It was another dominant display of rugby by Varsity Shield semi-final hosts FNB UWC at their renowned Operation Room.
The Cape side piled on the pressure early on and were rewarded with a try just three minutes into the game after a driving maul saw Justin Theys dot the ball down for the first points of the match. Aidynn Cupido converted to give FNB UWC an early 8-0 lead.
FNB UWC were dealt a blow in the 10th minute when Dean van Tonder was sent to the sin bin for an infringement on the opposing team. FNB WSU sprung to life and used their numerical advantage almost immediately as Luzuko Mafu scored the visitors’ first points with a converted try to make the score 8-8. Van Tonder saw his team mate Andre Manuel joining him in the sin bin just three minutes after him when the FNB UWC winger received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle. FNB WSU piled on the pressure with their two-man advantage and took the lead through a penalty from Zizipho Kayi to take the score to 10-8.
The home side refused to sit back and were rewarded for their efforts on the 28th minute when winger Kurt-Lee Arendse scored a try to restore their lead. Cupido missed the conversion and the scores remained 13-10. The home team were far from finished as Andre Manuel returned to the pitch and was immediately involved in a well-worked move that saw him score the try for his team on the 36th minute of the half to extend the lead to 21-10. Not long after, Michaine Fick finished off another exciting move which Cupido converted with ease. The hosts went into the half time break with a 28-10 lead and brimming with confidence.
The second half started much like the first when the man involved in all the moves for FNB UWC scored a try of his own this time. Herschel Jantjies was having a field day and scored a much-deserved try on the 45th minute but was disappointed to see the conversion go wide. With FNB UWC leading by 34-18, FNB WSU rung the changes in personnel and were soon rewarded when Lubabalo Lento scored a converted try in the 55th minute of the game. Chumani Mjacu scored for FNB WSU minutes later. Zizipho Kayi converted to narrow the score line to 34-26 and a FNB WSU comeback was almost upon us.
The home side were not to be outshone by the visitors as they gathered a good spell of their own which saw full back Daniel Bock score a try on the 65th minute. Cupido was on point with his conversion and extended the lead to 42-26. FNB WSU seemed to be losing momentum and were tiring while the hosts were hungry for more and they got more through Andre Manuel who crossed over for his second try of the match which was also converted.
The scores ended at 50-26 in favour of FNB UWC and the Cape Town team will face off against FNB UFH in the final of the competition in the Operation Room.
FNB Player That Rocks : Herschel Jantjies (FNB UWC)
FNB UWC: 50
Tries : Justin Theys, Michaine Fick, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Herschel Jantjies, Daniel Bock, Andre Manuel (2)
Conversions : Aidynn Cupido (5)
FNB WSU: 26
Tries : Luzuko Mafu, Lubabalo Lento, Chumani Mjacu
Conversions : Zizipho Kayi (3)
Penalty: Zizipho Kayi (1)
FNB UWC: 15 Daniel Bock, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Michaine Fick, 12 Hendrick Carstens, 11 Andre Manuel, 10 Aidynn Cupido, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Adriaan Paarwater, 7 Shaine Orderson, 6 Dean van Tonder, 5 Curtley Thomas, 4 Brandon Valentyn, 3 Justin Theys, 2 Ralph Jansen, 1 Mzo Buthelezi.
Replacements: 16 Ismaeel Schroeder, 17 Nathan Cloete, 18 Bradley Jumaats, 19 Matthew Le Roux, 20 Alwyn Carstens, 21 Clayton Daniels, 22 Roderick Moses, 23 Keagan Fortune.
FNB WSU: 15 Zizipho Kayi, 14 Khanyiso Roloma, 13 Ludwe Jack, 12 Luzuko Mafu, 11 Ntando Mfengu, 10 Sinegugu Lituka, 9 Minenhle Ngidi, 8 Chumani Mjacu, 7 Lubabalo Lento, 6 Mihlali Qoma, 5 Mihlali Mosi, 4 Athenkosi Khethani, 3 Sandile Buthelezi, 2 Siyamthanda Sineko, 1 Sinesipho Puzi.
Replacements: 16 Masixole Gubeni, 17 Nkosinathi Hulani, 18 Luyolo Fata, 19 Siphosihle Magawu, 20 Xolani Mbombo, 21 Lusanda Xakwana, 22 Khwezi Zinto, 23 Mihlali Nchukana.
By Thulani Mkosi