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NWU show grit; Maties and UCT peaking at the right time

Defending champions NWU Eagles survived a late onslaught by FNB CUT Ixias away from home to reclaim the top spot after round six of the 2024 FNB Varsity Cup. Former champions FNB Maties handed FNB UFS Shimlas only their second defeat of the season while FNB UCT Ikeys completely demolished FNB UWC in the Cape Town derby. FNB UJ won the battle against Johannesburg neighbours FNB Wits. 



It was a game of two halves in Bloemfontein that in the end saw FNB NWU Eagles edge out FNB CUT Ixias 53-46.  


The hosts took the lead early and extended it twice through the boot of fly-half Juan Smith before Eagles centre Arnold Volk charged down an attempted clearance from Smith and dotted down for the first try of the match. 


Shortly after their opener, the visitors had to wave goodbye to Miyelani Ngobeni after he was shown a red card following poor judgement in a tackle.   


Being a man short did not stop the Eagles as they raised their game, scoring four more tries, all converted by Zinedine Robinson. The half-time score was 37-12 in favour of the defending champions. 


The second half began exactly as the first half ended, with an Eagles try. The game looked like it was decided, but a try from CUT prop Mamello Moshoaliba breathed life into the home side. 


Smith's perfect kicking continued to keep the home side within reach. 


The defending champions however showed why they currently hold the trophy. With continued strength in defence, they kept the game in their favour despite being a man short for three-quarters of the contest. 


The final ten minutes turned the game entirely on its head, as the Ixias scored three unanswered and converted point-of-origin tries. 


Unfortunately, it was too little, too late, as the visiting Potchefstroom team took home maximum points. 



FNB NWU Eagles 53 (37) – Tries: Arnold Vlok, Matome Manyama, Naiden Jaarts, Luan van der Walt, Tian van Zyl (2), Calvin Clack. Conversions: Zinedine Robinson (7). 

FNB CUT Ixias 46 (12) – Tries: Mamello Moshoaliba, Zac Bester, Adielson Gouveia, Jan-Hendrik Bessenger. Conversions: Juan Smith (4). Penalties: Juan Smith (3). 

FNB Player That Rocks: Matthew Luke Fortuin (FNB NWU Eagles) 


FNB NWU Eagles: Matome Molebogeng Manyama, Chyle Van Zyl, Ntobeko Thabiso Shezi, Stephan Krugel, Miyelani Ngobeni, Hennie Du Randt, Calvin Clack, Marvelous Mashimbyi, Aphelele Emihle Madaka, Zinedine Robinson, Naiden Jaarts, Arnoldus Christiaan Vlok, Matthew Luke Fortuin, Keano Ricardo Windvogel, Luan Jacobus Van Der Walt. 

FNB CUT Ixias: Mamello Moshoaliba, Albertus Human Venter, Sisipho Nofuya, Asekho Phindile Marubelela, Kevin Strydom, Tsebane Edward Stemer, Irwin Ivan Meyer, Tjaart Jurie Van der Walt, Raydon Swartbooi, Juan Arnold Smith, Tsepo Siphosethu Malumane, Liam Prinsloo, Zachary Bester, Adielson Gouveia, Nataniel Young. 




Five-time champions FNB Maties broke FNB UFS Shimlas’ four-match unbeaten run with a 38-29 win at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein. 


The Maroon Machine was simply better in the basics, and this resulted in a comfortable bonus point win. It was rather ironic that it was one of the Maties’ ‘Bloem boys’ Dewet Marais who scored a hat-trick of tries. 


The Shimlas were the first on the board through fullback Michael Annies who scored a point-of-origin try. This try started from a scrum five metres from the Shimlas line that saw Zane Bester make the break after collecting a chip-kick, and ultimately, Annies rounded off a stunning team try. 


Dewet Marais got the Maties on the board with his first try, before Shimlas captain Pierre Uys struck back from a clever lineout variation. Shortly before half-time, Marais completed his brace which saw the visitors trailing 19-12. 


Marias completed his hat-trick early in the second half to get the scoreboard ticking. The home team managed to strike back through Neels Volschenk. But tries by Hofmeyr Retief, Eric Basson and Louw Nel put the game out of reach for the Shimlas. 


On the stroke after full time, Jandré Nel scored for the Shimlas to see them earn at least a point in the game. 



FNB Maties 38 (12) – Tries: Dewet Marais (3), Hofmeyr Retief, Eric Basson, Jacobus Nel, Conversions: Juan Mostert (4). 

FNB UFS Shimlas 29 (19) – Tries: Michael Annies, Pierre Uys, Neels Volschenk, Jandre Nel. Conversions: Ethan Wentzel (2). Penalties: Ethan Wentzel. 

FNB Player That Rocks:  Louw Nel (FNB Maties)


FNB Maties: Prince Rotondwa Mulea, Siyasanga Ngubelanga, Friedrich Cornelius Weilbach, Matthys Jacobus Bernardus Kitshoff, Matthew Andrew Gray, Fortune Ntokozo Mpofu, Jacobus Adriaan Louw Nel, Dewet Marais, McKyle Volmoer, Juan Mostert, Matthew van Schalkwyk, Aydon Colin Topley, Ryan Marcus Manuel, Paschal Hans Uzoma Ekeji, Hofmeyr Gideon Retief. 

FNB UFS Shimlas: Ntokozo Hlophe, Liyema Mgwigwi, Francisco Dos Reis, Pierre-Raymond Freddie Uys, John Raymond Stopforth, Cornelius Hermanus Smit Volschenk, Katlego Lobakeng, Sobe Siyambuka Nakhane Ningiza, Jandre Nel, Ethan SJ Wentzel, Siviwe Zondani, Gideon Jooste Nel, Zane Bester, Kirwin Curtley Du Preez, Michael Jnr Kurt Annies. 




The Chester Williams Memorial Trophy remains with FNB UCT Ikeys for another year after they beat FNB UWC 91-9 at the UWC Sports Stadium. 


In perfect conditions for some entertaining rugby, Ikeys brought the heat to Bellville running in 13 tries to one when they thoroughly outplayed Udubs in their backyard. 


Ntokozo Makhaza kept the scoreboard ticking over with his accuracy off the tee and made telling runs that got the visitors over the advantage line at regular intervals.  


The home side enjoyed very little ball, and had it not been for a few errors when they did carry the ball, their promising phases of attack could have kept them within touching distance of the Ikey Tigers.  


As the players headed into the sheds for half-time, UCT was comfortable on the scoreboard, leading by 33-0. 


The second half got off with a repeat of the opening 40 minutes, with Ikeys scoring five seven-point tries. Luke Burger first completed his hat-trick and then added a fourth to his tall.  


An all-around clinical display by UCT proved to be too much firepower for UWC to handle in their final home game of the season. 


FNB UCT Ikeys 91 (33) – Tries: Joshua Miller, Luke Burger (4), Keagan Blanckenberg (2), Mika Schubbert (2), Joshua Miller, Ntokozo Makhaza, Tian Vorster, Alexander Vermeulen. Conversions: Ntokozo Makhaza (5), Alexander Vermeulen (3). 

FNB UWC 9 (0) – Try: Hlomla Ncana. Conversion: Aaron Swartz. 

FNB Player That Rocks: Luke Burger (FNB UCT) 


FNB UCT Ikeys: Mhleli Khethuxolo Khuzwayo, Keagan Jordan Blanckenberg, Jovan Bekker, Reynhardt Wouter Crous, Johan van Rhyn, Siphumezo Dyonase, Taariq Mohammed Kruger, Wandile Mlaba, Joshua Keith Miller, Alexander Vermeulen, Ntokozo Sibusiso Makhaza, Jonathan Roche, Joshua Michael Boulle, Luke John Burger, Duran Ryan Koevort. 

FNB UWC: Hlonela Qelile, Ruben Swanepoel, Franco Ceasar, Alexander-Jaco van der Merwe, Carel van der Merwe, Almore Kuilders, Melumzi Mandongana, Zinzan Magerman, Wian van der Sandt, Aaron Swartz, Hlomla Ncana, Bryan Breda, Denver Van Wyk, Bevan Simons, Jean van Schalkwyk. 


FNB UJ 49 – 26 FNB WITS 


In the battle of the Johannesburg neighbours, FNB UJ secured their first victory of the season when they beat FNB Wits 49-26 at the UJ Stadium.  


Wits were the first to break the deadlock when hooker Dewet Lottering broke through to go over the line. Dustyn Holmes did not waste time adding another one for the visitors.   


The Orange Army opened up play and took full advantage of building phase after phase to claim a points-of-origin try through Sfiso Dlamini. He was an important player for his team as he secured a brace.  


Kurtley Kiewiet also added to UJ’s success, not only on conversion duty but also contributing to the tries tally as they took a 16-12 half-time lead.  


The Orange Army’s Likhona Finca crossed the try line just after play resumed in the second half.  It was Luhle Matyolweni who responded for Wits.  


Connor van Buuren and David Cary added to the UJ try feast.  


Both teams faced difficulties throughout the match. UJ prop Andrew Siminyu came off after an injury while Wits had to spend some time with a 14-man squad after Tireque Apolles was sent off due to a head collision.  



FNB UJ 49 (16) – Tries: Sfiso Dlamini (2), Kurtley Kiewiet, Likhona Finca, Connor van Buuren, David Cary. Conversions: Kurtley Kiewiet (5); Rowan Malgas (1). Penalties: Kurtley Kiewiet (1). 

FNB Wits 26 (12) – Tries: Dewet Lottering, Dustyn Holmes, Luhle Matyolweni, Setshaba Mohlakoane Mokoena. Conversions: Tireque Apolles; Setshaba Mohlakoane Mokoena (2). 

FNB Player That Rocks: Likhona Finca (FNB UJ) 


FNB UJ: Andrew Peter Siminyu, Mauritz Swart, Bian Douglas Janse Van Rensburg, Marius Coetzee, Connor Van Buuren, Kamohelo Rorisang Molefe, Phillip Apea-Adu, Franco Julian Schutte, Liam Rowan, Kurtley Kiewiet, Prince Nkabinde, Likhona Finca, Sfiso Perseverance Dlamini, Boldwin Hansen, Rowan Malgas. 

FNB Wits: Jason Hayden Cloete, Dewet Lottering, Sibusiso Thando Shongwe, Armin Durandt Weiderman, George Lawson St Leger Devenish, Kelvin Tafirenika Kanenungo, Thandolwethu Biyela, Lindokuhle Ncusane, Mogamad Pead, Tireque Caleb Apolles, Lindani Dweba, Mthokozisi Siyabonga Xulu, Luhle Liyema Matyolweni, Dustyn Matthew Holmes, Setshaba Mohlakoane Mokoena. 


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