UCT win nail-biter of a Varsity Cup clash against U-Dubs
CAPE TOWN – In what could prove to be one of most nail-biting FNB Varsity Cup matches, FNB UCT held on for a 28-31 narrow victory against FNB UWC on Monday at the UWC Sports Stadium. The Ikey Tigers lead 12-22 at the half-time break.
The home side gave a packed stadium much hope when Gillroy Philander opened the scoring in the second minute for his side's first try, a 7-point try which Keagan Fortune converted, 9-0 lead and a perfect start for the 2018 FNB Varsity Shield champions.
Like a house on fire, the visitors immediately responded and hit their strides, finding excellent rhythm with their pack of forwards. All four opening tries coming via some excellent and clinical work done by the hardmen.
Rayno Mapoe was first to score for the visitors. Mapoe, the younger brother of Bok centre Lionel, dotted in the corner showing a clean pair of heels.
The Mapoe score sparked and inspired the visitors, with tries coming from David Meihuizen (5-point try), James MacDonald (5-point try) and veteran FNB Varsity Cup hooker Cuan Hablutzel (5-point try). Hablutzel scored his 14th FNB Varsity Cup career try which Tedder converted after failing all his previous attempts.
The 2014 FNB Varsity Cup champions jumped ahead on the scoreboard adding daylight between them and their hosts, 12-22. This was also to be the half-time score.
Unbelievable scenes in Bellville as Lungi Msenge dumps the clutch from deep in his own half straight down the middle to score under the poles and @UWCSport are right back in it!#RugbyThatRocks pic.twitter.com/E3cdBnMru4— Varsity Cup (@varsitycup) February 17, 2020
The visitors came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, adding their first 7-point try when Michael Brink dotted down in the corner, Tedder adding the extras, 12-31.
It was an evening of disallowed tries, three to be exact with either adjudged to have been knocked-on or a forward pass in the build-up leading to the try.
Lungi Msenge ghosted the defense when he ran in for the home side's second 7-point try, Fortune unfortunately missing the conversion from up against the touchline, 19-31.
Msenge showed why he could be one of the dangerous players in this competition. The left winger stepped his way from deep within his own 22, to dot down under the upright, Fortune adding the extras. FNB UCT hanging onto a slender 3-point lead, 28-31, with 11 minutes to go.
This set up an exciting build up to an exciting finish, with FNB UWC camping on their own try line for nearly the full last ten minutes. The Ikey Tigers failing to seal it despite enjoying all the possession.
A potential try-saving tackle by replacement scrumhalf Liam Kloosman allowed the visitors to keep their unbeaten streak in tact. A very brave effort by the FNB UWC charges, one that will send a strong message that they are here to make the FNB Varsity Cup their home.
Steers Kinging Moment:
FNB Player That Rocks:
FNB UWC 28
Tries: Gillroy Philander (7-point try), 2 x Lundi Msenge (7-point try)
Cons: Keagan Fortune (2)
Pen: Keagan Fortune
Yellow Card: Peter Williams
FNB UCT 31
Tries: Rayno Mapoe (5-point try), David Meihuizen (5-point try), James MacDonald (5-point try), Cuan Hablutzel (5-point try), Michael Brink (7-point try)
Cons: James Tedder (2)
15 Gillroy Philander, 14 Peter Williams, 13 Schalk Carstens, 12 Lyle Hendricks, 11 Lundi Msenge, 10 Keagan Fortune, 9 Clayton Daniels, 8 Adriaan Paarwater, 7 Godfrey Muzanargwo, 6 Tinotenda Mavesere, 5 Curtly Thomas, 4 Pieter-Steyl Swanepoel, 3 Dandré Degenaar, 2 Jacques van Zyl (captain), 1 Luvo Bazi
Replacements: 16 Jason Alexander, 17 Justin Theys , 18 Matthew le Roux, 19 Reece Bocks, 20 Branden de Kock, 21 Darren Jaftha, 22 Tiaan Henecke, 23 Keon Links
15 James Tedder, 14 Seb Roodt, 13 Liam Furniss, 12 Michael Brink , 11 Rayno Mapoe, 10 James MacDonald, 9 Kyle Bowman, 8 Busanda Mabena, 7 Neil Johannes Otto, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Byron Bowes, 3 Ashwyn Adams, 2 Cuan Hablutzel, 1 Gugu Nelani
Replacements: 16 Josh van Vuuren, 17 Devon Arendse, 18 Luthando Woji, 19 Byron Cranswick, 20 Christian Stehlik, 21 Liam Kloosman, 22 Damian Rawstorne, 23 Siba Mzanywa