FNB Maties thrashed FNB Shimlas 60-12 in the sixth round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International in Bloemfontein on Monday night, as they played for the first time ever at the Free State Stadium, home of the Cheetahs.
FNB Shimlas started the game on the wrong foot when scrumhalf Armand Pretorius was yellow-carded for not retreating 10 metres right near the FNB Shimlas tryline. FNB Maties used the opportunity and launched a backline move where winger Edwill van der Merwe scored the first try, converted by flyhalf Chris Smith, putting FNB Maties in the lead 7-0, eight minutes into the game.
FNB Maties kept the momentum and flyhalf Chris Smith scored in the corner converting his own try taking the lead to 14-0, 15 minutes in the game. Flaming FNB Maties scored a third try from the kick-off when flanker Stephan Streicher rounded off with a seven-pointer converted by Chris Smith, dominating the game 23-0 after only 18 minutes.
FNB Maties scrumhalf was yellow-carded for dissent in the 20th minute of the first half. The penalty gave FNB Shimlas territorial advantage and they scored from a lineout as scrumhalf Armand Pretorius went over to put the FNB Shimlas on the scoreboard, 23-5.
Once again FNB Maties found gaps in the FNB Shimlas defence and scored their fourth try, winger Duncan Saal with a seven-pointer, converted by Chris Smith 30 minutes into the game, stretching the lead to 32-5. FNB Shimlas answered with a five-point try, after Stephan Janse Van Rensburg crossed the tryline and it was converted by Marco Mason, ending the first half 32-12 in favour of FNB Maties.
FNB Maties dominated the first half using their opportunities with first class backline play, finding gaps in the FNB Shimlas defence. FNB Maties kept momentum and winger Edwill van der Merwe rounded off a great backline move with a five-point try, his second, in the corner, taking the game away from the FNB Shimlas with the score 37-12 just 47 minutes in.
Poor play from the FNB Shimlas allowed FNB Maties to intercept the ball deep in their 22, giving pacey winger Edwill van der Merwe an opportunity for a third try, another seven-pointer, stretching the score to 44-12. Weak defence from the FNB Shimlas handed FNB Maties an easy seventh try, as flanker Johan van Niekerk sealed the game. It was 51-12 with 10 minutes remaining.
FNB Maties ended the game off in style in the last minute scoring their eighth through fullback Craig Barry, converted by Reinhardt Fortuin and sealing the game 60-12. FNB Maties’ four seven-pointers is testimony to their excellent backline play, supported by quality ball possession from the forwards. FNB Shimlas clearly didn’t pitch up for the game and didn’t play well in all phases of the game. The injuries of both FNB Shimlas flyhalves definitely crippled the FNB Shimlas. And it is clear that FNB Maties is the team to beat in the Varsity Cup this year.
Player that Rocks: Edwill Van der Merwe (FNB Maties)
FNB Shimlas: 12
Tries: Armand Pretorius (five-pointer), Stephan Janse Van Rensburg (five-pointer)
Cons: Marco Mason (1)
Yellow cards: Armand Pretorius
FNB Maties: 60
Tries: Edwill Van der Merwe (five-pointer X2, seven-pointer), Chris Smith (five-pointer), Stephan Streicher (seven-pointer), Duncan Saal (seven-pointer), Johan Van Niekerk (seven-pointer), Craig Barry (seven-pointer)
Cons: Chris Smit (4), Reinhardt Fortuin (1)
Yellow cards: Brendon Nell
FNB Shimlas Starting XV: 15 Sechaba Motsoela, 14 Vuyani Maqina , 13 Carel Wynand Coetzee, 12 Lihleli Xoli, 11 Marco Mason, 10 Stephan Janse Van Rensburg , 9 Armand Pretorius, 8 Nardus Erasmus, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana ,6 Daniel Maartens,5 Raymond Woest, 4 Nicolaas Immelman ,3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Francois Steyn , 1 Johan Kotze
Substitutes: 16 Anrich Alberts, 17 Abram Venter ,18 Kwenzokuhle Blose ,19 Ruben Schoeman , 20 Musa Mahlasela, 21 Dian Badenhorst , 22 Rayhaan Lombaard ,23 Wilandre Kotzenberg
FNB Maties Starting XV: 1 Niel Oelofse, 2 Corbet Craig , 3 Jacobus Van der Merwe , 4 Ernst van Rhyn , 5 Johannes Momsen, 6 Mitchell Carstens , 7 Stephan Streicher, 8 Ryan Nash, 9 Niel Shane , 10 Christopher Smith , 11 Edwill Van der Merwe , 12 Chris Smit , 13 Kyle Steyn , 14 Duncan Saal, 15 Craig Barry (Capt)
Substitutions: 16 Hendrik Luus, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Roux Swart, 19 Saud Abrahams, 20 Johan Van Niekerk 21 Albertus De Wet, 22 Reinhardt , 23 Michal Haznar
By Xander Snyders