FNB UP-Tuks had to wait for the second half to overpower FNB CUT in Bloemfontein, overturning a four-point half-time deficit to run out comfortable victors by 40-23.
The match consisted of two distinctive halves. In the first half the Ixias matched the powerful UP-Tuks forwards and both sides scored two tries.
CUT’s flyhalf, Charles Williams kept the home side in the lead – 20-16 – with two penalties as well.
The second half, meanwhile, produced a powerful display of the visitor’s abilities. Although Williams slotted his third penalty, Nico Luus’ Stripe Generation took control of the match from the 50th minute onwards (shortly after home scrumhalf Xavie Swartbooi was sin-binned), by scoring three further tries.
There were various UP-Tuks players who caught the eye. Wing Kabelo Mokoena had a brilliant first half, scoring two tries for the visitors. Their flyhalf Theo Boshoff was steady throughout and flanker Hanru Sirgel had magnificent match, and was duly awarded the FNB Payer That Rocks award.
FNB CUT could still take a lot of positives from this encounter. Their forwards, for most of this game, stood up well against the mighty UP-Tuks pack. Winger, PJ Krugell, who scored two tries, as well as Johannes Terblanche deserve mention for the Ixias.
Nonetheless, this bonus point victory puts UP-Tuks unbeaten at the top of the log while bottom-of-the-log CUT have a daunting visit to Stellenbosch to face FNB Maties next week.
FNB Player that Rocks: Hanru Sirgel (FNB UP-Tuks)
Steers Kinging Moment: Wian van Niekerk (FNB UP-Tuks)
FNB CUT – Tries: PJ Krugell (2); Conversions: Charles Williams (2); Penalties: Williams (3).
FNB UP-Tuks – Tries: Kabelo Mokoena (2), Wian van Niekerk, Alex-Zander du Plessis, Sango Xamelashe; Conversions: Theo Boshoff (4); Penalty: Theo Boshoff.
FNB CUT: 15. Cohen Jasper, 14. Christiaan Nel, 13. Neil Stannard, 12. Heino Bezuidenhout (c), 11. Philip Krugel, 10. Charles Williams, 9. Xavier Swartbooi, 8. Hardus Nel, 7. Luvuyo Ndevu, 6. Johannes Terblanche, 5. Jacques Ackerman, 4. Brendon Fortuin, 3. Tebogo Masemola, 2. Janus Venter, 1. Quintin Vorster.
Replacements: 16. Wandré Nortjé, 17. Edward Davids, 18. Katleho Morapane, 19. Matthew Sekele, 20. Jan Kotze, 21. Jaco Wilkinson, 22. Erasmus Breedt, 23. Karabo Maqeba.
Coach: Pieter Bergh
UP-Tuks: 15. Marco Labuschagne, 14. Kabelo Mokoena, 13. Sango Xamlashe, 12. Wian van Niekerk, 11. Zandré Kruger, 10. Theo Boshoff, 9. Raegan Oranje, 8. Jaco Bezuidenhout, 7. Hanru Sirgel, 6. Stephan Smit, 5. Marius Verwey (c), 4. Marcell Barnard, 3. JP Smith, 2. Keano Hendricks, 1. André van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16. Arno van Wyk, 17. Ethan Burger, 18. Mogau Mabokela, 19. Ewart Potgieter, 20. Keenan Opperman, 21. Bendict Ntimba, 22. Alex-Zander du Plessis, 23. Ciaran Dayaram.
Coach: Nico Luus