FNB Rhodes retained their place in the FNB Varsity Shield when their round-seven match against the FNB TUT Vikings in Pretoria was abandoned at half-time due to heavy rain, lightning and thunder.
The Stallions were leading 11-10 at the time and, according to tournament regulations, declared the winners. As a result, FNB Rhodes finished with 10 log points on the combined 2021-22 FNB Varsity Shield log, two points ahead of FNB DUT, who are relegated from the tournament.
Two penalties from flyhalf Jano Roux gave FNB Rhodes a 6-3 lead, before hooker Uzuqaqambe Nyanda scored from a maul in the 28th minute. The FNB TUT Vikings hit back with a converted try by No 8 and captain Laro Delport on the stroke of half-time, but unfortunately for them – and FNB DUT – that proved to be the final act of the match.
In the first fixture of the day, at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, FNB UFH Blues captain Kamvelihle Fatyela scored a brace as his team beat FNB DUT 26-0 to finish the league phase at the top of the FNB Varsity Shield standings. With their place in the playoffs assured, the Blues produced a somewhat complacent performance in the first half. By contrast, FNB DUT fought for every inch to stay in the contest.
FNB DUT were competitive against a highly-rated Fort Hare scrum. Their defence managed to repel the Blues while Siyanda Mthembu was in the sin bin. FNB UFH centre Ryan Maree scored in the dying minutes of the first half to extend his side’s lead to eight points. After the break, the Blues lifted their intensity and accuracy to take the game away from their plucky opponents.
Fatyela touched down twice, while fullback Apiwe Sidloyi crossed the line for the bonus-point try. Despite a poor goal-kicking performance, Fort Hare went on to claim an emphatic win. Lumumba Currie’s team has won all six of their matches to date and will go into the playoffs as favourites to win the title.
In the second match in Mdantsane, FNB CPUT scored five tries against the FNB WSU All Blacks to claim a 31-5 bonus-point victory. FNB CPUT made their attacking intentions clear from the outset of this contest. An unrelenting approach at the gainline – which was well complemented by the sharp decision-making of flyhalf Feghorn-Leigh Snyders – yielded four tries and the bonus point before half-time.
The All Blacks fought hard to stay in the game. Their discipline let them down in the latter stages, though, as Thembani Kori and Dale Titus were sent to the sin bin. The bonus-point win sees FNB CPUT leapfrogging FNB UKZN Impi and finishing second in the FNB Varsity Shield standings.
FNB Varsity Shield Round 7 results and scorers:
FNB UFH Blues 26 (8) – Tries: Ryan Maree, Kamvelihle Fatyela (2), Apiwe Sidloyi. Penalties: Keith Chiwara (2).
FNB DUT 0
FNB Player That Rocks: Kamvelihle Fatyela (FNB UFH Blues)
FNB WSU All Blacks 5 (5) – Try: Khanya Solani.
FNB CPUT 31 (24) – Tries: Keanan Solomons, Keenan Williams, Feghorn-Leigh Snyders, Björkan Hendricks, Ché Klaasen. Conversions: Snyders (3).
FNB Player That Rocks: Ché Klaasen (FNB CPUT)
FNB TUT Vikings 10 (10) – Try: Laro Delport. Conversion: Ayabulela Koza. Penalty: Koza.
FNB Rhodes 11 (11) – Try: Uzuqaqambe Nyanda. Penalties: Jano Roux (2).
Note: Match abandoned at half-time due to lightning
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