FNB Wits keep to winning ways

ON THE ROLL: Janse (Rooikat) Roux, of NMMU, tackles Ruan Macdonald, of Wits, during the 2017 Varsity Cup. Photo by: SASPA.

FNB Wits hosted the FNB Madibaz, at Wits Stadium, in a mouthwatering clash in the FNB Varsity Cup, presented by Steinhoff International. The match was one played at a very high intensity, which saw the exciting young FNB Wits backline thrive when attacking. The game ended with the men from Johannesburg emerging 30-20 victors.

The game got underway with FNB Wits dotting down very early through flanker Constant Beckerling, who managed to barge over after a series of attacks, but flyhalf Gianni Lombard unfortunately then sent his conversion attempt wide. The visitors then soon hit back with points of their own, when their flyhalf, Thomas Kean, sent a penalty from over 50m, soaring between the sticks to bring the score to 5-3.

Straight after the first strategy break, the FNB Madibaz scored when winger Jixie Malapo dashed past a few defenders for a seven-point try. The game was then very tight with both teams going at each other, but it was the FNB Witsies that were the next to score, through lock Rhyno Herbst. With the score now at 10-10, pressure shifted back to the home side and the FNB Madibaz crossed over after camping in the FNB Wits 22m area. The try was scored by Henry Brown and converted again by Kean. With halftime soon approaching, all pressure was on FNB Wits, which they eventually managed to turn into a try that saw both teams go into the break deadlocked at 17-17.

The second half was tamer than the first, with FNB Madibaz only managing three points from the boot of flyhalf Thomas Kean. The home side also saw a further 13 points added to their score, thanks to the boot of substitute flyhalf and captain Warren Gilbert, who had just returned from injury. The game ended with FNB Wits making it another win on the trot ahead of a very important game against fierce Johannesburg rivals FNB UJ, at the UJ Stadium, next Monday, March 20.

FNB Player That Rocks: CJ Greeff (FNB Wits)

FNB UJ too much for FNB UCT

An impressive attacking display from FNB UJ saw the FNB IKey Tigers’ hopes of finishing in a top-four spot slip further away with only two fixtures remaining before the semi-finals. The match ended 40-12 in favour of FNB UJ.

The match was quite even for the first quarter of the game, with Aphiwe Dyantyi providing the first few sparks as he embarked on a dangerous run down the left side of the field. The teams went into the first break on equal terms, but it was FNB UJ who drew first blood as Johan Esterhuizen crossed the line. The try was converted, and FNB UJ went on to spread the ball wide after a period of pressure, allowing Curtley Adams to cross the line unchallenged. The try was converted, giving FNB UJ an 18-0 lead over FNB UCT at halftime.

The FNB Ikey Tigers came out in the second half determined to make up the gap in points, scoring a seven-point try through Gerard Pieterse. It wasn’t long before Johannes Snyman extended FNB UJ’s lead, with De Villiers crossing the line again seven minutes afterwards, extending their lead to 28-7.

There was a period of ten minutes when FNB UJ were reduced to ten men and Rayno Mapoe found some space on the right wing, but besides that, FNB UJ were as clinical in defence as they were in attack.

Nel then scored a penalty kick for FNB UJ, giving them a 19-point lead. The home team didn’t give up though, scoring again through Seb Roodt down the left wing. After that it was all FNB UJ in the late stages of the game, and a sweeping move in the final minute of the game saw Ramaboea score a seven-point try. After Nel converted, the game ended 40-12 to FNB UJ.

FNB Player That Rocks: Aphiwe Dyantyi (FNB UJ)

Varsity Cup results:

FNB UCT 12, FNB UJ 40

FNB CUT 38, FNB NWU-Pukke 43

FNB Shimlas 19, FNB UP-Tuks 65

FNB Wits 30, FNB Madibaz 20

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