FNB UP-Tuks staged a massive second half showing as they clawed their way back from a 26-0 half-time deficit to draw 26-26 against FNB UCT at the Tuks Rugby Stadium on Monday evening.
It was a weird day for the locals as most of the day was clear and sunny, but this all changed once the match was underway with the players having to adapt to slippery conditions.
It was the men in blue and white hoops who adapted quickest as a sublime cross-kick by outside centre James Tedder was plucked out the air by wing Rayno Mapoe, who simply had to dot down for a converted try.
Continued pressure by the visitors allowed flyhalf Jonty Bredell to collect an attempted charge down while FNB UCT made full use of lock Ruan Nortje’s yellow card with hooker Cuan Hablutzel scoring from the back of a dominant lineout drive to score.
Bredell also landed three penalty goals throughout the first-half to hand FNB UCT a comprehensive 26-0 lead at the break.
The half-time talk in the FNB UP-Tuks’ shed must have been brutal because they came out firing in the second stanza.
Their mammoth comeback started in the 50th minute as no.8 Denzel Hill guided the ball over the whitewash from the back of a strong scrum.
His efforts were followed up by inside centre Erich Cronje and replacement prop Bart le Roux in the 65th and 74th minute respectively. Flyhalf Tinus de Beer added all three conversions.
The match lit up in the final moments as an infringement by the visitors allowed De Beer to line up a shot at goal which he duly converted, allowing FNB UP-Tuks to draw 26-26 in what can only be described as a match of two halves.
FNB Player that Rocks: Busanda Mabena (FNB UCT)
Steers Kinging Moment: Rayno Mapoe (FNB UCT)
FNB UP-Tuks: 26
Tries: Denzel Hill, Erich Cronje, Bart le Roux
Conversions: Tinus de Beer (3)
Penalty: De Beer
FNB UCT: 26
Tries: Rayno Mapoe, Jonty Bredell, Cuan Hablutzel.
Conversions: Jonty Bredell
Penalties: Bredell (3)
FNB UP-Tuks: 15. Damian Bonaparte, 14. Irvin Ali, 13. Lourens Pretorius, 12. Erich Cronje, 11. Ciaran Dayaram, 10. Tinus de Beer, 9. Raegan Oranje, 8. Denzel Hill, 7. Mihlali Stamper, 6. Stephan Smit, 5. Ruan Nortje, 4. Marius Verwey (c), 3. Jean-Pierre Smith, 2. Werner Fourie, 1. Etienne Janeke.
Replacements: 16. Johan Grobbelaar, 17. Jacobus Eloff, 18. Bart le Roux, 19. Brian Leitch, 20. Theo Maree, 21. Boeta Hamman, 22. Xolisa Guma, 23. Hanru Sirgel.
FNB UCT: 15. Darian Hock, 14. Rayno Mapoe, 13. James Tedder, 12. Robert Ball, 11. Gerard Pieterse, 10. Jonty Bredell, 9. Brandon Salomo, 8. Nyasha Tarusenga, 7. Busanda Mabena, 6. Cornelius Otto, 5. Gary Porter, 4. Duncan Saffy, 3. Simon Raw, 2. Cuan Hablutzel, 1. Devon Arendse.
Replacements: 16. Josh van Vuuren, 17. Tomasz Rosenworth, 18. Ntandoyenkosi Mpofana, 19. Matthew Grobler, 20. Lance Steytler, 21. William Rose, 22. Michael Brink, 23. Thobekani Buthelezi.