The FNB TUT Vikings narrowly defeated FNB Varsity Shield presented by Steinhoff International newcomers FNB Rhodes, in their opening match of the competition, 16-12, on Thursday night in Tshwane.
The match was played in full view of the roaring Pretoria crowd at the TUT main stadium as the home team started in a low gear, allowing the visitors space to make runs on the wings. Just nine minutes into the game, the visitors’ Uzu Nyanda opened the scoreboard with a try, making it 5-0 but his team failed to convert.
Just five minutes after missing a conversion, FNB Rhodes’s Mike Steel extended their lead with a penalty, giving the Eastern Cape-based outfit a seven-point lead over the hosts.
Despite numerous attempts for a try by FNB TUT Vikings prop Reginald Standers, the visitors’ backline remained rock solid.
Towards the dying minutes of the first half the home side nearly registered with a try through prop JJ Nelson, but the visitors’ defence stood strong once more, through their crunching tackles, leaving the scoreboard at 0-7 going into the break
Two minutes into the second half the FNB Vikings’ flyhalf Litha Vumisa pulled a try back leaving centre Ruaan du Preez with the conversion, allowing the FNB Vikings to take the lead for the first time in the match, making it 8-7. Just a minute later the visitors spoiled the party, with a try, taking a lead again in the match. It was 8-12.
With just three minutes remaining on the clock, the home side’s hooker Stanley Modjadji scored the team’s second try and Ruaan du Preez converted it, ending the match at 16-12 to the Pretoria-based FNB TUT Vikings.
FNB Player that Rocks: Stanley Modjadji (FNB TUT)
FNB TUT: 16
Tries: Litha Vumisa, Stanley Modjadji
Cons: Ruaan du Preez (2)
FNB Rhodes: 12
Tries: Uzu Nyanda, David Nel
Pens: Mike Steel
FNB TUT starting XV: 15 Bongani Zwane, 14 Tshepo Nyathi, 13 Jan van der Merwe, 12 Ruaan du Preez, 11 Arno Britz, 10 Litha Vumisa, 9 Charl Lombaard, 8 Daniel de Villiers, 7 Mpho Kganakga, 6 Mualaba Mukendi, 5 William Thomson, 4 Claude Johannes, 3 Reggie Standers, 2 Ratsaka Modjdji, 1 Jacob Nelson
Replacements: 16 Dalton Dreyer, 17 Shadown Ndlala, 18 Mandla Mdaka, 19 Lungelo Xulu, 20 Bongani Phangisa, 21 Viagian Groenewald, 22 Mfundo Gumede, 23 Bongani Mtshali
FNB Rhodes starting XV: 15 Daniel Coughlan, 14 Cian Waugh, 13 Okuhle Fumba, 12 Ryan Horne, 11 David Nel, 10 Michael Steel, 9 Yalusa Nodada, 8 Devon Barnard, 7 Jonathan Braans, 6 Kieran Skae, 5 Joshua Parsons, 4 Jethro Anderson, 3 Lukhanyo Tshongweni, 2 Uzu Nyanda, 1 Mwambu Njolomba
Replacements: 16 Chulumanco Jack, 17 Moalusi Matlakala, 18 Lwandile Mkosana, 19 Matthew Stapleton, 20 Ndimphiwe Maselana, 21 Ronald McCann, 22 , 23 Lyndon Lambert
By Mokete Radebe