FNB UP-Tuks started their 2020 FNB Varsity Cup campaign on a winning note following their hard-fought 42-40 victory against FNB NWU on Monday evening.
The win sees their new coach Nico Luus starting his reign positively.
The home team got the first points of the match, with flyhalf Theo Boshoff getting six points from his boot. However, FNB NWU registered the first try of the competition, with their skipper Edmund Rheeder dotting down with the referee Cwengile Jadezweni having had to rely on the TMO to confirm its validity. The Potchefstroom-based outfit continued with their good form and a great interception saw Evardi Boshoff running over the whitewash at Tuks Stadium to extend his side's lead. However, the home team regrouped and a great team build-up saw Theo Boshoff scoring the first try for the home team to reduce the visitor's lead. Luus' charges' failure to keep their concentration level intact, however, saw André Pretorius' boys extend their lead, thanks to a try from Maarten Holtzhausen. Moments after that, a great long-range solo effort saw UP-Tuks' Werner Fourie dotting over the line to hand the host a narrow 22-21 lead in the 33rd minute. This lead was shortlived though, with Holtzhausen getting his second try of the game to give his side a 26-22 lead going into the break.
The Stripe Generation looked like they received strong words from their coach, as the team came back strong in the second shalf with Fourie getting his second 'point-of-origin' seven-point try of the day to reduce the score to 31-26 five minutes of the restart. The host pressured with their attack and a rolling maul saw Fourie dotting down for his hat-trick, with Boshoff adding the extra points to take the score to 36-26. UP-Tuks' pivot Boshoff continued with his good form with a boot, as he added extra points to increase the home team's lead to eight points with less than 10 to go.
Then the drama started. In the dying minutes of the game, Eugene Hare thought he broke the hearts of the UP-Tuks faithful, after he raced through to score the last try of the match, with Holtzhausen adding the extra two points to the point-of-origin effort and give the visitor's a narrow 40-39 lead. Man of the match Boshoff, though, had the decisive last say when slotted a post-hooter penalty to narrowly give his side a 42-40 win at home.
FNB Player that Rocks: Theo Boshoff (FNB UP-Tuks)
Steers Kinging Moment: Eugene Hare (FNB NWU)
FNB UP-Tuks (22) 42
Tries: Theo Boshoff, Werner Fourie 3 (2 point-of-origin)
Conversions: Theo Boshoff 3
Penaltes: Theo Boshoff 3
Drop goal: Theo Boshoff
FNB NWU (26) 40
Tries: Edmund Rheeder, Evardi Boshoff, Gustav du Rand, Maarten Holtzhausen, Riaan Genis, Eugene Hare (point-of-origin)
Conversions: Maarten Holtzhausen 4
UP-Tuks: 15 Lionel April, 14 Marco Labuschagne, 13 Sango Xamlashe, 12 Wian van Niekerk, 11 Irvin Ali, 10 Theo Boshoff, 9 Raegan Oranje, 8 Jaco Bezuidenhout, 7 Hanru Sirgel, 6 Stephan Smit, 5 Marius Verwey (captain), 4 Marcell Barnard, 3 JP Smith, 2 Werner Fourie, 1 André van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Keano Hendricks, 17 Ethan Burger, 18 Mogau Mabokela, 19 Ewart Potgieter, 20 Keenan Opperman, 21 Cornel Korff, 22 Zandré Kruger, 23 Kabelo Mokoena.
Coach: Nico Luus
FNB NWU: 15 Heinrich Botha, 14 Eugene Hare, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Nkululeko Mcuma, 11 Lincoln Daniels, 10 Maarten Holtzhausen, 9 Riaan Genis, 8 Edmund Rheeder (captain), 7 Muziwandile Mazibuko, 6 Morné Piater, 5 Daniel du Plooy, 4 Malembe Mpofu, 3 Matimu Manganyi, 2 Gustav du Rand, 1 Ruben du Plessis.
Replacements: 16 Stefanus Maré, 17 Jason Jansen, 18 Ruan Swiegers, 19 Jeandré Leonard, 20 Wihan Nel, 21 Caleb Louw, 22 Akhona Nela, 23 Lungelo Gosa.
Coach: André Pretorius