Ikeys Qualify For Varsity Cup Final After A Clinical Display Against NWU Eagles

Photo Credit - Speedshots.co.za

FNB UCT fought back from 15-0 down to beat FNB NWU and book their place in the FNB Varsity Cup final with a 54-36 win.

The Eagles came into this semi-final as underdogs having finished fourth on the log, but made a superb start against the table-topping Ikey Tigers, who had top point-scorer James Tedder ruled out just before kick-off.

However, FNB UCT soon rediscovered their form to take a 21-15 lead, and while the Eagles scored a try in first-half stoppage time to go back in front, they faded in the second half as a tough recent schedule took its toll.

FNB NWU winger Keano Windvogel chased down a kick to score a point-of-origin try in the second minute of the match, with flyhalf Nivan Petersen kicking the conversion and adding two penalty goals.

FNB UCT hit back with tries to lock Gary Porter, centre Le Roux Malan and No 8 Christian Stehlik, before FNB NWU hooker Gustav du Rand mauled his way over for his ninth try of the tournament. Petersen's conversion gave the Eagles a 22-21 advantage at the break.

FNB UCT regained the lead when replacement hooker Josh van Vuuren scored off a driving maul early in the second half.

David Hayes’ up-and-under then resulted in the flyhalf scoring a point-of-origin try and when winger Rihaz Fredericks dived over in the right corner, the Ikey Tigers led 40-22 after 59 minutes.

Replacement Eagles prop Arno Gustafson forced his way over the whitewash before Ikeys replacement scrumhalf Kyle Bowman scored at the other end.

Van Vuuren’s second maul try took FNB UCT past the 50-point mark, with replacement scrumhalf Caleb Louw then scoring a late consolation try for FNB NWU.

FNB Player That Rocks: David Hayes (FNB UCT)

FNB UCT Ikeys – Tries: Gary Porter, Le Roux Malan, Christian Stehlik, Josh van Vuuren (2), Rihaz Fredericks, David Hayes (1x7), Kyle Bowman. Conversions: David Hayes (4), Kyle Bowman (2).
FNB NWU Eagles – Tries: Keano Windvogel (1x7), Gustav du Rand, Arno Gustafson, Caleb Louw. Conversions: Nivan Petersen (2), Marco Donges, Riaan Genis. Penalties: Nivan Petersen (2).

FNB UCT Ikeys – 15 Athi Gazi, 14 Rihaz Fredericks, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Le Roux Malan, 11 Rethabile Louw, 10 David Hayes, 9 William Rose, 8 Christian Stehlik, 25* Niel Otto, 6 Liam Greenhalgh (c), 5 Gary Porter, 4 Byron Cranswick, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Devon Arendse, 1 Luthando Woji. Replacements: 16 Josh van Vuuren, 17 Seth Christian, 18 Jovan Bekker, 19 Byron Bowes, 20 Taariq Kruger, 21 Kyle Bowman, 22 Sibabalwe Mzanywa, 23 Duran Koevort.
*Jersey worn on the day

FNB NWU Eagles – 15 Shane van Rooyen, 14 Sylvester Hassien, 13 Lincoln Daniels (c), 12 Marco Donges, 11 Keano Windvogel, 10 Nivan Petersen, 9 Riaan Genis, 8 Didintle Sekati, 7 Ruben Dreyer, 6 André Fouché, 5 Jeandré Leonard, 4 Malembe Mpofu, 3 Sampie Swiegers, 2 Gustav du Rand, 1 Ruben du Plessis. Replacements: 16 Vernon Paulo, 17 Rehann Baumann, 18 Arno Gustafson, 19 George van der Westhuizen, 20 Jandré de Beer, 21 Caleb Louw, 22 Kagiso Woodbridge, 23 Pienaar van Niekerk.