FNB Tuks defeated FNB Shimlas 27-14 in the sixth round of the FNB Varsity Cup at a wet and cold Shimla Park on Monday evening.
FNB Shimlas kicked off at a wet and cold Shimla Park. From the onset it was not easy, as both teams made it clear that territory and ball-in-hand would play a huge role in the outcome of the game.
FNB Tuks controlled the ball possession better in the first 10 minutes but could not round it off. FNB Tuks’ consistent pressure and domination paid off in the 19th minute when flyhalf Tinus De Beer kicked a penalty over to put FNB Tuks in the lead 3-0.
Although FNB Tuks dominated play, FNB Shimlas’ defence was rock solid for 39 minutes. Consistent pressure and excellent individual play by FNB Tuks centre Lourens Pretorius led to the first try in the 39th minute which was converted by the ever-accurate De Beer taking the half time score to 10-0 to FNB Tuks.
FNB Tuks edged ahead on the scoreboard in the second half when De Beer slotted a long distance penalty just three minutes in, making it 13-0 to FNB Tuks. They had another golden opportunity in the 50th minute after winger Damian Bonaparte went over the tryline but lost the ball.
FNB Tuks kept momentum after excellent ball retention, taking the ball wide, flanker Stephan Smit went over in the 54th minute to score the second try and De Beer extended the lead to 20-0 just before strategy break.
FNB Shimlas were not down and out and scored their first try in the 68th minute through Bertie De Bod, but it was not converted and the score was 20-5 for FNB Tuks with 12 minutes of play remaining.
Excellent individual play by FNB Shimlas scrumhalf Zak Burger led to a late push for victory. He snatched the ball in his own half from a lineout, darted through to score a seven-pointer which was converted by Lubabalo Dobela right on the touchline in the 74th minute to take the score to 20-14 with six minutes of play left.
But FNB Tuks answered with a third try as centre Erich Cronje scored a try and De Beer converted, taking the game away from FNB Shimlas, 27-14 in the 78th minute. FNB Tuks were the better team on the field but hats to the FNB Shimlas, who showed character and never gave up.
De Beer’s goal kicking and tactical kicking was excellent in difficult conditions.
FNB Player that Rocks: Johan Grobbelaar
FNB Shimlas: 14
Tries: Bertie de Bod, Zak Burger (7-pointer); Conversion: Lubabalo Dobela; Penalty: Dobela.
FNB Tuks: 27
Tries: Lourens Pretorius, Stephan Smit, Erich Cronje; Conversions: Tinus De Beer (3); Penalties: De Beer (2).
FNB Shimlas: 15. Ruan Henning, 14. Cham Zondeki, 13. Christiaan Schutte, 12. William Eybers, 11. Charl Pretorius, 10 Lubabalo Dobela, 9. Rewan Kruger, 8. Mihlali Peter, 7. Albertus de Bod, 6. Janco Cloete, 5. Henk Pretorius, 4. Sibabalo Qoma, 3. Mogau Mabokela, 2. Hanno Snyman, 1. Wentzel Vorster.
Replacements: 16. Wian Marais, 17. Thembinkosi Mangwana, 18. Ruan Kramer, 19. Sihile Diniso, 20. George Rossouw, 21. Zak Burger, 22 Marnus Boshoff, 23. Sechaba Matsoele.
FNB UP-Tuks: 15. Damian Bonaparte, 14. Dewald Naude, 13. Lourens Pretorius, 12. Erich Cronje, 11. Ciaran Dayaran, 10. Tinus de Beer, 9. Theo Maree, 8. Denzel Hill, 7. Hanru Sirgel, 6. Stephan Smit, 5. Ruan Nortje, 4. Marius Verwey, 3. Jean-Pierre Smith, 2. Johan Grobbelaar, 1. Etienne Janeke.
Replacements: 16. Werner Fourie, 17. Jacobus Eloff, 18. Bart le Roux, 19. Brian Leitch, 20. Raegan Oranje, 21. Christo Hamman, 22. Irvin Ali, 23. Mihlali Stamper.