FNB NWU managed to pull off a deserved victory in their season opener at the Fanie du Toit Sportsgrounds. After dominating both halves, they beat FNB CUT 70 -7.
FNB NWU won the toss and hit the ground running, with Walt Steenkamp opening the scoring within the first two minutes of the game. Schalk Hugo converted successfully, putting FNB NWU ahead 7-0.
After spending the first ten minutes in FNB CUT’s half, Dean Gordon took advantage of an overlap and managed to score in the corner for FNB NWU. Schalk Hugo once again converted successfully, with the FNB NWU now 14-0 ahead.
Estehan Visagie scored for the FNB NWU, with Schalk Hugo converting the try and putting FNB NWU 21-0 after 25 minutes of play.
FNB CUT had an opportunity to get some points on the board after being awarded a penalty, but Heinrich Bitzi was unable to convert, leaving the score at 21-0. FNB NWU managed to get even further ahead after Schalk Hugo converted a penalty and put his team ahead 24-0 with 6 minutes still to play in the first half.
On the cusp of half time, Tiaan Erasmus managed to drive over the line and score for FNB CUT, with Heinrich Bitzi managing the conversion. This meant that FNB CUT were going into the second half with only a 17-point deficit.
To get the second half started, Dean Gordon scored the first seven-point try of the match after a brilliant crosskick from Schalk Hugo, who also managed to convert the try. Tapiwa Mafura’s great show of pace put the FNB NWU even further ahead after he scored in the corner. Schalk Hugo missed his first conversion of the game, but FNB NWU were still 40-7 ahead.
Gideon van der Merwe put FNB NWU even further ahead after 51 minutes of play, once again scoring in the corner. Schalk Hugo was unable to convert but FNB NWU still maintained a hefty lead.
After 54 minutes FNB NWU decided to use their powerplay, choosing to send off Duncan van Vuuren and Ruben Heymans. Unfortunately, they were unable to capitalise from the three minutes of only thirteen men on the field for FNB CUT, with the score remaining 45-7 after 57 minutes of play.
After 61 minutes FNB CUT used their powerplay, sending Evardi Boshoff and Akhona Nela off for three minutes. This proved to be futile as Estehan Visagie scored his second try of the match for FNB NWU. Schalk Hugo managed the conversion, putting FNB NWU ahead 54-7.
Hendrik Marais scored a runaway try from inside his own half, giving FNB NWU their third seven-point try of the game. Schalk Hugo converted successfully with the score at 63-7 with 10 minutes still to play.
Just before the final whistle Evardi Boshoff got his first try and FNB NWU’s ninth, with Schalk Hugo nailing his last conversion and FNB NWU winning the game 70-7.
For all his efforts and his two tries scored, Estehan Visagie from FNB NWU was named the FNB Player That Rocks.
FNB NWU: 70
Tries: Walt Steenkamp (1), Dean Gordon (2), Estehan Visagie (2), Tapiwa Mafura (1), Gideon van der Merwe (1), Hendrik Marais (1), Evardi Boshoff (1)
Cons: Schalk Hugo (7)
Pens: Schalk Hugo (1)
FNB CUT: 7
Try: Tiaan Erasmus (1)
Con: Heinrich Bitzi (1)
FNB NWU starting XV: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Dean Gordon, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Akhona Nela, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswell September, 8 Pieter Bezuidenhout, 7 Estehan Visagie, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Johannes Retief, 3 Johannes Ferreira, 2 Siphesihle Mngadi, 1 Morné Strydom
Substitutes: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Nelius Theron, 18 Robert Hunt, 19 Duren Fillies, 20 Edward Haas, 21 Nkosana Mathaba, 22 Hendrik Marais, 23 Jimmy Mpailane.
FNB CUT starting XV: 15 Rasmus Breedt, 14 Dimitrio Tieties, 13 Duncan van Vuuren, 12 Mazithulele Nkosi, 11 Dian Dry, 10 Heinrich Bitzi, 9 Ruben De Haas, 8 Stefan Kruger, 7 Rayno Nel, 6 Dean Rossouw, 5 Brendon Fortuin, 4 Sylvester Makakole, 3 Hendrik Smit, 2 Tiaan Erasmus, 1 Quintin Vorster.
Substitutes: 16 Johannes Terblanche, 17 Raynard Esterhuizen, 18 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 19 Isiah Bila, 20 Songezo Ngozi, 21 Ruben Heymans, 22 Masego Toolo, 23 Tiisetso Madonsela