The FNB Wits came with one goal and that was to put their sharpest performance in against the defending champions, the FNB NWU-Pukke. The visitors claimed bragging rights with a final score of 22-13 in Round Six of this year’s FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
It was the FNB NWU-Pukke’s hooker Louis van der Westhuizen who opened the scoreboard for the home team with a corner try, but Julian Delicado’s kicking boot was unsuccessful and could only put them on 5-0. Van der Westhuizen received a yellow card to leave his team with 14 men on the field.
But flyhalf Gianni Lombard from the FNB Wits showed a classy comeback performance to put the visitors in the lead 7-5 in the 21st minute of the clash. Lombard converted his own try successfully.
With Delicado struggling to get rhythm with his boot, he finally managed to kick a penalty through the poles to turn the match in the favour of his side, 8-7 in the 26th minute.
The tall Marno Redelinghuys set up a try for FNB NWU-Pukke’s Jimmy Mpailane as they took the lead into halftime 13-7 up on the board.
It was the left flanker, Constant Beckerling, who narrowed the gap between the two sides as he stumbled over the try line for FNB Wits to put them one point behind 13-12. Lombard missed a difficult conversion.
FNB NWU-Pukke lacked yet again on their discipline area as the replacement hooker Wilmar Arnoldi had been yellow carded for a high and dangerous tackle to give Lombard a penalty opportunity to put his team in the lead 15-13 up against the defending champions.
It was Manuel Rass from FNB Wits who took the game away from FNB NWU-Pukke as he went over for a seven-point try to give his team a substantial lead. FNB Wits left the field with a victory of 22-13 over the defending champions as they left with the bragging rights. The FNB NWU-Pukke faced their second consecutive defeat.
FNB Player that rocks: Constant Beckerling (FNB Wits)
FNB NWU-Pukke: 13
Tries: Louis van der Westhuizen (five-pointer), Jimmy Mpailane (five-pointer)
Penalties: Julian Delicado (1)
Yellow Card: Louis van der Westhuizen, Wilmar Arnold
FNB Wits: 22
Tries: Gianni Lombard (five-pointer), Constant Beckerling (five- pointer), Manuel Rass (five-pointer)
Conversions: Gianni Lombard (2)
Penalties: Gianni Lombard (1)
FNB NWU-Pukke starting XV: 1 Dolf van Deventer, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 3 Morné Strydom, 4 Loftus Morrison, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 6 Wandile Mazibuko, 7 Marno Redelinghuys, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 9 Chriswill September, 10 Julian Delicado, 11 Lungelo Gosa, 12 Jaap Pienaar, 13 Elden Schoeman, 14 Jimmy Mpailane, 15 Tapiwe Mafura
Reserves: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Dewald Dekker, 18 Matimu Reckson Manganyi, 19 Boela Venter, 20 Marcel Henn, 21 Caleb Louw, 22 Nkululeko Mcuma, 23 Dean Stokes
FNB Wits starting XV: 1 CJ Greeff, 2 CJ Conradie, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 4 Graham Logan,5 Rhyno Herbst, 6 Constant Beckerling, 7 Conor Brockschmidt, 8 Jethro de Lange, 9 Ruan Cloete, 10 Gianni Lombard,11 Joshua Jarvis, 12 Brandan Hewitt, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 15 Luxolo Ntsepe
Reserves: 16 Justin Brandon, 17 Brandon Palmer, 18 Pascal Snyman, 19 Michael Renwick, 20 Karl Erasmus, 21 Manuel Rass, 22 Warren Gillbert, 23 Ameer Williams
By Raynique Meyer