FNB UWC came into this match needing a victory to avoid certain relegation to the FNB Varsity Shield. From the outset, they adopted a more pragmatic approach, relying on their powerful pack and the accurate kicking of captain Lyle Hendricks to create pressure and opportunities.
The Ixias battled to cope at the set pieces and collisions. Lock Ulrich Stander was shown a yellow card in the 30th minute after his team committed one transgression too many.
Prop Haniël du Toit then crashed over for his second try – and FNB UWC’s fourth. At that stage, the hosts looked to be on course for a comfortable win.
The Ixias punished FNB UWC’s poor game-management thereafter and proceeded to score two tries before the break. At half-time, FNB UWC held a 28-14 lead.
The visitors continued to fight back in the second stanza. When lock Matthew Sekele powered over for his second try of the game, the Ixias were suddenly in a position to claim valuable log points from the fixture.
Somewhat inevitably, FNB CUT dotted down for a bonus-point try in the 57th minute. Floris Brand slotted a late penalty to ensure that the visitors picked up a second bonus point for losing by seven points or less.
With this result, FNB UWC have boosted their tally to 31 points on the combined 2021-22 log. While they trail FNB CUT Ixias by five log points in the combined standings, they are still alive with two rounds to play.
FNB UWC Starting XV – 15 Tiaan Henecke, 14 Tasriq Mynhardt, 13 Aydon Topley, 12 Lubelo Scott, 11 Will Vraagom, 10 Lyle Hendricks (captain), 9 Conwill Conradie, 8 Romuald Ntumba, 7 Godfrey Muzanarwo, 6 Nicholas Chipanje, 5 Jaen-Louis de Lange, 4 Bronlee Mouries, 3 Riaan van der Merwe, 2 Mauritz Swart, 1 Haniël du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Husayn Banzi, 17 Keanuh Michaels, 18 Andries Engelbrecht, 19 Asive Mjoli, 20 Gino Kemp, 21 Patrick Kotze, 22 Tandile Hoyi, 23 Justin Theys.
Head coach: Paul Treu
FNB UWC 44 (28) – Tries: Aydon Topley, Haniël du Toit (2), Romuald Ntumba (1x7), Mauritz Swart (1x7), Nicholas Chipanje. Conversions: Lyle Hendricks (5).
FNB CUT Ixias 38 (5) – Tries: Matthew Sekele (1x7, 1x5). Jacquin van Wyk (1x7), Septimus Derkesen, Albertus Venter. Conversions: Floris Brand (3). Penalty: Floris Brand.
FNB Player That Rocks: Nicholas Chipanje (FNB UWC)
Match summary courtesy Varsity Cup Media. Images by Nasief Manie/ASEM Engage.