FNB Shimlas edge FNB CUT 10-9 in tense Bloemfontein derby
Defending champions FNB Shimlas converted a penalty with just a minute to play as they defeated local rivals FNB CUT 10-9 at the FNB Stadium on Monday 14 March.
The stage couldn’t have been bigger. FNB Shimlas and FNB CUT were to be the two Varsity Cup teams to make history as they stepped out onto the iconic FNB Stadium turf on Monday afternoon.
The ‘Battle of Bloemfontein’ had a different feel to it leading up to kickoff, but as soon as the whistle blew to sound the start of the match, it had all the components of a fierce derby match.
From the outset, players went into tackles hard and there were a few scuffs off the ball. Early pressure by FNB CUT resulted in a penalty and Meyer van Tonder hit the left upright. FNB CUT had the upper hand for most of the first half and were unlucky not to convert a few more chances. They did manage to convert a penalty as Van Tonder put his side in the lead, converting his second penalty attempt.
At the strategy break, after 20 minutes, the score remained 3-0 to FNB CUT.
Brilliant play by FNB Shimlas set their star winger, Masolwa Mafuma through, as an inside pass helped him break the line and run through for a try between the sticks. FNB Shimlas took the lead 7-3.
It wasn’t long before CUT’s Van Tonder successfully converted another penalty from 38 metres out to bring it to 7-6 going into the break.
An injury to FNB Shimlas’ Musa Mahlasela a minute into the second half stopped play, as the medics carefully stretchered him off.
FNB CUT were unlucky not to lead when Van Tonder narrowly missed two penalty attempts, one of those hitting both uprights before falling safely into the hands of FNB Shimlas’ Marco Mason.
It took some time, but in the 60th minute, FNB Shimlas began asserting their dominance. Their forwards kept the territorial advantage in their favour in a match that was all about the physicality up front.
But in the 76th minute, FNB CUT scored a penalty to take the lead for the first time in the match, FNB Shimlas 7-9 FNB CUT.
It would be agony for FNB CUT as only a minute later FNB Shimlas’ Marco Mason converted a long range penalty to steal the lead back, leading 10-9.
FNB CUT pushed play up to FNB Shimlas’ 22 after the hooter, but a knock it on and it was all over.
FNB Shimlas maintain their unbeaten run, defeating FNB CUT 10-9 in a tightly-contested match at FNB Stadium on Monday afternoon.
FNB Player That Rocks: Mosolwa Mafuma (FNB Shimlas)
Tries: Mosolwa Mafuma
Cons: Marco Mason
Pens: Marco Mason
Pens: Meyer van Tonder (3)
FNB Shimlas: 15 Marco Mason, 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Stephan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Arthur Williams, 11 Mosolwa Mafuma, 10 Renier Botha, 9 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 8 Wilhelm Kotzenberg, 7 Neil Claassen, 6 Musa Mahlasela, 5 Dennis visser, 4 Ntokoza Vidima, 3 Dolph Botha, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Thabiso Khanye
Replacements: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Teunis Nieuwoudt, 18 Nicolaas Immelman, 19 Boela Venter, 20 Wynand Pretorius, 21 Renaldo Meyer, 22 Anrich Alberts, 23 Chase Morison
FNB CUT: 15 Meyer van Tonder, 14 Ruan Wasserman, 13 Charles Hitchcock, 12 Hohan Nel, 11 Henry Immelman, 10 Darron Baron, 9 Marius Grobler, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Vincent Maruping, 6 Dean Rossouw, 5 Rayno Nel, 4 Wikus Davis, 3 Gunter Janse van Vuuren, 2 Theuns Truter, 1 Juan Volkwyn
Replacements: 16 Len Noort, 17 Gerard Baard, 18 Sylvester Makakole, 19 Junior Burger, 20 Dean Jacobs, 21 Ali Mgijima, 22 Lethole Mokoena, 23 George Marich
Photos: Catherine Kotze/SASPA