UJ, Maties, Shimlas, Tuks all triumph
UJ WIN TIGHT CONTEST
FNB UJ managed to beat rivals FNB Wits in an enthralling game on Monday to solidify their top four spot in the 2017 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
The opening half of the Johannesburg derby went in the way of Wits early on as they scored an early penalty through Warren Gilbert, and were a man up as UJ starlet Aphiwe Dyanti received a yellow card in the opening five minutes.
UJ were up for the task as flyhalf Divan Nel also converted a penalty and it was soon 3-3.
The home side then needed assistance from the TMO, and the referee awarded the try courtesy of Jo-Hanko De Villiers to go 8-3 ahead.
Warren Gilbert of Wits closed the gap with a penalty and keep the game within reach. UJ pounced on some hesitant defending and Jaco Fourie managed to block a kick as the ball bounced in his favor to touch down for a try. Divan Nel scored the conversion from an acute angle to make 15-6.
Wits stormed through with a powerful maul and the home side were left flat footed.
Their try was converted by hooker CJ Conradie, and the captain made no mistake with the conversion, 15-13.
At this stage Wits were playing like the home side, as their away supporters, who came out in numbers, spurred them on and they eventually took the lead thanks to Ruan Cloete.
Wits led 18-15. UJ clawed back thanks to Divan Nel and the match was perfectly poised at 18-18 heading into halftime.
The tightly contested match could afford no margin for error and UJ took a slender advantage with another penalty for Divan Nel.
The match was reaching its climax and the stadium filled to capacity were anticipating an epic finale.
With the score at 21-18 to UJ, the home side scored the try that mattered as Adrian Bester touched with a vital five-pointer, and Divan Nel scored the conversion.
The score was now 28-18.
There was, however, to be a final twist in the tale as Wits powered through again from a maul and were narrowly behind 28-23.
UJ eventually won the match 28-23.
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FNB UJ: 28: Tries: Jo Hanko De Villiers, Jaco Fourie, Adrian Bester. Cons: Divan Nel (2). Pen: Divan Nel (3) Yellow Cards: Aphiwe Dyanti
FNB Wits: 23: Tries: CJ Conradie, Ruan Cloete, Graham Logan. Cons: Warren Gilbert. Pen: Warren Gilbert (2)
MATIES DEFEAT CUT IN HIGH-SCORING AFFAIR
FNB Maties ensured that they will stay in the running for the final by comfortably rolling over a gutsy FNB CUT in Bloemfontein.
After leading 43-16 at the break, Maties eventually won 73-44, scoring nine tries to the five of CUT.
As was the case last week, CUT came back with a bang late in the second half, scoring three unanswered tries in the last 10 minutes.
Maties ensured victory in the first half, scoring five tries, of which four were seven-point tries. Adding to this fullback Tiaan Swanepoel drove home the score board advantage by slotting all five first half conversions.
CUT Ixias found it difficult to get their rhythm going, only scoring their first try in the match shortly before half time.
Maties enjoyed the lion's share of ball possession, and at times CUT's defence lacked early on. Centre Michal Haznar earned the title of "FNB Player that Rocks", while winger Craig Barry excelled on attack. Prop JE van der Merwe tried hard all match long.
For CUT Ixias Mosego Toolo, Ruben Heymans and Olwethu Ndakisa impressed.
FNB Maties: 73:
Tries : Craig Barry (4), Edwill Van Der Merwe , Johan Momsen , JE Van Der Merwe, Mitchell Carstens, Iver Aanhuizen. Cons: Swanepoel (6) and Ernst Stapelberg
FNB CUT Ixias: 44: Tries: Henco Smit,Stefan Kruger , Reuben Heymans , Brendan Verster, Ndakisa
Cons: Marin Jacobs (4).Pens: Jacobs (3)
SHIMLAS SECURE WIN AGAINST MADIBAZ
FNB Shimlas beat FNB Madibaz 23-7 in Bloemfontein at Xerox Shimla Park and could not secure a bonus point, leaving their semifinal spot dependent on next week’s result between Tuks and Pukke.
The match started off at a high tempo of rugby from both sides.
From the kick off Madibaz exposed the defence of the Shimlas and ran through the whole pack forwards.
Shimlas recovered rapidly and opened their account first with a seven-pointer from a brilliant tactical kick by winger Carel Coetzee, which was picked up by fullback Marco Mason. He converted his own try to make the score 9-0 to Shimlas.
In the next 10 minutes of the game Shimlas carried most of the ball and had two opportunities to score but unfortunately the final passes went astray.
After consistent pressure by the Shimlas, followed by a fine backline move, winger Vuyani Maqina went over for a five-pointer, unfortunately the conversion attempt failed.
Shimlas stretched the lead to 14-0 in the 28th minute of the game. Madibaz had an opportunity to score in the corner just 10 minutes later, but excellent defence from the Shimlas’ flyhalf Nicholaas Naude prevented the Madibaz centre Ivan du Preez from grounding the ball.
Madibaz centre Andile Jho crossed the line for a seven pointer to make take the half time score to Shimlas 14-7 Madibaz.
Shimlas kept the momentum as flyhalf Nakkie Naude scored the third try, converted by Marco Mason, to stretch the lead to 23-7 two minutes into the second half, still chasing the bonus point secure a Varsity Cup semifinal.
Shimlas dominated play in all phases of the game and kept the Madibaz in their 22metre area, but struggled to convert possession into points. With the second-half strategy break Shimlas still needed a bonus-point try to secure that semifinal spot.
In the last 10 minutesMadibaz found their second wind, playing the ball wide with attacking rugby testing the defence of the Shimlas. Shimlas replacement hooker Francois Steyn was sent off with a yellow card with five minutes play remaining, making play difficult for the Shimlas with 14 players on the pitch.
The fulltime score was 23-7 to the Shimlas, who will be supporting Tuks when they face Pukke next week. Shimlas have a bye.
FNB Shimlas: 23: Tries: Marco Mason (seven-pointer), Vuyani Maqina (five-pointer), Nakkie Naude (seven-pointer).Cons: Marco Mason (2) Yellow cards: Francois Steyn
FNB Madibaz: 7: Tries: Andile Jho (seven-pointer). Yellow card: Francois Nieuwoudt
TUKS TURN TABLES ON UCT
FNB UP-Tuks outscored FNB UCT seven tries to three in their 51-23 win (halftime 12-23) over the men from Cape Town in their Round Eight match in Pretoria.
UP-Tuks started like a house on fire, making regular inroads in UCT's half but it was the Capetonians who scored first through hooker Cuan Hablutzel. Hablutzel barged over for his second try moments later to give UCT a 14-point lead.
UCT added salt to the University of Pretoria's wounds when No 8 Nyasha Tarusenga chased a perfectly placed kick to score a seven-point try in the 28th minute.
UP-Tuks may have been down in the first half but they were certainly not out as the home team scored tries to scrumhalf Andre Warner and wing Sibahle Maxwane. Flyhalf Tinus de Beer converted Maxwane's efforts to go into the break 12-23.
The second half proved to be an all Pretoria affair with UP-Tuks scoring five more tries including two penalty tries.
Maxwane and De Beer were in fine form for UP-Tuks as they both dotted down seven-point tries while centre Toko Maebane showed immense strength to power over the line for a try of his own.
UP-Tuks travel to Potchefstroom where they will face defending championsPukke next Monday.
Kick-off is scheduled for 4:45pm CAT (SA, GMT+2) and the match will be televised.
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51: Tries: Andre Warner, Sibahle Maxwane (5 pt. try, 7 pt. try), Toko Maebane, Penalty Try (2), Tinus de Beer (7 pt. try). Cons: Tinus de Beer (4).
FNB UCT: 23: Tries: Cuan Hablutzel (2), Nyasha Tarusenga (seven pt try) Cons: Lohan Lubbe (3)