Week 6 Varsity Cup Ends In Excitement And Controversy

Photo by Jorina Raath/Speedshots.co.za

Week six of the 2020 Varsity Cup produced very exciting matches with three of the four matches still up for grabs with 10 minutes to go. Controversion also added with both UJ and Shimlas claiming a win, with the decision via video review lies with the SA Rugby Referees office, all is waiting.

Maties and Wits are the only unbeaten teams in the competition and if taking into account that they played one game less than TUKS and Ikeys they will host the semi-finals. Maties at this stage will host Ikeys while Wits will host TUKS.

Tuks has a bye next week while Maties travels to Potchefstroom, Wits travels to Bloemfontein and the Ikeys will host Shimlas.

UWC at this stage will be relegated automatically while UJ will play in a promotion-relegation match against the side who finished second in the Varsity Shield at the end of the 2020 season. UJ hosts UWC next Monday with the result most probably to decide the final log positions.

Wits 16-10 UP-Tuks

As expected the game started with the two teams not wanting to make mistakes but still testing their opponents, looking for weak points. A converted penalty by Tuks was followed quickly by a try by Wits, that started to take control of the match. A converted penalty gave Wits a well deserved 8-3 lead at the break.

The second half saw a "new" TUKS team that upped the speed and physicality of their game significantly. However, hats of to a resolute Wits defence that stopped the TUKS attack time after time. Wits extended their lead to 16-3 during this onslaught from TUKS with a try and a converted penalty that resulted from errors TUKS made due to the pressure of the Wits' defence using turnover ball to attack.

The pressure from TUKS eventually paid off when the scored a seven-pointer with 10 minutes to go that reduced the gap to 10-16. The final ten minutes Wits kept TUKS from scoring with defence not seen before this year. Wits held on to beat TUKS 16-10 to remain unbeaten with TUKS who suffered their second loss in a row.

Wits: Tries: Lindo Ncusane, Yanga Hlalu. Penalties: Kurt Webster, Chris Humphries.
UP-Tuks: Try: Raegan Oranje (point-of-origin). Penalty: Theo Boshoff.

Wits: 15 Daniel Kasende, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Yanga Hlalu, 12 Aidynn Cupido, 11 Matt McDonald, 10 Kurt Webster, 9 Luke Bramhall, 8 Cal Smid, 7 Lindokuhle Ncusane, 6 Constant Beckerling (captain), 5 Emmanuel Tshituka, 4 William Thomson, 3 Keagan Glade, 2 Mulalo Sadiki, 1 Jason Cloete. Replacements: 16 Justin Brandon, 17 Ebot Buma, 18 CJ Greeff, 19 Kevin du Randt, 20 Ziyanda Msipha, 21 Christian Humphries 22 Lwazi Monakali, 23 Sicelo Champion.

UP-Tuks: 15 Lionel April, 14 Stefan Coetzee, 13 Sango Xamlashe, 12 Wian van Niekerk (captain), 11 Kabelo Mokoena, 10 Theo Boshoff, 9 Raegan Oranje, 8 Jaco Bezuidenhout, 7 Hanru Sirgel, 6 Stephan Smit, 5 Marcell Barnard, 4 Ewart Potgieter, 3 JP Smith, 2 Llewellyn Claasen, 1 André van der Merwe. Replacements: 16 Keano Hendricks, 17 Ethan Burger, 18 Mogau Mabokela, 19 Lukas Meiring, 20 Keenan Opperman, 21 Leshley October, 22 Elden Schoeman, 23 Alex-Zander du Plessis.

Maties 8-7 UCT

A match played in extremely windy conditions did not stop the two teams to attempt to play running rugby. An early try by Maties gave them the lead of 5-0 at half-time.

The second half saw much of the same with Maties only able to add a converted penalty with seven minutes left on the clock to extend their lead to 8-0. A converted try by the Ikeys with four minutes on the clock reduced Maties lead but could not prevent maties to win this humdinger with 8-7.

Maties: Try: Ben-Jason Dixon. Penalty: Cornel Smit.
UCT: Try: Kyle Bowman. Conversion: James Tedder.

Maties: 15 Anton du Toit, 14 Munier Hartzenberg, 13 David Brits, 12 Cornel Smit, 11 Dewald Naudé, 10 Reinhardt Fortuin, 9 Matthew Dahl, 8 Marcel Theunissen, 7 Mitchell Carstens, 6 Geor Malan, 5 Ben-Jason Dixon (captain), 4 Gerrit Huisamen, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Dian Bleuler. Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ricky Nwagbara, 18 Leon Lyons, 19 Albert Liebenberg, 20 Joa Swart, 21 Luciano Elias, 22 Waqar Solaan, 23 Mike Mavovana.

UCT: 15 Athi Gazi, 14 Godfrey Ramaboea, 13 Liam Furniss, 12 Michael Brink, 11 Rayno Mapoe, 10 James Tedder, 9 Kyle Bowman, 8 Busanda Mabena, 7 Byron Cranswick, 6 Liam Greenhalgh (captain), 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Gary Porter, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Cuan Hablutzel, 1 Ashwyn Adams. Replacements: 16 Devon Arendse, 17 Gugu Nelani, 18 Luthando Woji, 19 Byron Bowes, 20 Neil Otto, 21 Liam Kloosman, 22 Gerard Pieterse, 23 Sebastian Roodt.

Shimlas 26-27 UJ

A struggling Shimlas took early control of the game and forced UJ into penalties with consistent pressure. This pressure resulted in many penalties against UJ which the Shimlas used to convert in points, one penalty and two carbon-copied tries from line-out mauls gave Shimlas' Hanno Snyman his hat-trick with 10 minutes after the start of the first half.

In a match that was dominated by penalties, Snyman scored his third try from a lineout-maul with fourteen minutes to go while UJ earned themselves a penalty try. Shimlas lead 19-13 halftime with UJ slowly clawing their way back into the match.

UJ winger Siphiwe Mazibuko started the second half in true FNB Varsity Cup fashion with a brilliant try in the 44th minute while Shimlas' Snyman added a fourth try in the same fashion as the other three tries, giving Shimlas a 26-19 lead before UJ scored a converted try in the final seconds of the game.

And then all hell broke loose. A 44th-minute try, by Siphiwe Mazibuko, which was initially awarded as a point-of-origin try, then changed to a 'normal' five-pointer moments later, had the UJ team management insist post-match, that the referees review video footage which resulted in the try being reclassified as a point-of-origin try which resulted in UJ winning the match 27-26.

Shimlas have disputed this process, suggesting a change of score via video review lies with the SA Rugby Referees office.

Shimlas, who dominated in the first half, will rue the many handling errors they made in the second half. UJ, meanwhile, played for eighty minutes and showed character by fighting back with their replacement backs giving the Orange Army momentum when they needed most in the second half.

Shimlas: Tries: Hanno Snyman (4). Conversions: JP Duvenage (3).
UJ: Tries: Penalty Try, Siphiwe Mazibuko (point-of-origin), Siphesihle Radebe. Conversion: Jonno Viljoen. Penalties: PW Steenkamp (2).

Shimlas: 15 Cham Zondeki, 14 Marnus Boshoff, 13 Janco van Heyningen, 12 JP Duvenage, 11 Charl Pretorius, 10 Tiaan Schutte, 9 Chadd Adams, 8 Bertie de Bod, 7 Jan Rossouw, 6 Mihlali Peter, 5 Keanan Murray, 4 Sibabalo Qoma (captain), 3 Helgard Meyer, 2 Hanno Snyman, 1 Wihan Marais. Replacements: 16 Carl Wijburg, 17 Bhekinkosi Qaba, 18 Daniël Wessels, 19 Rholane Ncubuka, 20 Janco Cloete, 21 Pieter Williamson, 22 Siyanda Cele, 23 Thabang Mahlasi.

UJ: 15 Shaun Williams, 14 Tatendaishe Mujawo, 13 Musawenkosi Tshabalala, 12 Seun Maduna, 11 Siphiwe Mazibuko, 10 PW Steenkamp, 9 Mpho Kubheka, 8 Edwin Jansen (captain), 7 Kwagga van Niekerk, 6 Kelvin Kanenungo, 5 Simon Dionisio, 4 André Meyer, 3 Jacobus Agenbag, 2 Pierre Rabie, 1 Kayden Kiewit. Replacements: 16 Hloni Mphuthi, 17 Coenrad Vrey, 18 Ethan Jeffery, 19 Lunga Molele, 20 Adu Apea, 21 Divan Henning, 22 Siphesihle Radebe, 23 Jonno Viljoen.

CUT 47-10 UWC

The Ixias's bonus-point win was built on dominance up front and smart backline interplay which saw them run in seven tries to the Cape visitors' sole effort.

CUT: Tries: Ruan Wasserman (2) (1 point-of-origin), Derik Pretorius, PJ Krugell (2), Heino Bezuidenhout, Wandré Nortjé. Conversions: Charles Williams (5).
UWC: Try: Branden de Kock. Conversion: Keagan Fortune. Penalty: Keagan Fortune.

FNB CUT: 15 Cohen Jasper, 14 Christiaan Nel, 13 Niell Stannard, 12 Heino Bezuidenhout (captain), 11 PJ Krugell, 10 Charles Williams, 9 Xavier Swartbooi, 8 Jacques Ackerman, 7 Luvuyo Ndevu, 6 Jan Kotze, 5 Derik Pretorius, 4 Brendon Fortuin, 3 Tebogo Masemola, 2 Janus Venter, 1 Quintin Vorster. Replacements: 16 Bernard Angerer, 17 Eddie Davids, 18 Wandré Nortjé, 19 Katleho Morapane, 20 Ulrich Stander 21 Jaco Wilkinson, 22 Tsepo Malumane, 23 Karabo Maqeba.

FNB UWC: 15 Gilroy Philander, 14 Tiaan-Thomas Henecke, 13 Schalk Carstens, 12 Lyle Hendricks, 11 Aydon Topley, 10 Keagan Fortune, 9 Clayton Daniels, 8 Adriaan Paarwater, 7 Matthew le Roux, 6 Tinotenda Mavesere, 5 Curtly Thomas, 4 Pieter-Steyl Swanepoel, 3 Dandré Degenaar, 2 Jacques van Zyl (captain), 1 Luvo Bazi. Replacements: 16 Mark Fairhurst, 17 Justin Theys, 18 Jaen-Louis de Lange, 19 Tapiwa Muzanargwo, 20 Branden de Kock, 21 Darren Jaftha, 22 Tasriq Mynhardt, 23 Keon Links.