The Varsity Shield continued to serve up entertaining rugby on Monday night with two hard-fought games in Pietermaritzburg and Bellville.
The University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) hosted FNB Wits at the Peter Booysen Stadium in Johannesburg and the home team took an early lead through the steady boot of fullback Kirsten Jones who slotted three penalties in the first half.
Wits hit back with a penalty to outside centre Brendan Lizamore and a crucial try just before half-time which made the score 9-8 to the home team at the break.
After Jones added a fourth penalty for UKZN the visitors took control of the game with two further tries in the second period which UKZN had no answer for. The two converted tries in the second half made it 22-12 to Wits at full-time.
This leaves the Wits team unbeaten after their first three games, having impressively won two of them away from home. UKZN on the other hand have failed to score a try in either of their two games so far and they will want to turn their fortunes around quickly.
It was a high-scoring affair in at the UWC Stadium in Bellville as the home team FNB UWC took an early lead through three penalties to flyhalf Ambrose Steyn and tries to flying left wing Anthony Volminck and inside centre Adrian Herman.
FNB CUT came back hard though, overturning a game in which they had trailed 28-12 at one stage and eventually scoring five tries on the night to record a valuable away bonus-point victory. Outside centre Jaco Oosthuizen, No.8 Hendrikus van Zyl, prop Rudi Brits, hooker Gideon Gouws and lock Gavin Annadale all crossed the whitewash for their team.
The Men from Bloemfontein also benefitted from the educated boot of their flyhalf Jannie Myburgh who converted two of the tries and kicked four penalties as well to give his team a well-deserved 41-28 victory at the final whistle.
The victory leaves CUT unbeaten in their two games so far in the Varsity Shield, while UWC will be kicking themselves after losing their second consecutive game in which they held the lead in the second half.
All the scorers and teams from Monday, February 7:
UKZN 12 Wits 22
For FNB UKZN:
Pens: Jones 4
For FNB Wits:
Tries: Gamede 2, Arends
Cons: Lizamore 2
UKZN: 15 Kirsten Jones, 14 Gareth Borchardt, 13 Kurt Mavrodaris, 12 Wessel Booysen, 11 Louis Nondela, 10 Peter Grunow, 9 Calvin Channing, 8 Kyle Ross, 7 Robert Warnock, 6 Lwazi Ngcungama, 5 Chris Ndlovu, 4 Gerrit Fourie, 3 Luciando Santos, 2 Justin Meanwell (captain), 1 Kurt Schonert.
Replacements: 16 Nico Du Plooy, 17 Mazisi Ostrich, 18 Tinashe Bopoto, 19 Absolom Mumba, 20 Zander Engelbrecht, 21 Troy Chiocchetti, 22 Jaco Potgieter, 23 Marc Colia.
Wits: 15 Eman Mphande, 14 Nkuli Gamede, 13 Brandon Lizamore, 12 Rudolf Prinsloo, 11 Riaan Arends, 10 Sean Manton, 9 David Turnbull (captain), 8 Devin Montgomery, 7 Shai Korb, 6 Ryan Odendall, 5 Charles Baggott, 4 Kats Ntsie, 3 Paulo Ferreira, 2 Tyrell Tintinger, 1 Katlego Kgame.
Replacements: 16 Rory Anderson, 17 Anele Guzana, 18 Brendan Whyte, 19 Ernst van Niekerk, 20 Brent Crossley, 21 Heinke Hartdegen, 22 Michael Sephton-Poultney, 23 Clayton Allem.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
UWC 28 CUT 41
For FNB UWC:
Tries: Volminck, Herman, Rhoda
Cons: Steyn 2
Pens: Steyn 3
For FNB CUT:
Tries: Oosthuizen, Van Zyl, Brits, Gouws, Annadale
Cons: Myburgh 2
Pens: Myburgh 4
UWC: 15 Warrick Rhoda, 14 Sergio Torrens, 13 Justin Mackay, 12 Adrian Herman, 11 Anthony Volminck, 10 Ambrose Steyn, 9 Denzel Willemse, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Rashaad Williams, 6 Lwandile Makibi, 5 JP Kellerman, 4 Calvin Hendricks, 3 Zolani Faku, 2 Rudie Deim, 1 Kelvin de Bruyn.
Replacements: 16 Charlie van Jaarsveld, 17 Carlo Jacobs, 18 Denzel Riddles, 19 Kemsley Wesso, 20 Randall Arendse, 21 Freddie Muller, 22 Charl van Vollenhoven, 23 Kenwin Weiner.
CUT: 15 Nhlanganiso 'Slang' Sibanda, 14 Alec Mhlanga, 13 Jaco Oosthuizen, 12 Leon Pretorius, 11 Febere Badenhorst, 10 Jannie Myburgh, 9 Inus Kritzinger (captain), 8 Henku van Zyl, 7 Juan Hugo, 6 Grant Shai, 5 Gavin Annandale, 4 Anton Smith, 3 Werner Pretorius, 2 Deon Gouws, 1 Rudi Britz.
Replacements: 16 Danie Smith, 17 Petri Coetzee, 18 Nicolaas Harvey, 19 Trevor Nyakane, 20 Egan Gysmann, 21 PW Roux, 22 Wally Cordier, 23 Rudi Fuls.
Referee: Mlungiseli Mdashe