Varsity Cup Finalists Confirmed

Varsity Cup Semi Final 2018 - Maties vs Wits

The weather was unable to dampen the spirits of NWU and UJ at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds on Monday 2 April, where NWU secured their spot in the final after beating UJ 60-31.

FNB UJ opened the scoring with a seven-point try by Ronald Brown. Kobus Engelbrecht managed the conversion, putting FNB UJ 9-0 ahead after just two minutes of play.

Odwa Nkunjana scored FNB UJ's second seven-point try in five minutes, putting his team 18-0 up in what was one of the most sensational Varsity Cup starts this season.

Louis van der Westhuizen kept FNB NWU's hopes alive when he found the tryline after a mind-blowing run by Tapiwa Mafura. Schalk Hugo slotted the conversion, leaving FNB NWU chasing FNB UJ 18-7 after only 11 minutes of play.

After some impressive mauling by FNB NWU, Tapiwa Mafura scored right under the poles. Hugo managed the conversion, leaving only four points between them with only fifteen minutes played.

Schalk Hugo scored and converted his own seven-point try, putting FNB NWU ahead 23-21for the first time in the game after half an hour of play.

FNB NWU continued their domination when Chriswill September dived over the tryline. Schalk Hugo made no mistake with the conversion, putting FNB NWU 30-24 ahead going into half time.

It was FNB NWU who got the second half underway when AK Nela broke through FNB UJ's defence to score right under the poles. Schalk once again managed the conversion, putting FNB NWU ahead 37-24.

Jan-Louis La Grange scored for FNB UJ and Kobus Engelbrecht converted, but FNB UJ were still trailing 37-31.

FNB NWU went even further ahead when Louis van der Westhuizen scored his second try of the match. Schalk Hugo converted the try, leaving FNB UJ chasing FNB NWU 44-31.

Tapiwa Mafura snatched FNB UJ's lost ball, which led to a sensational seven-point try from Dean Stokes. Hugo managed the conversion once again, with FNB NWU now 53-31 ahead.

FNB NWU put the final nail in FNB UJ's coffin when Nkosana Mbatha dotted the ball over the try line for another try. Schalk Hugo converted the try, and FNB NWU went 60-31 up with three minutes left to play.

The game ended 60-31 to FNB NWU, but FNB UJ have to be commended for their determination and perseverance throughout the entire eighty minutes, not going down without a fight.

FNB Player That Rocks: Schalk Hugo (FNB NWU).

NWU: 60
Tries: Louis van der Westhuizen (2), Tapiwa Mafura, Schalk Hugo, Chriswill September, AK Nela, Dean Stokes, Nkosana Mbatha
Cons: Schalk Hugo (8)

UJ: 31
Tries: Ronald Brown, Odwa Nkunjana, Jan-Louis La Grange
Cons: Kobus Engelbrecht (3)
Pens: Kobus Engelbrecht (2)

NWU: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Jimmy Mpailane, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 AK Nela, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Tiaan Bezuidenhout, 7 Estehan Visagie, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Matimu Manganyi
Subs: 16 Percy Mngadi, 17 Nelius Theron, 18 Theodore Ferreira, 19 Jaco Swanepoel, 20 Wandile Mazibuko, 21 Nkosana Mbatha, 22 Henko Marais, 23 Justin Newman.

UJ: 15 Ronald Brown, 14 Mujawo Tatendaishe, 13 Jan-Louis la Grange, 12 Austin Davids, 11 Odwa Nkunjana, 10 Kobus Engelbrecht, 9 Bradley Thain, 8 Wian Conradie, 7 Adriaan Bester, 6 James Venter, 5 Estian Enslin, 4 Kevin du Randt, 3 Nico du Plessis, 2 Jannes Snyman, 1 Sibusiso Lali.
Subs:16 Hendrik van Schoor, 17 Dillon Bakos, 18 Luwaca Siyabonga, 19 Malembe Mpofu, 20 Johan Esterhuizen, 21 Jeanluc Cilliers, 22 Cyprian Nkomo 23 Cohen Kiewit

Sensational Maties rip Wits to shreds

FNB Maties scored 10 tries in their 65-18 win against FNB Wits at the Danie Craven Stadium to set up a home final against FNB NWU

By the time kick-off was signalled at the Danie Craven Stadium, FNB NWU had already booked their spot in the 2018 Varsity Cup final. FNB Maties got off to a flyer, scoring in the first minute of the game through prop Neethling Fouche. Chris Smith added the extras for a 7-0 lead early on.

Five minutes later and FNB Maties had doubled their lead via a rolling maul which moved for a good 10 metres before flank Johan van Niekerk dotted down for the home side’s second try.

A third try by the home team prompted the visiting FNB Wits team to call for a Power Play. FNB Wits had kicked aimlessly to the back. The counter-attack, sparked by Edwill van der Merwe resulted in the ball landing into the hands of Chris Smit who raced to the tryline. Flyhalf Smith added the extras and FNB Maties were 21-0 ahead.

A fourth try by Wilmar Arnoldi confirmed not only FNB Maties’ class but also their forward dominance in the opening 20 minutes – dominance they would carry for the full 80 minutes.

With the scoreboard mounting, the frustration was telling from FNB Wits. Lock Conor Brockschmidt was shown a yellow card in the 25th minute for a ruck infringement. Ten minutes later and scrumhalf Ruan Cloete was also sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on. It was while Brockschmidt was in the sin bin that FNB Wits would eventually get onto the board.

Wing Bin Kasende Kapepula raced to the tryline for a converted seven-point try. Christian Humphries added the extras, yet, at this point, FNB Maties had amassed 33 points. By half-time FNB Maties had all but confirmed their spot in the final, leading at this stage 40-9.

FNB Maties extended their lead via a Smith penalty early in the second half. It would be FNB Wits though, who would get the first score of the second half. David Cary latched onto a perfectly executed chip kick and ran almost the length of the field to score. Humphries added the extras and FNB Wits had 18 points on the board to FNB Maties’ 43.

More tries by Duncan Saal, Venter and Munier Hartzenberg extended the home sides lead to 65-18. For FNB Maties it means a home final against FNB NWU. For FNB Wits, it signalled the end of a fairytale season.

FNB Player That Rocks: Johan Momsen (FNB Maties)

Yellow Cards: Conor Brockschmidt (FNB Wits); Ruan Cloete (FNB Wits)

FNB Maties: 65
Tries: Neethling Fouche; Johan van Niekerk; Chris Smit; Wilmar Arnoldi; Janco Venter (2); Chris Smith; Duncan Saal (2); Munier Hartzenberg
Conversions: Chris Smith (5)
Penalties: Chris Smith

FNB Wits: 18
Tries: Bin Kasende Kapepula; David Cray
Conversions: Christian Humphries (2)

FNB Maties: 15 Reinardt Fortuin, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Michal Haznar, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Christopher Smith, 9 Remu Malan, 8 Marno Redelinghuys, 7 Janco Venter, 6 Johan van Niekerk, 5 Johan Momsen, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Chippie Oelofse (C)
Replacements: 16 Craig Corbett, 17 Ricky Nwagbara, 18 Piet-Louw Strauss, 19 Brandon Valentyn, 20 Stefan Streicher, 21 Brandon Nel, 22 Munier Hartzenberg, 23 Carlisle Nel

FNB Wits:  15 Tyrone Green, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Sicelo Champion, 12 Yanga Hlalu, 11 Bin Kasende Kapepula, 10 Christian Humphries, 9 Ruan Cloete, 8 Ayabulela Mdudi, 7 Ruan McDonald, 6 Constant Beckerling (C), 5 Pascal Snyman, 4 Conor Brockschmidt, 3 Cornelius Greef, 2 Cecil John Conradie, 1 Ameer Williams
Replacements: 16 Justin Brandon, 17 Craig Hume, 18 Sipho Siboza, 19 Dawid Bodenstein, 20 Giovan Snyman, 21 Adriaan van Blerk, 22 David Cray, 23 Luyolo Qinela

Image: Luke Thorrold

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