FNB NWU-Pukke turned in a solid performance in their opening FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International match against FNB UP-Tuks as they scored four tries to win 38-15 in Pretoria on Monday night.
FNB NWU-Pukke dominated the opening exchanges of the first half, making inroads into FNB Tuks' 22 to apply the pressure early.
FNB Pukke was immediately rewarded when lock, Walt Steenkamp, pounced on a scrappy FNB Tuks lineout to score the first try of the 2016 Varsity Cup season. A conversion by flyhalf, Rhyno Smith, gave FNB Pukke a seven-point lead.
Any attempt by FNB Tuks to string together an attack was undone by unforced errors which prevented them from gaining any momentum. FNB Pukke, on the other hand, had no such problems as the flyhalf, Barend Janse van Rensburg, scored the first nine-point try in World Rugby thanks to yet another FNB Tuks handling error.
Van Rensburg took a quick tap in his own half and benefitted from two great passes to find himself diving over FNB Tuks’ try-line moments later. Smith duly converted the extras to make it 18-0 after nine minutes.
A successful penalty by FNB Tuks’ Joshua Stander was quickly cancelled out by another Van Rensburg try after the first strategy break and, thanks to two successful conversions from Smith, FNB Pukke held a healthy 25-3 lead at the break.
FNB Tuks started the second half with their tails up and scored two tries in the first quarter to give the men from Pretoria some hope. Prop, Andrew Beerwinkel, crashed over for FNB Tuks’ first try of the season while wing, Duhan van der Merwe, was on the receiving end of a sublime set move to claim a try of his own to momentarily bring the scores to 15-31 to FNB Pukke.
However, it was FNB Pukke who had the final say of the match when centre, Slyvian Mahuza, scored in the corner to bag the bonus point try for the visitors. Smith nailed the touchline conversion to extend his side’s lead to an unassailable 23 points with seven minutes remaining.
FNB Tuks launched one final attack from deep in their own half and summed up their performance with yet another handling error. The final whistle brought the game to a close, leaving FNB Tuks much to think about before next week’s fixture.
Both sides struggled with ball-in-hand as they conceded over 18 handling errors a piece, but it will be the FNB Tuks players who will have more to think about in the coming week of the two teams. While FNB Pukke made the most of their opportunities, FNB Tuks were unable to convert good field position into points and were ultimately their own worst enemies. The two-time champions will need to finish will have to regroup and rectify their mistakes as they prepare to host defending champions FNB UFS-Shimlas at the Tuks Rugby Stadium next Monday.
Tries: Andrew Beerwinkel, Duhan van der Merwe. Conversion: Joshua Stander. Penalty: Joshua Stander
Tries: Walt Steenkamp, Barend Janse van Rensburg (2), Slyvian Mahuza. Conversions: Rhyno Smith (4). Penalties: Rhyno Smith (2)
FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Riaan Britz, 14 Keanan van Wyk, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Max Calitz, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Gerrit Engelbrecht, 6 Ruan Steenkamp (c), 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Pieter Janse van Vuren, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Replacements: 16 Jan Enslin, 17 Du Toit Genis, 18 Aston Fortuin, 19 Marco van Staden, 20.Carlo Engelbrecht, 21 Quaid Langeveldt, 22 Toko Maebane, 23 Justin Forwood.
FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Lucian Cupido, 13 Slyvian Mahuza, 12 Hendrik Marais, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Barend Janse van Rensburg, 9 Malherbe Swart, 8 Marno Redelinghuys, 7 Jeandre Rudolph (c), 6 Jaco Jordaan, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Neil Morrison, 3 Bart le Roux, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Mashudu Mafela.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Estehan Visagie, 20 Kurshwill Williams, 21 Akhona Nela, 22 Elden Schoeman, 23 Mogau Mabokela.
Match report: FNB Wits vs FNB TUT
FNB Wits Dominate FNB TUT in 53 point victory
FNB Wits were bursting with confidence in their first home game of the 2016 FNB Varsity Shield presented by Steinhoff International season, as they lead throughout the game to bury FNB TUT by 53 points.
A rainy Wits Rugby Stadium in Braamfontein was the venue for the round two clash between FNB Wits and FNB TUT on Monday.
FNB Wits kicked off in similar fashion to last week’s encounter against FNB UKZN in Pietermaritzburg as Thato Marubela once again opened the scoring to put FNB Wits up by five points. Warren Gilbert’s missed conversion would turn out to have little impact on the final score.
FNB Wits continued the momentum through a surge of relentless attacks that ultimately could not be converted into points.
A rain delay after 20 minutes of play threatened to halt FNB Wits’ momentum, but when the game resumed 10 minutes later, FNB Wits captain, Connor Brockschmidt, quickly made it 10-0 thanks to a deserving try. Warren Gilbert was successful with the boot this time round and gifted his side with a 13 point lead over FNB TUT.
FNB TUT had no reply to the FNB Wits onslaught, with Constant Beckerling, scoring his side’s third try of the evening. Gilbert’s second conversion of the evening took his side to a 21 point lead.
A FNB TUT counter-attack at the end of the half only showcased FNB Wits’ impressive defense as the score remained 21-0 to FNB Wits at half time.
FNB Wits struck immediately after the break with Ruan MacDonald diving over to make it 26-0. The second half turned out to be even more one-sided than the first, as FNB Wits grabbed another two tries through MacDonald. To rub salt in the FNB TUT’s wound, AJ van Blerk converted a penalty try to conclude a powerful display by FNB Wits.
“It was a tough game - very physical. It was sloppy in the beginning because of the weather and the [FNB] TUT boys came hard but we [FNB Wits] stuck together. We knew what we had to do and we did it,” said Constant Beckerling.
Tries: Thato Narubela, Connor Brocschmidt, Constant Beckerling, Ruan MacDonald (3). Cons: Warren Gilbert
Pens: AJ van Blerk.
Wits: 15, AJ van Blerk, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13Joshua Jarvis, 12, Wade Worthington, 11 Thato Marubela, 10 Warren Gilbert, 9 Ruan Cloete, 8 Constant Beckerling, 7 Connor Brockschmidt, 6 Ruan MacDonald, 5 Rhyno Herbst, 4 Graham Logan, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 2CJ Conradie, 1 Tidje Visser. Replacements: 16 Craig Hume, 17 Ameer Williams, 18 Mitchell Fraiser, 19 Ayabulela Mdudi, 20 Luxolo Ntsepe, 21 Kyle Wesemann, 22 Sicelo Champion, Brandon Palmer
TUT: 15 Lisa banzi, 14 Tshepo Nyathi, 13 Ian Truter, 12 Dumisani Mthethwa, 11 Chestwin Gaffley, 10 Lukas Van Zyl, 9 Shaun Jaards, 8 Claude Johannes, 7 George Letshuma, 6 Franscois De Villiers, 5 William Thompson, 4 Armand Marshall, 3 Jonty Voogt, 2 Christo Lategan, 1 Stanley Modjadji. Replacements: 16 Wessel Jordaan, 17 Jurie Huyser, 18 Calvin Maduna, 19 Dehan Groenewald, 20 Litha Vumisa, 21 Frankie Abrahams, 22 Arno Brits, 23 Kevin Nkateko