The FNB Ikey Tigers ended their winless run in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International as they finished off a sweeping move which saw Rayno Mapoe carrying the ball the length of the field to beat FNB CUT 21-12 at a windy Green Mile.
The FNB Ikey Tigers started well with the wind behind them, and their early pressure paid off as Hablutzel scored their first try of the day in the eight minute. FNB CUT then began working their way back into the game, systematically gaining territory and showing signs of their attacking threat as Darren Adonis had the chance to stretch his legs for the first time.
After the strategy break, FNB CUT came out swinging. After yellow and red cards for Xaba and Klaasen respectively, they had the perfect opportunity to work their way back into the game as the FNB Ikey Tigers were reduced to thirteen men. In the absence of Klaasen, Luke Stringer began to lead FNB UCT and was excellent in the number of FNB CUT lineouts he stole. Despite having fewer men on the pitch, FNB UCT ended the half in the same way they had begun it – with a try. They had FNB CUT pinned against their own try line before Joel Smith crossed the line for the home team, with Lubbe converting.
The wind played an even bigger role in the second half, as FNB CUT struggled with their lineouts and kicking in the conditions. Joel Smith received FNB UCT’s third card of the match, meaning that the team would have played one man short for almost a full forty minutes once the match was over. After a smart pass by Jacobs, Adonis sprinted passed the FNB Ikey Tigers players as he earned FNB CUT their first points of the game. Fifteen minutes later, and the nineteen-year-old would cross the line again, with Jacobs converting and bringing the score level at 12-12.
With the FNB Ikey Tigers’ defence being tested because of a late push for victory from their opponents, the game seemed destined to end in a draw after they won a penalty only metres from their try line. This was not meant to be, however, as memories of the 2014 Varsity Cup final came to mind as the crowd watched the ball being quickly shifted wide to Mapoe, who powered his way down the length of the field before offloading the ball for Lategan to slide home. Rob Anderson then converted, securing a 21-12 win for the boys in stripes.
FNB Ikey Tigers: 21
Tries: Cuan Hablutzel, Joel Smith, Rico Lategan (Seven point try)
Conversions: Lohan Lubbe, Rob Anderson
Cards: Nama Xaba (Yellow), Jason Klaasen (Red), Joel Smith (Yellow)
FNB CUT: 12
Tries: Darren Adonis (2)
Conversions: Martin Jacobs
FNB CUT first XV: 1 Jean Volkwyn, 2 Theunis Truter, 3 Hendrik Smit, 4 Pieter Venter, 5 Rayno Nel, 6 Dean Rossouw (C), 7 Dian Dry, 8 Stefan Kruger, 9 Ruben Heymans, 10 Martin Jacobs, 11 Tiiesetso Madonsela, 12 Louis Nel, 13 Waldo Putter, 14 Masego Toolo, 15 Darren Adonis
Substitutions: 16 Stefan Jacobs, 17 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 18 Sylvester Makakole, 19 Kian Skippers, 20 Dean Jacobs, 21 Denver Kleu, 22 Brendan Verster, 23 Chrisjan du Toit
FNB Ikey Tigers first XV: 1 Wayrin Losper, 2 Cuan Hablutzel, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 4 Nama Xaba, 5 Duncan Saffy, 6 Jason Klaasen (C), 7 Luke Stringer, 8 Nyasha Tarusenga, 9 Hilio de Abreu, 10 Jez Mcintyre, 11 Joel Smith, 12 Rico Lategan, 13 Tristan Mouton, 14 Rayno Mapoe, 15 Lohan Lubbe.
Substitutions: 16 William Day, 17 Marty Chandler, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazebuko, 19 Alva Senderayi, 20 Sanele Malwane, 21 Lohan Lubbe, 22 Rob Anderson, 23 Stef de Gouveia.
By Wessley Thring.