi-finals at Tuks Stadium on Friday.

The Ikey Tigers and Tuks will meet at the same venue on Monday (19:00, SuperSport Rugby channel 211) in a repeat of the 2011 final.

It will be the teams' first meeting this season after their Round 6 clash was cancelled.

FNB UCT will be looking to lift the FNB Varsity Cup for the third time, while FNB UP-Tuks are chasing their fourth title.

FNB MATIES 35 (3) FNB UP-TUKS 44 (18)

Zander du Plessis broke the record for most points scored in an FNB Varsity Cup season as FNB UP-Tuks ended FNB Maties’ reign as champions, writes Dan Lombard.

The fullback surpassed former FNB UCT flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis’ haul of 136 points from the 2012 season and will go into Monday’s final with his tally on 145.

The Stripe Generation had a score to settle with their old foe, especially after losing out to them in the league stage.

Winger Stefan Coetzee opened their account in the fifth minute and while Du Plessis missed two early shots at goal, he then landed two penalty goals and converted flyhalf David Coetzer's five-pointer.

The Maroon Machine only had a solitary penalty goal via flyhalf Adriaan van der Bank for their first-half contribution to the scoreboard. 

The second half proved to be a points fiesta as FNB Maties wing Munier Hartzenberg touched down a converted try before FNB UP-Tuks struck back with a try to flank Stephan Smit and Coetzee's second, which was recorded as a point-of-origin try.

The Maroon Machine woke up in the final 20 minutes as wing Siba Xamlashe scored two point-of-origin tries either side of FNB UP-Tuks scrumhalf Clyde Lewis’ simple support-running try.

FNB Maties flank Mitchell Carstens’ 77th-minute converted try reduced the deficit to nine points, but it was FNB UP-Tuks who celebrated winning a late breakdown penalty and the match.

FNB Player That Rocks: Zander du Plessis (FNB UP-Tuks)

FNB Maties – Tries: Munier Hartzenberg, Siba Xamlashe (2x7), Mitchell Carstens. Conversions: Adriaan van der Bank, Nevaldo Fleurs (3). Penalty: Van der Bank.
FNB UP-Tuks – Tries: Stefan Coetzee (1x5, 1x7), David Coetzer, Stephan Smit, Clyde Lewis. Conversions: Zander du Plessis (4). Penalties: Du Plessis (3).

FNB Maties – 15 Juan Mostert, 14 Munier Hartzenberg, 13 David Brits (c), 12 Taigh Schoor, 11 Siba Xamlashe, 10 Adriaan van der Bank, 9 Bobby Alexander, 8 Thys Kitshoff, 7 Gift Dlamini, 6 Mitchell Carstens, 5 Albert Liebenberg, 4 Simon Miller, 3 Duncan du Buisson, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Dian Bleuler.
Subs: 16 Abri Coetzee, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 James Combrink, 19 Marco van Rhyn, 20 Jesse Johnson, 21 Tomas Bursey, 22 Waqar Solaan, 23 Nevaldo Fleurs.

FNB UP-Tuks – 15 Zander du Plessis, 14 Stefan Coetzee, 13 Sango Xamlashe (c), 12 Louritz van der Schyff, 11 Tharquin Manuel, 10 David Coetzer, 9 Clyde Lewis, 8 Jaco Bezuidenhout, 7 Hanru Sirgel, 6 Eduan Lubbe, 5 Louis Meiring, 4 Mihlali Stamper, 3 Damien Swartz, 2 Werner Fourie, 1 Cebo Dlamini.
Subs: 16 Llewellyn Classen, 17 Dewald Donald, 18 Etienne Janeke, 19 Orateng Koikanyang, 20 Stephan Smit, 21 Johan Mulder, 22 Enrique Oranje, 23 Ambesa Zenzeli.

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FNB UCT IKEYS 54 (21) FNB NWU EAGLES 36 (22)

FNB UCT fought back from 15-0 down to beat FNB NWU and book their place in the FNB Varsity Cup final, writes Bronwen Bain.

The Eagles came into this semi-final as underdogs having finished fourth on the log, but made a superb start against the table-topping Ikey Tigers, who had top point-scorer James Tedder ruled out just before kick-off.

However, FNB UCT soon rediscovered their form to take a 21-15 lead, and while the Eagles scored a try in first-half stoppage time to go back in front, they faded in the second half as a tough recent schedule took its toll.

FNB NWU winger Keano Windvogel chased down a kick to score a point-of-origin try in the second minute of the match, with flyhalf Nivan Petersen kicking the conversion and adding two penalty goals.

FNB UCT hit back with tries to lock Gary Porter, centre Le Roux Malan and No 8 Christian Stehlik, before FNB NWU hooker Gustav du Rand mauled his way over for his ninth try of the tournament. Petersen's conversion gave the Eagles a 22-21 advantage at the break.

FNB UCT regained the lead when replacement hooker Josh van Vuuren scored off a driving maul early in the second half.

David Hayes’ up-and-under then resulted in the flyhalf scoring a point-of-origin try and when winger Rihaz Fredericks dived over in the right corner, the Ikey Tigers led 40-22 after 59 minutes.

Replacement Eagles prop Arno Gustafson forced his way over the whitewash, before Ikeys replacement scrumhalf Kyle Bowman scored at the other end.

Van Vuuren’s second maul try took FNB UCT past the 50-point mark, with replacement scrumhalf Caleb Louw then scoring a late consolation try for FNB NWU.

FNB Player That Rocks: David Hayes (FNB UCT)

FNB UCT Ikeys – Tries: Gary Porter, Le Roux Malan, Christian Stehlik, Josh van Vuuren (2), Rihaz Fredericks, David Hayes (1x7), Kyle Bowman. Conversions: David Hayes (4), Kyle Bowman (2).
FNB NWU Eagles – Tries: Keano Windvogel (1x7), Gustav du Rand, Arno Gustafson, Caleb Louw. Conversions: Nivan Petersen (2), Marco Donges, Riaan Genis. Penalties: Petersen (2).

FNB UCT Ikeys – 15 Athi Gazi, 14 Rihaz Fredericks, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Le Roux Malan, 11 Rethabile Louw, 10 David Hayes, 9 William Rose, 8 Christian Stehlik, 25* Niel Otto, 6 Liam Greenhalgh (c), 5 Gary Porter, 4 Byron Cranswick, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Devon Arendse, 1 Luthando Woji.
Subs: 16 Josh van Vuuren, 17 Seth Christian, 18 Jovan Bekker, 19 Byron Bowes, 20 Taariq Kruger, 21 Kyle Bowman, 22 Sibabalwe Mzanywa, 23 Duran Koevort.   
*Jersey worn on the day 

FNB NWU Eagles – 15 Shane van Rooyen, 14 Sylvester Hassien, 13 Lincoln Daniels (c), 12 Marco Donges, 11 Keano Windvogel, 10 Nivan Petersen, 9 Riaan Genis, 8 Didintle Sekati, 7 Ruben Dreyer, 6 André Fouché, 5 Jeandré Leonard, 4 Malembe Mpofu, 3 Sampie Swiegers, 2 Gustav du Rand, 1 Ruben du Plessis.
Subs: 16 Vernon Paulo, 17 Rehann Baumann, 18 Arno Gustafson, 19 George van der Westhuizen, 20 Jandré de Beer, 21 Caleb Louw, 22 Kagiso Woodbridge, 23 Pienaar van Niekerk.

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