UP Tuks edged out by defending champions
After finding themselves trailing 43-15 after 43 minutes, FNB Shimlas staged a comeback of immense proportions to snatch a stunning 47-46 victory in the final moments of the match against FNB Tuks in Pretoria.
The Jacaranda City played host to an incredible FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International match between FNB Tuks and the defending champions, FNB Shimlas, on Monday.
FNB Tuks appeared the more determined of the two sides in the opening moments after their home defeat to FNB Pukke the week before. FNB Tuks’, Neethling Fouche, scored the first try of the match to cancel Stephan Janse van Rensburg’s penalty goal for FNB Shimlas. The missed conversion meant the scores remained at 5-3 to FNB Tuks until after the first strategy break when FNB Tuks were awarded a seven point penalty try. Joshua Stander didn’t miss this time to make the score 12-3.
The remaining minutes of the first half were evenly shared, with only the new point scoring system separating the two teams. FNB Tuks scored two nine-point tries through wing, Duhan van der Merwe, and fullback, Riaan Britz, while FNB Shimlas scored two five point tries through prop, Teunis Nieuwoudt, and flyhalf, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, as FNB Tuks ended the first half with a 36-15 lead.
While most teams may have bowed their heads and accepted defeat, FNB Shimlas showed exactly why they are the defending champions by showing great character to claw their way back into the game. FNB Tuks once again began the half off well with a 44th minute converted try. But one seven-point try and a converted 5-point try by FNB Shimlas signaled the turn of the tide, making the score 43-29 at the hour mark.
A penalty by Stander two minutes later gave the leaders some breathing space, but only temporarily. A fantastic nine-point try that was finished by FNB Shimlas reserve, Jacobus van Vuuren, highlighted just how quickly things can change with the new scoring system, bringing FNB Shimlas just six points behind after the conversion. But FNB Shimlas weren’t done there, and their reserve hooker, Marco Klopper, scored their fourth try of the match in 74th minute. The conversion that followed completed the comeback as FNB Shimlas defended the last five minutes well to finish 47-46 winners.
FNB Tuks will need to ensure they learn how to close out their games in the future, but will take a lot of positives from this 93-point match when they travel to Stellenbosch to face FNB Maties at the Danie Craven Stadium next Monday. FNB Shimlas will be relieved with both the win and the character they showed in the process.
FNB Tuks kick-off against FNB Maties at 19:00 and the match will be televised.
Player that Rocks: Marco Mason
Tries: Neethling Fouche, Penalty Try, Duhan van der Merwe, Riaan Britz, Ruan Steenkamp
Conversions: Joshua Stander (4)
For FNB UFS Shimlas:
Tries: Teunis Nieuwoudt, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, Mafuma Mosolwa, Nicolaas Immelman, Conrad van Vuuren, Marco Klopper
Conversions: Stephan Janse van Rensburg, Marco Mason (3)
Penalty: Janse van Rensburg.
15 Riaan Britz, 14 Keanan van Wyk, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Toko Maebane, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Frederik Eksteen, 6 Ruan Steenkamp (c), 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Aston Fortuin, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
16 Jan Enslin, 17 Du Toit Genis, 18 Pieter Janse van Vuren, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Carlo Engelbrecht, 21 Quaid Langeveldt, 22 Max Calitz, 23 Justin Forwood.
FNB UFS Shimlas:
15 Marco Mason, 14 Renaldo Meyer, 13 Stephan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Arthur Williams, 11 Mafuma Mosolwa, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Nardus Erasmus, 7 Neil Claassen (c), 6 Rampheta Refuoe, 5 Dennis Visser, 4 Vidima Ntokoza, 3 Rudolph Botha, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Teunis Nieuwoudt.
16 Marco Klopper, 17 Nche Retshegofaditswe, 18 Nicolaas Immelman, 19 Musa Mahlasela, 20 Armand Pretorius, 21 Apiwe Dinga, 22 Daniel Maartens, 23 Conrad van Vuuren.
Varsity Shield results:
FNB TUT 15 (10), FNB UWC 21 (13)
FNB TUT: Tries: Claude Johannes, Tshepo Nyathi. Conversion: Lukas van Zyl. Penalty: Lukas van Zyl
FNB UWC: Tries: Byron Burgess, Courtney Cupido, Peter Wanjiru. Conversions: Darian Hock (2).