Varsity Cup: Maties back on top
ROUND EIGHT WRAP: While FNB Maties reaffirmed their FNB Varsity Cup favourites tag on Monday; FNB UP-Tuks and FNB NWU Pukke showed – in differing ways – why they have it within them to win the title too.
Maties, returning from their bye-week, beat FNB UFS Shimlas 59-14 to move back to the top of the table.
In truth, Hawies Fourie’s men were made to work much harder at Shimla Park than the scoreline suggests. Johann van Niekerk and Daniel Jooste scored early tries, but flyhalf Jordan Chait’s radar was off – leaving the score 10-0 to visitors at halftime. Shimlas also let themselves down through handling errors.
The run of play was much the same initially in the second half too, as teams alternated converted tries – Chris Massyn and Piet-Louw Strauss for Maties, William Eybers and Charl Pretorius for Shimlas.
However, when Chait knocked over a penalty with 15 minutes left to play it began a sequence of 35 unanswered points for the visitors – including three long-range tries worth seven points.
Hendro Scholtz will hope that didn’t to terminal damage to Shimlas 39; playoff hopes, not leastbecause they remain in fourth place and have a winnable fixture against FNB UJ next week.
Meanwhile, after morale-boosting wins in Round 7, FNB CUT Ixias and FNB UWC would have
gone confidently into their matches on Monday. In the end, they were brought back to earth.
In CUT Ixias’s case that came via a 60-7 drubbing from NWU Pukke – made all the worse because
it was in Bloemfontein.
At no stage in the match did it seem like the Pieter Bergh’s Ixias would pose any threat to an NWU Pukke side that was kept scoreless last week. Be that as it may, Jonathan Mokuena’s team showed no ill effects and emphatically showed why they could well gain revenge against Tuks in their likely semifinal replay.
Opposite to CUT Ixias, UWC at least crossed the tryline regularly on Monday in Johannesburg, but hosts FNB Wits only let them do so in the latter stages as they ran out 74-40 victors.
In so doing, Wits kept their slim hopes of a second-successive playoff place alive, but they will have to overcome the equally rampant NWU Pukke in Potchefstroom next week – and hope
Shimlas trip up again.
Monday evening’s early kickoff saw UP-Tuks show character to seal a home semifinal in their final round-robin match.
That, though, came under threat when the Ikey Tigers surprisingly raced into a 26-0 halftime lead.
The visitors’ tries came from Rayno Mapoe, Jonty Bredell and Cuan Hablutzel. Flyhalf Bredell also slotted a conversion and two penalties, while centre James Tedder knocked over along-range penalty.
Nollis Marais would have been lamenting his must-changed lineup’s inability to thwart their visitors from the Cape even more when a lightning storm 10 minutes into the second half forced the players to the change rooms. Were the match to be called off then, Ikey Tigers would have been celebrating a victory and climbing to fifth – level with Shimlas on 17 points.
As it happened, the weather relented, but not UP-Tuks’ subsequent assault on UCT’s defence.
Almost immediately after the resumption, Denzil Hill scored a try which Tinus de Beer duly
converted. The long-serving flyhalf did the same when Erich Cronjé scored a show-and-go and to turn Bart le Roux’s rumble over the line into a nine-pointer.
That left, UP-Tuks three short of a draw … but when they won a penalty bang in front two minutes from time. De Beer coolly tapped it over and the comeback was complete and leave Christiaan Esterhuizen’s charges wondering where it all went wrong for a second straight week.
FNB UP-TUKS (0) 26
FNB UCT IKEY TIGERS (26) 26
Tries: Hill, Cronjé, Le Roux
Cons: De Beer 3
Pen: De Beer
Tries: Mapoe, Bredell, Hablutzel
Pens: Tedder, Bredell 2
UP-Tuks: 15 Damian Bonaparte, 14 Irvin Ali, 13 Lourens Pretorius, 12 Erich Cronjé, 11 Ciaran Dayaram, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Raegen Oranje, 8 Denzel Hill, 7 Mihlali Stamper, 6 Stephan Smit, 5 Ruan Nortjé, 4 Marius Verwey (captain), 3 Jean-Pierre Smith, 2 Werner Fourie, 1 Etienne Janeke
Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Jacobus Eloff, 18 Bart le Roux, 19 Brian Leitch, 20 Theo Maree, 22 Christo ‘Boeta’ Hamman, 23 Xolisa Guma, 24 Hanru Sirgel.
UCT Ikey Tigers: 15 Gerard Pieterse, 14 Rayno Mapoe, 13 James Tedder, 12 Robert Ball, 11 Thobekani Buthelezi, 10 Jonathan Bredell, 9 Brandon Salomo, 8 Nyasha Tarusenga (captain), 7 Busanda Mabena, 6 Niel Otto, 5 Gary Porter, 4 Duncan Saffy, 3 Simon Raw, 2 Cuan Hablutzel, 1 Devon Arendse
Replacements: 16 Josh van Vuuren, 17 Tomasz de Rosenworth, 18 Ntandoyenkosi Mpofana, 19 Matthew Grobler, 20 Lance Steytler, 21 William Rose, 22 Michael Brink, 23 Athi Gazi
Referee: Griffon Colby
Assistant referees: Mpho Matsaung and Niel Bosman
TMO: Lourens van der Merwe
FNB CUT IXIAS (0) 7
FNB NWU PUKKE (32) 60
Tries: Van Niekerk 2, Nela, Retief, Van Rooyen, Gosa, Tait, Daniels
Cons: Hugo 8
CUT Ixias: 15 Jason Raubenheimer, 14 Karabo Maqeba, 13 Ruan Wasserman, 12 Marnu van Niekerk, 11 Erasmus Breedt, 10 Heinrich Bitzi, 9 Nikky Hattingh, 8 Hardus Nel, 7 Luvuyo Ndevu, 6 Ruan Smit, 5 Rayno Nel (capt), 4 Sylvester Makakole, 3 Tebogo Masemola, 2 Ruben Cross, 1 Quintin Vorster
Replacements: 16 Anrich Alberts, 17 Edward Davids, 18 Raynard Esterhuizen, 19 Brendon Fortuin, 20 André Hanekom, 21 Jaco Wilkinson, 22 Marc Morrison, 23 Dimitrio Tieties.
NWU Pukke: 15 Shane van Rooyen, 14 Lungelo Gosa, 13 Lincoln Daniels, 12 Akhona Nela, 11 Pienaar van Niekerk, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Edmund Rheeder, 7 Wian Conradie, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Jan du Plooy, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Matimu Manganyi, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen (capt), 1 Tshegofatso Moloto.
Replacements: 16 Marius Stander, 17 Nelius Theron, 18 Robert Hunt, 19 Ruben du Plooy, 20 Muziwandile Mazibuko, 21 Eugene Hare, 22 Keagan Tait, 23 Nkululeko Mcuma.
Referee: Jaco Pretorius
FNB WITS (39) 74
FNB UWC (3) 40
Tries: Champion, Conradie, Fuller, Pedro, Kasende, Brockschmidt, Krause 2, Siboza, Beckerling
Cons: Humphries 9
Tries: Leyds, Manuel 3, Bocks
Cons: Fortune 4
Wits: 15 Jared Fuller, 14 Kapepula Kasende, 13 Sicelo Champion, 12 AJ Van Blerk, 11 Moemisi Mosheledi, 10 Chris Humphries, 9 Runaldo Pedro, 8 Cal Smid, 7 Sipho Siboza, 6 Constant Beckerling (captain), 5 Conor Brockschmidt, 4 Kevin du Randt, 3 Luyolo Qinela, 2 CJ Conradie, 1 Bheki Shongwe.
Replacements: 16 Justin Brandon, 17 Craig Hume, 18 Ebot Buma, 19 Pascal Snyman, 20 Sipho Siboza, 21 Ruan Cloete, 22 Anele Makhongolo, 23 Bryan Breda.
UWC: 15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Sthsaba Mqhatu, 13 Lubelo Scott, 12 Lyle Hendricks, 11 Andre Manuel, 10 Aidynn Cupido, 9 Clayton Daniels, 8 Adrian Paarwater (capt), 7 Reece Bocks, 6 Bronlee Mouwries, 5 Curtley Thomas, 4 Matthew le Roux, 3 Justin Theys, 2 Jacques van Zyl, 1 Luvo Bazi
Replacements: 16 Ralph Jansen, 17 Alexander Mbete, 18 Tyler Gessler, 19 Rohaan Adams, 20 Moegamat Labib Kannemeyer, 21 Keagan Fortune, 22 Darren Jaftha, 23 Hendrick Calitz.
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
FNB UFS SHIMLAS (0) 14
FNB MATIES (10) 59
Tries: W Eybers, Pretorius
Cons: Dobela 2
Tries: Van Niekerk, Jooste, Massyn, Strauss, Chait 2, Nel, Hartzenberg
Cons: Chait 4, Van der Bank
UFS Shimlas: 15 Sechaba Matsoele, 14 Charl Pretorius, 13 Kurt Eybers, 12 Tiaan Schutte, 11 Marnus Boshoff, 10 Lubabalo Dobela (capt), 9 Izak Burger, 8 Albertus de Bod, 7 Menzi Nhlabathi, 6 Janco Cloete, 5 Mervyn Roos, 4 Sibalalo Qoma, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Hanno Snyman, 1 Thembinkosi Mangwana.
Replacements: 16 Wian Marais, 17 John-Henry Fincham, 18 Mogau Mabokela, 19 Sintle Diniso, 20 Jan Rossouw, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 Cham Zondeki, 23 William Eybers.
Maties: 15 Anton du Toit, 14 Munier Hartzenberg, 13 Cornel Smit, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jordan Chait, 9 Logan Boonzaaier, 8 Johann van Niekerk, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Chris Massyn, 5 Bernard Jansen, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (capt), 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Daniel Jooste, 1 Wayrin Losper.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Ricky Nwagbara, 18 Piet-Louw Strauss, 19 Jesse Johnson, 20 Mitchell Carstens, 21 Brendon Nell, 22 Adriaan van der Bank, 23 David Brits.
Referee: Ruhan Meiring
TMO: JJ Wagner