FNB WSU beat an understrength FNB CPUT 39-5 at Tuks Stadium on Tuesday to book a spot in Sunday’s FNB Varsity Shield final against the same opponents.
Defending champions FNB CPUT, who made 13 changes to their team for this clash and have a Round 7 bye on Friday, will finish the league stage of the tournament with 25 log points from six matches.
FNB WSU, who will play the third-placed FNB TUT Vikings on Friday, also have 25 log points but are top of the log on points-difference.
The Vikings thrashed FNB Rhodes on Tuesday to take their log-points tally to 18.
FNB UFH BLUES 75 (35) FNB DUT RHINOS 0
The FNB UFS Blues were impeccable on attack as they ran in 11 tries, including a hat-trick and two braces, to demolish the FNB DUT Rhinos, writes Dan Lombard.
FNB DUT tried to play at the same tempo and although they had their opportunities they endured an abrasive defensive effort by the Blues that left the Durbanites not only scoreless but frustrated.
It certainly didn't take the men from the Eastern Cape long to bother the scoreboard as wing Brandt Fields touched down in the third minute. He added a try in the second half and kicked six conversions for an impressive haul of 22 points.
FNB DUT upped the ante on defence after the opening try and it took until after the first strategy break for Fort Hare to strike again.
Inside centre Jonathan Booysen’s try was the moment that the dam wall broke as flank Kamvelihle Fatyela crossed for his brace while outside centre Keith Chiwara scored the first of his three to inflate the scoreline to 35-0 at half-time.
It was much of the same for the Blues on attack when the match resumed for the second stanza as captain and No 8 Yamkela Mzozoyana scored within five minutes before utility back Lukho Jongizulu crossed the chalk and Fields got his brace.
The Rhinos, usually animals to guard their territory ferociously, appeared to just lie down and show off their bellies, while rejigging their defensive patterns with the loss of fullback Langelihle Ntombela due to a reckless tackle and subsequent yellow card.
The final quarter was one-way traffic for Fort Hare as they scored another three tries, including two more to Chiwara and one from replacement utility back Lungelo Rintsana.
FNB Player That Rocks: Brandt Fields (FNB UFH Blues)
FNB UFH Blues – Tries: Brandt Fields (2), Jonathan Booysen, Kamvelihle Fatyela (2), Keith Chiwara (3), Yamkela Mzozoyana, Lukho Jongizulu, Lungelo Rintsana. Conversions: Fields (6), Apiwe Sidloyi (2), Chiwara (2).
FNB TUT VIKINGS 64 (12) FNB RHODES 6 (6)
The FNB TUT Vikings overcame a slow start to thrash FNB Rhodes, writes Bronwen Bain.
The Vikings’ ended up scoring 10 tries, with their fourth win in five matches keeping their hopes of reaching the final alive. However, they would be extinguished a couple of hours later when FNB WSU beat FNB CPUT.
FNB Rhodes took a 6-0 lead after two penalty goals from flyhalf Matthew Royle, but tries to No 8 Laro Delport and centre Mauritz Maritz, the latter’s just before half-time, gave FNB TUT a 12-6 advantage.
Maritz scored his second try early in the second half and when flank Francois de Villiers and winger Musawenkosi Sili crossed the line, the Vikings led 31-6.
Flyhalf Lusanda Xakwana, who has been nominated for the FNB Varsity Shield’s Overall Player That Rocks award, scored FNB TUT’s sixth try, before Stallions replacement Garfield Khanyile was red-carded for a dangerous tackle on Vikings try-scorer Dieter Groenewald.
FNB TUT wasted no time in reaching the half-century mark as centre Franco Stassen rounded off a great team try. Replacement flanks Kazadi Mukendi and Handro Horn then dotted down in the final two minutes of the match to complete a convincing win.
FNB Player That Rocks: Mauritz Maritz (FNB TUT Vikings)
FNB TUT Vikings – Tries: Laro Delport, Mauritz Maritz (2), Francois de Villiers, Musawenkosi Sili, Lusanda Xakwana, Dieter Groenewald, Franco Stassen, Kazadi Mukendi, Handro Horn. Conversions: LJ Pretorius (2), Lusanda Xakwana (5).
FNB Rhodes – Penalties: Matthew Royle (2).
FNB WSU ALL BLACKS 39 (12) FNB CPUT 5 (0)
FNB WSU booked their place in the FNB Varsity Shield final with a convincing win against a second-string FNB CPUT, writes Dan Lombard.
With one eye on Sunday’s final, FNB CPUT fielded a vastly changed team for this top-of-the-table clash.
It seemed to be more of a distraction in the first half as their attacking game plan appeared to be full of holes. However, their defence was resolute as they frustrated the All Blacks' attacking opportunities on a regular basis.
This changed in the 30th minute when replacement utility back Yamkela Mzozoyana, who had only just come on as a blood replacement, rolled out of a tackle to score. Lock Asekho Marubelela then powered his way over 12 minutes later.
Flyhalf Lwandile Mapuko converted the second try to hand the All Blacks a reasonably comfortable 12-0 lead at half-time.
Much like the Dam Busters of World War 2, FNB WSU smashed straight through the top-of-the-table Tekkies in the second half.
Outside centre Sicelo Tole began the onslaught as he blitzed through an almost non-existent defence within a minute of the match resuming, before Marubelela, who won the FNB Player that Rocks award, grabbed his second try eight minutes later.
FNB CPUT's woes were worsened when outside centre Björkan Hendricks was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes after a reckless tackle.
The All Blacks had zero issue with further punishing their opponents as Mapuko scored a try and a penalty goal, while Hendricks made up for his earlier transgression by scoring a consolation try.
Fullback Litha Nkula had the final say with a sensational try that saw him reach 100 career points in the FNB Varsity Shield and become FNB WSU’s all-time top point-scorer.
FNB Player That Rocks: Asekho Marubelela (FNB WSU All Blacks)
FNB WSU All Blacks – Tries: Yamkela Nyemba, Asekho Marubelela (2), Sicelo Tole, Lwandile Mapuko, Litha Nkula. Conversions: Mapuko (3). Penalty: Mapuko.
FNB CPUT – Try: Björkan Hendricks.
The final round of the FNB Varsity Shield league stage will take place at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Friday:
- FNB TUT Vikings vs FNB WSU All Blacks (15:00)
- FNB UKZN Impi vs FNB UFH Blues (17:00)
- FNB DUT Rhinos vs FNB Rhodes (19:00)
FNB CPUT have a bye
All three matches will be broadcast live on the SuperSport Rugby channel (211).