2017 Varsity Shield, presented by Steinhoff, FNB and STEERS. Monday 13th February 2017
FNB RHODES vs FNB CPUT at Rhodes Great Field, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape.

Okuhle Fumba of FNB Rhodes, Pieter Malan Roode of FNB CPUT

Photo by: Stephen Penney/SASPA

FNB Rhodes suffer last minute loss to FNB CPUT

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Wet weather on Rhodes University’s Great Field did not stop the crowd from flooding the stands on Monday night, however the FNB Rhodes team were cut short from delivering a win as FNB CPUT went over the try line in the last 13 seconds of the game to win 13-10. This is FNB Rhodes’ second loss in a row in their Varsity Shield running.

The performances from both teams were riddled by clumsy handling errors as they adjusted to the rainy conditions, however impressive tackles and defense followed. The score was 0-0 for the most part of the first half, but this changed when FNB Rhodes’ Mike Steel put two points on the board with a penalty kick, putting them in the lead at halftime. There were a few close calls on FNB Rhodes’ try line but their defense remained intact.

The wet weather persisted as the second half began, but the fans were pleased in the first few minutes as FNB Rhodes’ Obuhle Fumba scored the first try of the match. Mike Steel made the score 10-0 with a successful conversion. The pace of the game picked up significantly as FNB CPUT scored later on in the game with Malan Roode putting his team on the board, however did not quite catch up as they failed to convert.

FNB CPUT were disappointed with a denied try, but were later relieved as they broke though FNB Rhodes’ defence with 13 seconds remaining on the clock. FNB CPUT’s Shaurick Blom led his team to victory with an additional conversion by Randy Brinkhuis, leaving the field with a narrow 10-13 win.

FNB Rhodes Coach Qondakele Sompondo said he had “mixed feelings” about the result of the game, as his team have worked incredibly hard to be able to qualify for the Varsity Shield, 2017 being the first time in ten years.

“A lapse in concentration is what has cost us a game for the second time in a row now… But I think this is something we can work on as a group,” Sompondo said.

Elize Everton, manager of the FNB Rhodes team, spoke passionately about her team, saying that “It’s all about just trying to get that commitment and trying to get [the boys] to really push through. But we still believe in our team and we will never, ever give up believing in them.”

FNB Rhodes play next play FNB UWC on 20th February.

FNB Player That Rocks:
Yalua Nodada (FNB Rhodes)

FNB Rhodes: 10

Tries: Okuhle Fumba
Cons: Mike Steel
Pen: Mike Steel

Tries: Malan Roode, Shaurick Blom
Cons: Randy Brinkhuis

FNB Rhodes starting XV: 1 Mwambu Njolomba 2 Uzu Nyanda 3 Chris Whiting 4 Jesse Rich 5 Josh Parsons 6 Leandre Vos 7 Owethu Mkolo 8 Devon Barnard 9 Yalua Nodada 10 Mike Steel 11 Nic Butler 12 Ryan Horne 13 Okuhle Fumba 14 Cian Waugh 15 Daniel Coughlan
Replacements: 16 Chulu Jack 17 Lukhanyo Tshongweni 18 Moalusi Matlakal 19 Matthew Stapleton, 20 Phiwe Maselana, 21 Zuko Zote 22 David Nel 23 Lyndon Lambert

FNB CPUT starting XV: 1 Clarence van Wyk, 2 Bekitemba Gqibithole, 3 Zack van Niekerk 4 Camagu Dlisani, 5 Thandolwethu Mayekiso, 6 Butsha Mputa, 7 Glendon du Plessis, 8 Colin April, 9 Christiaan Smit, 10 Randy Brinkhuis, 11 Lucan Kirschner, 12 Malan Roode, 13 Lunathi Nxele, 14 Mario Wilson, 15 Chad Kleinsmidt
Replacements:  16 Sven Brundyn, 17 Boris Hatoekimana, 18 fernell Pretorius, 19 Shaurick Blom, 20 Leigh Meyer, 21 Akhona Sihunu, 22 Fernholdt Buis, 23 Zavier James

By Gabi Bellairs-Lombard

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