FNB Maties, who won 24-13, were made to sweat as FNB UJ pushed them all the way in their FNB Varsity Cup encounter on Monday night at the Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch.
An early try by fullback Anton du Toit in the corner had the crowd on their feet but unfortunately the FNB Maties could not capitalise on the solid start. FNB UJ drew closer with a penalty by flyhalf Mashudu Raphunga and at 5-3 the game was struggling to get going.
Some superb interplay by flyhalf Jordan Chait and lanky eighthman Jesse Johnson saw the number 8 go over under the posts, which saw him claim the Steers Kinging Award. Chait kicked the conversion and at 12-3 the FNB Maties thought they had some breathing space.
FNB UJ had other plans as big lock Malembe Mpofu went over before Raphunga added the extras, the two teams going in the strat-break with FNB Maties narrowly leading 12-10.
The only noteworthy action of the second quarter was a missed penalty by Raphunga and the score remained unchanged until halftime. The FNB UJ pivot kicked a penalty shortly after the resumption of play to give his team the lead and one of the biggest shocks of the FNB Varsity Cup was on the cards, as the men from Johannesburg led 13-12 at the second strat-break.
Coach Hawies Fourie sent on some of his replacements and the complexion of the match completely changed. FNB Maties suddenly had dominance in the scrum, and led by hooker HJ Luus they began to march the visitors all over the field. The metronomic boot of flyhalf Chait added four penalties to take the game away from FNB UJ and seal a vital victory ahead of a well-deserved bye-week. After the rest the FNB Maties travel to Bloemfontein to battle the FNB Shimlas before finishing their campaign with a match against FNB UWC.
FNB Player That Rocks: HJ Luus (Maties)
Steers Kinging Award: Jesse Johnson (Maties)
FNB Maties: 24
Tries: Anton du Toit, Jesse Johnson
Conversions: Jordan Chait
Penalty: Jordan Chait (4)
FNB UJ: 13
Tries: Malembe Mpofu
Conversions: Mashudu Raphunga
Penalty: Mashudu Raphunga (2)
FNB Maties: 15. Anton du Toit; 14. Herman van Dyk; 13. David Brits; 12. Reinhardt Fortuin; 11. Edwill van der Merwe; 10. Jordan Chait; 9. Brendon Nell; 8. Jesse Johnson; 7. Mitchell Carstens; 6. Johann van Niekerk; 5. Bernard Jansen; 4. Ernst van Rhyn; 3. Sazi Sandi; 2. HJ Luus; 1. Wayrin Losper
Reserves: 16. Schalk Erasmus; 17. Ricky Nwagbara; 18. Piet-Louw Strauss; 19. Gift Dlamini; 20. Jordan Sesink-Clee; 21. Logan Boonzaaier; 22. Chris Smit; 23. Munier Hartzenberg.
FNB UJ: 15 Odwa Nkunjana , 14 Shaun Williams, 13 Tyreeq February, 12 Wynard Botha, 11 Tatendaishe Mujawo, 10 Mashudu Raphunga, 9 Johan Esterhuizen, 8 Dian Schoonees,, 7 Adrian Bester ©, 6 Siyabonga Masuku, 5 Malembe Mpofu 4 Tyler Brown 3 Kayden Kiewit, 2 Willem Du Plessis, 1 Pierre Rabie
Reserves: 16 Hloni Mphuthi, 17 Ethan Jeffery, 18 Lali Sibusiso, 19 Khanya Ncusane, 20 Edwin Jansen, 21 Henro Liebenburg, 22 Jack Hart, 23 Tshabalala Melusi