The game got underway in incredible fashion for the spectators, who were present at the Wits Stadium, as both sides looked to get the better of each other from the onset. It was, however, the visitors FNB UP-Tuks who drew first blood in the contest, when outside centre Toko Seerane shrugged off a few FNB Wits players, after picking up the ball off a bursting run from Xolisa Guma.
FNB UP-Tuks made no mistake with the conversion, to give the men from Pretoria an early 7-0 lead. The hosts then immediately requested the Power Play, with FNB UP-Tuks’ Tinus De Beer and Christo Hamman being taken off for 2 minutes. This immediately brought good things for the hosts as outside centre Sicelo Champion dashed through the visitors’ defence to score a converted try in the corner from his own half and give FNB Wits a 9-7 lead going into the first strategy break.
The return for the second part of the half, saw FNB Wits get straight back into it and score a great try in the corner through Kwanele Ngema. Christian Humphries then added the extra 2 points and stretched the lead to 18-7. The visitors weren’t going to lay there, and they came with fire pushing hard and eventually got through the resolute FNB Wits defence, with Xolisa Guma scoring in the corner just before half time to bring the score to 18-14 at the break.
The second half saw FNB Wits come to the party very quickly, as they scored a quick try through the man in the pink shorts Kasende Kapepula, who showed great pace to dot down in the corner and give the hosts a healthier 25-14 lead. The rest of the game then saw a seesaw battle, as both sides went for it but it was FNB UP-Tuks, who finished off the scoring with Guma again diving over in the corner for the visitors, with Tinus De Beer missing the conversion to bring the score to 25-19. After that, FNB UP-Tuks had a few other opportunities with the boot to try overcome the Witsies but it wasn’t to be, as the hosts held out to win the clash 25-19.
FNB Player That Rocks: Tyrone Green (FNB Wits)
FNB Wits: 25
Tries: Sicelo Champion, Kwanele Ngema, Kasende Kapepula,
Cons: Christian Humphries (3)
FNB UP-Tuks: 19
Tries: Toko Seerane, Xolisa Guma x2
Cons: Tinus De Beer Teams
FNB Wits starting XV: 15. Tyrone Green, 14. Kwanele Ngema, 13. Sicelo Champion, 12. AJ Van Blerk, 11. Bin Kasende Kapepula, 10. Christian Humphries, 9. Ruan Cloete, 8. Ayabulela Mdudi, 7. Travis Gordon, 6. Constant Beckerling, 5. DJ Bodenstein, 4. Conor Terah Brockschmidt, 3. Cornelius Greef, 2. Cecil John Conradie, 1. Ameer Williams
Substitutes: 16. Justin Brandon, 17. Craig Hume, 18. Sipho Siboza, 19. Jethro De Lange, 20. Kyle Wessrman, 21. Manqoba Mbatha, 22. Lwazi Monakali, 23. Luyolo Qinela
FNB UP-Tuks starting XV: 15. Willem Strydom, 14. Dewald Naude, 13. Toko Seerane, 12. Christo Hamman, 11. Xolisa Guma, 10. Tinus De Beer, 9. Theo Maree, 8. Eduan Lubbe, 7. Jaco Bezuidenhout, 6. Stephan Smit, 5. Eli Smith, 4. Marius Verwey, 3. Andrew Beerwinkel, 2. Jan-Henning Campher, 1. Franco Van den Berg
Substitutes: 16. Johan Grobbelaar, 17. Ruan Nortje, 18. Wesley Adonis, 19. Orateng Koikanyang, 20. Carlo Engelbrecht, 21. Tony Botha, 22. Mihle Nelani, 23. Mornay Smith