MATIES VS TUKS
In Stellenbosch, Maties defeated FNB UP-Tuks 46-35, ending the defending champions’ chances of reaching the semi-finals in this year’s competition. This loss marked their fifth consecutive defeat in 2023. The match began with an early try by inside centre Waqar Solaan, putting Maties ahead 7-0 after flyhalf and captain Jurie Matthee converted. FNB UP-Tuks responded with a try by hooker Allister Williams and converted by number 10 Walter Visser. Matthee added a penalty, followed by a point-of-origin try by outside centre Grant de Jager, extending the lead to 19-7. Matthee continued to score with a conversion and penalty, giving Maties a firm grip on the match.
Maties continued their dominance with a try by wing Matthew Van Schalkwyk, converted by Matthee, making the halftime score 31-7. In the second half, Jacques Rousseau scored a try for Maties, sparking the game with excitement. Although FNB UP-Tuks showed promise with tries by Zander Reynders, Zandre Kruger, and Visser, a penalty by Matthee and a late try by lock Simon Miller secured the win for Maties. FNB UP-Tuks managed a consolation try by Bayanda Ngubane, but it was too late for a victory. Maties successfully avenged last year’s final loss against FNB UP-Tuks.
FNB Maties 46 (31) – Tries: Waqar Solaan, Grant De Jager, Matthew Van Schalkwyk, Jacques Rousseau, Simon Miller. Conversions: Jurie Matthee (4). Penalties: Matthee (4)
FNB UP-Tuks 35 (7) – Tries: Allister Williams, Zander Reynders, Zandre Kruger, Walter Visser, Bayanda Ngubane. Conversions: Walter Visser (3), Clyde Lewis (1).
FNB Player That Rocks: Grant De Jager (Maties)
NWU EAGLES VS CUT
At the Fanie du Toit Sportsground, NWU Eagles secured a hard-earned 45-28 victory against FNB CUT, maintaining their top position on the log. Matthew Fortuin contributed two tries to the Eagles’ impressive start to the campaign. In the absence of Riaan Genis, Vernon Paulo led the Eagles to a 23-12 halftime lead, with Ntobeko Shezi, Vernon Paulo, and Matthee Fortuin all scoring tries. Zinedine Robinson converted successfully, giving the home team the advantage. CUT responded with tries from Jacobus Cloete and Jandre de Beer.
In the second half, the Eagles continued their strong performance with Fortuin scoring his second try of the game, bringing the score to 32-12. Ten minutes into the half, CUT replaced Ricoman Titus due to an arm injury, with Zac Bester taking his place. Despite a comeback attempt by the visitors with tries from Asekho Marubela and Matthew Sekele, a spectacular try from Aphelele Madaka secured the win for NWU. As a result, CUT fell from second to fourth place on the log.
FNB NWU Eagles 45 (23) – Tries: Ntobeko Shezi, Vernon Paulo, Aphelele Madaka, Matthew Fortuin (2). Conversions: Zinedine Robinson (4), Martin Venter (1). Penalties: Robinson (1), Venter (1).
FNB CUT 28 (12) – Tries: Jacobus Cloete, Jandre de Beer, Matthew Sekele, Asekho Marubela
Conversations: Tyler Sefoor (4).
FNB Player That Rocks: Gustav Erlank (NWU)
IKEYS VS WITS
FNB UCT Ikeys dominated FNB Wits 46-19 in a cold match at Green Mile Stadium in Cape Town. Wits started strong, showing positive intent with the ball, and scored a try through center Tom Nell from a turnover, with Ntokozo Makhaza converting.
Wits responded with a seven-pointer from full-back Setshaba Mokoena, but UCT quickly took control of the game with tries from Sipho Dyonase, Makhaza, and Duran Koevort, leading 34-7 at halftime. In the second half, Wits attempted to catch up with a try from Azakhiwe Afrika, but UCT countered with a try from Enos Ndiao, who was awarded the Player That Rocks award for his all-round play.
Wits fought back with a try from Mark Synman, with Gerswin Mouton converting. UCT added a well-deserved victory with a try from substitute Rihaz Fredericks.
FNB UCT 46 (34) – Tries: Tom Nell, Sipho Dyonase, Ntokozo Makhaza, Duran Koevort, Enos Ndiao, Rihaz Fredericks. Conversations: Makhaza (5)
FNB Wits 19 (7) – Tries: Setshaba Mokoena, Azakhiwe Afrika, Mark Snyman. Conversations: Gerswin Mouton (1).
FNB Player That Rocks: Enos Ndiao (UCT)
SHIMLAS VS UJ
FNB UFS Shimlas emerged victorious with a narrow 31-30 win against FNB UJ in an intense match at Bloemfontein’s Shimla Park. The game was full of drama, including a city-wide blackout that caused the stadium lights to go out just 19 minutes into the game.
UJ opened the scoring through flanker Christiaan Pretorius’ first try, which was converted by Rowan Malgas. However, Shimlas responded almost immediately with hooker William Moffat scoring a try that Litha Nkula converted.
Pretorius scored his second try of the game, but Shimlas hit back with Nkula scoring a try. Then the lights went out, causing a brief delay before the game resumed with the help of generators.
Siviwe Zondani scored two tries for Shimlas, with Nkula landing a penalty that proved to be crucial in securing the win. Despite tries from UJ’s Prince Nkabinde and Kelvin Kanenungo, they couldn’t level the score in the dying minutes of the game. UJ was penalized for holding the ball on the ground during their final chance at a comeback.
FNB UFS Shimlas 31 (23) – Tries: William Moffat, Litha Nkula, Siviwe Zondani (2). Conversions: Litha Nkula (2). Penalties: Nkula (1).
FNB UJ 30 (14) – Tries: Christiaan Pretorius (2), Prince Nkabinde, Kelvin Kanenungo. Conversions: Rowan Malgas (4).
FNB Player That Rocks: Siviwe Zondani (UFS)