FNB UJ got their season up and running when they recorded their first win of the season, in a nail-biting finale against rivals FNB UP Tuks at the UJ Stadium in the 2017 Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
The home side put pressure early on and saw themselves get on the scoresheet, when flyhalf Divan Nel converted an early penalty to set the tone early on in the match, 3-0 to FNB UJ. Winger Godfrey Ramaboea was sent to the sin bin early on and FNB UJ were down 14 men. FNB UP Tuks made use of the man advantage and clawed back into the match with a penalty from fly half Tinus De Beer to make it 3-3 going into the first strategy break.
Tinus De Beer continued where he left off and scored another penalty to put FNB UP Tuks ahead 3-6. It was a half of the fly half as Divan Nel converted his second penalty to make it 6-6 at the end of the first stanza. Divan Nel then made it a hatrick of penalties early on in the second half to make it 9-6 to the home side. FNB UJ were gaining confidence and it was evident when Divan Nel scored his fourth penalty, this time from his own half and stretched the lead to 12-6.
FNB UP Tuks hit back almost immediately to keep themselves within sight as Tinus De Beer scored his third penalty to make it 12-9. The match was perfectly poised and Divan Nel was slowly stealing the show when he scored his fifth consecutive penalty. FNB UP Tuks were refusing to get beat as Tinus De Beer scored his fourth penalty to keep the visitors in the tie at 12-15. However Divan Nel was running the show and scored his sixth penalty as he scored all the points of FNB UJ as it was 18-12 going into the last 10 minutes. The final phase of the match saw FNB UJ reduced to 14 men again, as Wian Conradie was sent to the sin bin and the home side had it all to do to retain their lead.
FNB UP Tuks would eventually score and made it a nail-biting finish as Denzel Hill scored a late try but the conversion was missed and FNB UJ Won the match by a single point. 18-17 to FNB UJ.
FNB player that rocks: Divan Nel (UJ)
FNB UJ: 18
Pens: Divan Nel (6)
Yellow cards: Godfrey Ramaboea, Wian Conradie
FNB UP-Tuks: 17
Tries: Denzil Hill
Pens: Tinus De Beer (3), Joshua Stander
Yellow cards: Neethling Fouche
FNB UJ Starting XV: 15 Ewan Adams, 14 Peter John Walters, 13 Aphiwe Dyanti, 12 Jaco Fourie, 11 Godfrey Ramaboea 10 Divan Nel, 9 Johann Esterhuizen, 8 Leon Massyn, 7 Adrian Bester, 6 Wian Conradie, 5 Estian Enslin, 4 Reinhaardt Nothnagel, 3 Nico du Plessis, 2 Johannes Snyman ©, 1 Waldo Weideman
Replacements: 16 Le Roux Baard, 17 Kyle Kruger, 18 Chergin Fillies, 19 Jo Hanko De Villiers, 20 Siyabonga Luwaca , 21 Kevin du Randt, 22Devon Mare, 23 Carlisle Jordan
FNB UP-Tuks starting XV: 15. Divan Rossouw, 14. Dewald Naude, 13. Toko Maebane, 12. Impi Visser, 11. Sibahle Maxwane, 10. Tinus de Beer, 9. Theo Maree, 8.Jsuan-Re Swanepoel, 7. Chris Massyn (c), 6. Eduan Lubbe, 5. Aston Fortuin, 4. Brian Leitch, 3. Neethling Fouche, 2. Jan-Henning Campher, 1. Andrew Beerwinkel.
Replacements: 16. Theuns Reynolds, 17. Jaco Holtzhausen, 18. Marius Verwey, 19. Denzil Hill, 20. Raegen Oranje, 21. Joshua Stander, 22. Manie Libbok, 23. Franco van den Berg.
By Nkosinathi Shazi