FNB Wits extend their unbeaten run to three with a win over FNB UWC
FNB Wits hosted FNB UWC in Johannesburg as both sides were looking to be in the top two on the log after the FNB Varsity Shield game. Both sides would have been hoping to build on their previous victories, but it was ultimately the hosts who emerged victorious with a 42-2 win over FNB UWC.
FNB Wits started the game on a high with an early try in just the fifth minute through Luvuyo Papum. Warren Gilbert’s conversion gave the home team an early eight-point lead. The early score put the visitors under pressure before they had time to settle.
The home fans rallied behind their team to give FNB Wits a great advantage who used the motivation to grab their second try of the night just before the first Strategy Break. The conversion heaped on the pressure as the score changed to 16-0 in FNB Wits’ favour. FNB UWC almost conceded another try when the match resumed after the Strategy Break through some great team interplay where FNB Wits showed great pace.
FNB UWC continued to absorb every ounce of pressure thrown at them to keep the score at 16-0 at half time. FNB Wits, despite their dominance, were unable to crack FNB UWC’s defense once the visitors had settled down. FNB UWC started the second half a completely different team with FNB Wits struggling to break into their opponent’s half. The strong performance reaped reward, with FNB UWC putting their first points on the board through a penalty. However, the hosts still led 16-2 ten minutes into the second half.
FNB Wits responded quickly with their third try to crush any hopes of a comeback. This seemed to be the catalyst they needed, as they went on to score their bonus point try. FNB Wits suddenly found themselves 26-2 after 63 minutes.
FNB Wits grabbed another try three minutes later from a FNB UWC defensive error to make it 31-2 with the subsequent conversion extending their lead to 34-2 over FNB UWC. Two tries in the last ten minutes of the match for FNB Wits would rub salt into the wound as they claimed a 40-point victory after leading 16-2 at the 50 minute mark.
After a shaky start FNB UWC looked to be staging a comeback, before a seven-try frenzy by FNB Wits took the game away from the visitors. The comfortable win cements FNB Wits in second place on the log, while FNB UWC will have to be content with third. The result sets up an exciting encounter between table-topping FNB UKZN and FNB Wits next week in Johannesburg.
The game kicks-off at 18h30 on Monday.
Player That Rocks: Luvuyo Papuma
FNB Wits team: 15. Luxolo Nstepe, 14. Kwanele Ngema, 13. Joshua Jarvis, 12. Wade Worthington, 11. Thato Marobela, 10. Warren Gilbert, 9. Ruan Cloete, 8. Constant Beckerling, 7. Connor Brocksmidt, 6. Ruan MacDonald, 5. Rhyno Herbst, 4. Graham Logan, 3. Luvuyo Papuma, 2. CJ Conradie 1. Tidje Visser
Replacements: 16. Craig Hume, 17. Ameer Williams, 18. Mitch Fraser, 19. Aya Mdudi, 20. Sicelo Champion, 21. Kyle Weseman, 22. AJ van Blerk, 23. Brandon Palmer
Tries: Luvuyo Papuma (3), Kwanele Ngema (3)
Conversions: Warren Gilbert (4)
FNB UWC team: 15. Gresham Hock, 14. Lithuxolo Mthethwa, 13. Courtney Cupido, 12. Ruan Mostert, 11. Martin Burgess, 10. William Cupido, 9. John Daniels, 8. Regan Julies, 7. Victor Le Roux, 6. Shelfoyrd Joseph, 5. Dillon Valentyn, 4. Malcom Austin, 3. Kelvin de Bruyn, 2. Karia Wanjiru, 1. Quinton Lasper
Replacements: 16. Branden Beukman, 17. Robin Paulse, 18. Leroy Faught, 19. Jeremy Papier, 20. Matthew Nortjie, 21. Dean Herbert, 22. Avril Kleinbooi, 23. Tahriq Allen
Penalties: William Cupido