FNB Wits hosted FNB UCT at the Wits Rugby Stadium on Monday evening. It was the last game of the 2017 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International season for both sides, with both teams failing to progress to the next round. FNB Wits however finished off their best season in the Varsity Cup so far by beating FNB UCT 35-23.
The game saw FNB Wits score really quickly, when scrumhalf Ruan Cloete dived over from close range to give the home side an early lead. Captain Warren Gilbert stepped up and added the extra two with the boot.
The home supporters then didn’t have to wait too long for more points, as speedster Kwanele Ngema picked up a pass from midfield to dash through a few FNB UCT defenders to dot down for a converted nine-point try. With the score at 16-0, FNB UCT were then the next to reply just before halftime through Nyasha Tarusenga, who scored after lots of FNB UCT pressure on the FNB Wits try line.
Fullback Lohan Lubbe added the extra two to cut the deficit to nine points. A few moments later, the visitors were on the attack again and were rewarded for their effort, when Hendrik Lategan crossed over to level matters going into the break with a nine-point try after Lynne’s conversion.
The second half saw the hosts come out looking a lot stronger and their efforts showed, when they scored two consecutive converted tries just after the second strategy break to take the score to 30-16.
FNB Wits then added more pressure on the visitors when they added another try to their tally, as hooker CJ Conradie dotted down, but Gilbert unfortunately sent his conversion attempt wide.
The men from Cape Town, however, had the last say but unfortunately it was a little to late, when Joel Smith cut the deficit. The try was converted but shortly after the five-pointer, the final whistle went, which saw FNB Wits secure another memorable victory, beating FNB UCT 35-23.
FNB Player that Rocks: Kwanele Ngema (FNB Wits)
FNB Wits: 35
Tries: Ruan Cloete, Kwanele Ngema, Luvuyo Pupuma, CJ Greef, CJ Conradie
Cons: Warren Gilbert (5)
FNB UCT: 23
Tries: Nyasha Tarusenga, Hendrik Lategan, Joel Smith
Cons: Lohan Lubbe (2), Rob Anderson
FNB Wits: 15. Gianni Lombard, 14.Kwanele Ngema 13. Wandisile Simelane , 12. Tyrone Green, 11. Joshua Jarvis, 10. Warren Gilbert, 9. Ruan Cloete, 8. Jethro De Lange, 7. Conor Brockschmidt, 6. Justin Brandon, 5. Graham Logan, 4. Rhyno Herbst, 3. Luvuyo Pupuma, 2. CJ Conradie, 1. CJ Greef
Subs: 16. Dale Hartmann, 17. Brandon Palmer, 18. Pascal Snyman, 19. Michael Renwick , 20. Luxolo Ntsepe, 21. Jarred Branco, 22. AJ Van Blerk, 23. Ameer Williams
FNB UCT: 15. Lohan Lubbe, 14. Rayno Mapoe, 13. Sebastian Roodt, 12. Hendrik Lategan, 11. Joel Smith, 10. Rob Anderson, 9. Michael Henning, 8. Nyasha Tarusenga, 7. Kuyenzeka Xaba, 6. Jason Klassen, 5. Gary Porter, 4. Duncan Saffy, 3. Michael Kumburai, 2. Cuan Hablutzel, 1. Wayrin Losper
Subs: 16. Msizi Zondi, 17. William Day, 18. Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19. Alva Senderai, 20. Sanele Malwane, 21. Hilio De Abreu, 22. Gerard Piererse, 23. Tristan Mouton
By Sifiso Nyawo