The battle of the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC’s) rugby team to maintain their status in the Varsity Cup was dealt a heavy blow when they lost at home 28-50 to the University of Johannesburg last night.
Although they managed to get a bonus point from the clash, the defeat leaves FNB UWC in real danger of relegation to the Varsity Shield next season as they sit second from bottom on 32 points in the combined 2021-22 log, four points below FNB CUT, the closest team to them. That means Paul Treu’s men will need a bonus-point win at the Danie Craven Stadium when they visit FNB Maties in the last round-robin match next week, and they will need other results to go their way, in order to avoid the chop.
The Orange Army of FNB UJ, on the other hand, can breathe easier having secured their place in next year’s FNB Varsity Cup. What’s more, the big win against FNB UWC has kept them in the hunt for a spot in the 2022 playoffs – although they will need to win their next match and hope that other results go their way.
FNB UWC will lament their poor performance in last night’s must-win fixture. They failed to meet the challenge of the FNB UJ forwards at the gainline and lost the territorial battle.
The hosts conceded a series of penalties in their own half and flank Godfrey Muzanarwo was shown two yellow cards – and ultimately a red – before the end of the first stanza.
FNB UJ used their maul and the big kicking boot of Jonathan Viljoen to devastating effect. They went to the break with a 31-14 lead and with the four-try bonus point in the bag.
The visitors maintained the pressure after the break. The attack racked up 50 points, but the defense could not stop FNB UWC from claiming a bonus point for four or more tries as Mauritz Swart, Will Vraagom (for a point of origin try worth 7 points compared to the normal try worth 5 points), Justin Theys and Peter Williams dotted down. Captain Lyle Hendricks kicked two conversions.
FNB UWC Starting XV: 15 Gilroy Lee Philander, 14 Tasriq Mynhardt, 13 Aydon Topley, 12 Lubelo Scott, 11 Will Vraagom, 10 Lyle Hendricks (captain), 9 Conwill Conradie, 8 Romauld Ntumba, 7 Godfrey Muzanarwo, 6 Nicholas Chipanje, 5 Jaen-Louis de Lange, 4 Liam Tattersal, 3 Riaan van der Merwe, 2 Mauritz Swart, 1 Haniel du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Marshaleno Valensky, 17 Keanuh Michaels, 18 Andries Engelbrecht, 19 Asive Mjoli, 21 Peter Williams, 22 Tandile Hoyi, 23 Justin Theys, 24 Johannes van Biljon.
Head coach: Paul Treu
FNB UWC 28 (14) – Tries: Mauritz Swart, Will Vraagom (1x7), Justin Theys, Peter Williams (1x7). Conversions: Lyle Hendricks (2).
FNB UJ 50 (24) – Tries: Keegan Joubert., Darnell Osuagwu (2), Musawenkosi Tshabalala, Chergin Fillies, Shaun-Christian Baxter, Kelvin Kanenungo. Conversions: Jonathan Viljoen (6). Penalty: Jonathan Viljoen.
FNB Player That Rocks: Musawenkosi Tshabalala (FNB UJ)
Match summary courtesy Varsity Cup Media. Images by Nasief Manie/ASEM Engage.