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- Created on Monday, 04 March 2013 18:48
FNB NMMU continued on their giant-killing ways this season, claiming a hard-fought 20-13 Varsity Cup win over FNB UJ in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
The undoubted heroes on the night for the Madibaz were their front rowers, with loosehead prop Roy Godfrey and hooker Martin Ferreira scoring a try each and tighthead Lizo Gqoboka walking off with the official Man of the Match honours.
Godfrey, as he did last week (in NMMU's 14-10 win over FNB UFS-Shimlas), crossed for a try early on to give the home side a 5-0 lead.
UJ speedster JR Esterhuizen duly obliged with a try of his own - which was also unconverted - to leave the scores tied at 5-5 as the teams went into the day's first strategy break.
Later, and with half-time approaching, the Madibaz struck a big blow when hooker Ferreira crossed the whitewash - with Justin van Staden converting - to give the home side a 13-5 half-time lead.
Despite their eight-point advantage the match was still very much wide open, especially after a scoreless start to the second half, and a try by UJ hooker Malcolm Marx - converted by fullback Kobus de Kock - saw the scores level once more, this time at 13-13.
Madibaz sharp-shooter Justin van Staden slotted a penalty to make it 15-13 going into the final strategy break and it was still anybody's match going into the final quarter.
But NMMU, as they did against Shimlas last Monday, held their nerve to claim the biggest scalp in their FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International history.
Replacement Ferdinand Gerber struck the match-winning blow with a late try but it is worth mentioning, once again, the influence of captain Godfrey, hooker Ferreira and tighthead Gqoboka - the front rowers having put their bodies on the line.
NMMU's third win of the season, to go with one draw (v UCT) and one defeat (to the Maties), sees them moved up to fourth place on the Varsity Cup standings.
The Madibaz have tough league matches ahead of them over the next fortnight - away to NWU-Pukke and at home to UP-Tuks - but a semifinal place is within their grasp.
Tries: Godfrey, Ferreira, Gerber
Con: Van Staden
Pen: Van Staden
For FNB UJ:
Tries: Esterhuizen, Marx
Con: De Kock
NMMU: 15 Jarred Buys, 14 Gerhardus Smith, 13 Hermanus van Lill, 12 Xolani Mnisi, 11 Logan Basson, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Dwayne Kelly, 8 Timothy Agaba, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Albertus de Swardt, 5 Louis Fourie, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Lizo Gqoboka, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain).
Replacements: 16 Francois Coetzer, 17 Gareth Hartley, 18 Ferdinand Gerber, 19 Mzwanale Zito, 20 Lesley-Dean Luiters, 21 Lonwabo Ntleki, 22 Yamkela Ngam, 23 Dexter Fahey.
UJ: 15 Kobus de Kock, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Bradley Moolman, 12 Luan Steenkamp, 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Divan van Zyl, 9 Vian van der Watt, 8 RJ Liebenberg, 7 Justin Wheeler (captain), 6 Kobus Porter, 5 David Antonites, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Wiseman Kamanga.
Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Wessel du Rand, 18 Johan van der Hoogt, 19 Thilip Marole, 20 Jacques Pretorius, 21 Adriaan Vermeulen, 22 PJ Walters, 23 Njabulo Mkize.
Referee: Gerrie de Bruin