It took 19 minutes for the game to see the first points of the game. Up until Tinus de Beer slotted a penalty for FNB Tuks, the momentum of the game swung one side and then to another. Certainly the game was not wanting for physicality in the opening minutes and the two sides on opposite sides of the table looked to have a go at one another.
Not to be outdone, efforts on attack were often halted by the strong wind which was blowing in earnest in Stellenbosch. It would be de Beer’s boot that would keep FNB Tuks in the game as he slotted three penalties to give the visiting side a 9-7 lead after 30 minutes. FNB Maties were awarded a penalty try for their dominance at scrum time, but, as was common in this game, the momentum would swing from FNB Maties to FNB Tuks who went into the half-time break leading 16-14 thanks to a try from fullback Willem Strydom.
FNB Tuks can be commended for defending like Trojans at key moments of the game. Indeed, had it not been for their defensive effort, FNB Maties would have scored two tries after the half-time break but wave after wave of attack was swiftly attended to by FNB Tuks players. That defensive wall would eventually be penetrated through in the 59th minute as Chris Massyn scored for the home side to give them a 21-16 lead. Chris Smith’s 80th minute penalty all but sealed the game for FNB Maties.
For its billing, the game certainly lived up to the drama often associated with this clash. Players were feeling the effects of the physical exchanges and some could be seen limping off the field regularly. FNB Tuks winger Xolisa Guma had a golden opportunity to seal the game for his team in the 68th minute – with the try line at his mercy, Guma tried to be extravagant when simple would have been fine.
With the clock running down, both teams looked to keep possession and wind the clock down, yet, in the end it would be FNB Maties who added their third victory of the campaign while keeping FNB Tuks winless in the process.
FNB Player That Rocks: Marno Redelinghuys (FNB Maties)
Cards: Ernst van Rhyn (FNB Maties); Marco van Staden (FNB Tuks)
FNB Maties: 24
Tries: Johan Momsen; Chris Massyn
Cons: Chris Smith(2)
Pens: Chris Smith
FNB Tuks: 16
Tries: Willem Strydom
Cons: Tinus de Beer
Pens: Tinus de Beer (3)
FNB Maties: 15 Reinhardt Fortuin, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Cornel Smit, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Chris Smith, 09 Remu Malan, 08 Janco Venter, 07 Marno Redelinghuys, 06 Mitchell Carstens, 05 Johan Momsen, 04 Ernst van Rhyn, 03 Neethling Fouche, 02 Wilmar Arnoldi, 01 Chippie Oelofse (C)
Replacements: 16 HJ Luus, 17 Ricky Nwagbara, 18 Mzo Buthelezi, 19 Chris Massyn, 20 Stefan Streicher, 21 Logan Boonzaaier, 22 Francois Myburgh, 23 Munier Hartzenberg
FNB Tuks: 15 Willem Strydom, 14 Dewald Naude, 13 Toko Seerane, 12 Erich Cronje, 11 Xolisa Guma, 10 Tinus de Beer, 09 Theo Maree, 08 Clyde Davids, 07 Denzel Hill (C), 06 Jaco Bezuidenhout, 05 Eli Snyman, 04 Ruan Nortje, 03 Mornay Smith, 02 Johan Grobbelaar, 01AndrewBeerwinkel
Replacements: 16 Cornelius Els, 17 Mashao Mukhari, 18 Marius Verwey, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Carlo Engelbrecht, 21 Divan Rossouw, 22 Tyler Fisher, 23 Wesley Adonis