Peter de Villiers got his Varsity Shield career off to a winning start as his FNB UWC side secured a comprehensive 42-4 win over the FNB TUT Vikings on Monday.
In a match of contrasting halves, UWC came alive in the second half and scored 40 unanswered points to blow TUT out of the water.
For TUT it was a case of not converting their opportunities into points after they had dominated territory and possession in the first 40 minutes.
UWC, in turn, made full use of their opportunities and ultimately outscored the former FNB Varsity Cup side by five tries to nil to the delight of their mentor De Villiers.
TUT scrumhalf Nico Smuts almost sparked the opening try of the match inside the first two minutes with a sniping break but his offload to Thabo Mangena didn’t go to hand and let the hosts off the hook.
UWC responded with a turnover and quick, swooping counter attack from inside their 22 with some desperate cover defence denying the home side.
UWC were reduced to 14 men in the 10th minute when lock Methetheleli Fuzani was yellow carded for not rolling away but outstanding defence held out wave after wave of TUT attacks and saw them survive the 10-minute period without conceding a single point.
A frustrated TUT captain Tinus van Wyk instructed Morne Hugo to kick at goal following another UWC transgression and the flyhalf made no mistake to finally put the visitors on the board.
UWC responded almost immediately, however, as they were gifted a penalty after their first real attacking surge into the TUT 22 and flyhalf Charl van Vollenhoven levelled the scores.
TUT’s dominance continued throughout the half but a lack of accuracy with ball in hand saw them hold just a slender 4-2 lead at half-time thanks to a second penalty by Hugo, who missed his third attempt and an ambitious drop-goal before the break.
UWC came out firing in the second stanza and hit the front after just two minutes, scrumhalf Frederick Muller finding a barnstorming Michael September with a deft flick pass and the tighthead offloading brilliantly in a double tackle to Fuzani, who made amends for his yellow card by flopping over for the try. Van Vollenhoven added the easy conversion to put UWC up 10-4.
Livewire Muller extended UWC’s lead to 14 points when he caught TUT napping with a quick tap, kicked and regathered on the bounce to score an opportunistic converted try.
A turnover led to UWC’s third try moments later as fast hands afforded wing Minenhle Mthethwa the time and space to step inside the final defender and dot down in the corner. Van Vollenhoven’s touchline conversion curled in to give UWC a 26-4 lead.
The try of the match came in the 61st minute when Kenwin Weiner rounded off a scintillating set-piece try. From a scrum inside their own half, replacement Donovan Williams sliced straight through the TUT midfield and linked up with Weiner on his inside to grab his team’s fourth converted try.
Godlen Masimla rubbed salt into the wounds with a final eight-pointer for the hosts.
UWC travel to Bloemfontein to tackle 2011 champions CUT on Thursday while TUT return home for a encounter with UKZN on the same day.
For FNB UWC:
Tries: Fuzani, Muller, Mthethwa, Weiner, Masimla
Cons: Van Vollenhoven 5
Pen: Van Vollenhoven
For FNB TUT:
Pens: Hugo 2
FNB UWC: 15 Quade Langeveld, 14 Godlen Masimla, 13 Kenwin Weiner, 12 Yondela Stampu, 11 Minenhle Mthethwa, 10 Charl Van Vollenhoven, 9 Fredderick Muller, 8 Njabulo Ndlovu, 7 Juan-Paul Kellerman, 6 Jose Julies, 5 Methetheleli Fuzani, 4 Pallo Manuel, 3 Michael September, 2 Charlton Van Jaarsveld (captain), 1 Kelvin De Bruyn.
Replacements: 16 Michael Mkhize, 17 Siphiwokuhle Bakeni, 18 Darren Luiters, 19 Samuel Borsah, 20 Denzel Willemse, 21 Donovan Williams, 22 Lubabalo Faleni, 23 Brent Fisher.
FNB TUT Vikings: 15 Paul Walters, 14 Thabo Mangena, 13 Zandre De Bruin, 12 Oswald Gibson, 11 Fanie Raseroka, 10 Morne Hugo, 9 Nico Smuts, 8 Barend Nordeje, 7 Tinus Van Wyk (captain), 6 Mandla Mdaka, 5 Gareth Bredenhann, 4 Isak Deetlefs, 3 Dylan Middleditch, 2 Adriaan Joubert, 1 Gerrit Van Gerwe.
Replacements: 16 Dawid Roux, 17 Riacardo Burger, 18 Armand Marshall, 19 Welile Ntozakhe, 20 Johannes Venter, 21 Anele Magubane, 22 Maulaba Mukendi, 23 Zandre Grobler
Referee: Renier Vermeulen