CUT and the NWU Eagles will face off for the final place in the Varsity Cup top four on Tuesday after both claimed wins in round nine of the tournament this past Sunday.
In the final round of Varsity Cup fixtures three of the top four were confirmed with UCT, Maties and UP-Tuks all finishing first, second and third, respectively.
The #FNBVarsityCup log after all the round 9 action tonight. @ikeytigers, @MatiesSport and @TuksSport secure semi-final spots while the winner of the @cutfsonline vs @nwusports1 postponed game this coming Tues will decide 4th place!
— Varsity Cup (@varsitycup) May 23, 2021
UCT were able to claim a 34-23 victory in a competitive match against the NMU Madibaz, while Maties showed that they could be hitting form at the right time after thrashing Shimlas 81-24.
However, the fourth and final place in the semi-finals is still up for grabs after CUT were able to cling on for a dramatic 41-40 victory over UP-Tuks in the final match of the day. Meanwhile, NWU had to fight hard to beat UJ 33-29.
This means that the postponed match between CUT and NWU, scheduled for Tuesday, 25 May, will effectively be a ‘quarter-final’ playoff for that final place in the semi-finals.
The winner of that match will meet the UCT Ikey Tigers in the semi-finals, while the other semi-final will be contested between Maties and UP-Tuks on 28 May.
UCT IKEYS 34 MADIBAZ 23
UCT secured top spot on the FNB Varsity Cup log with a bonus-point victory over the winless Madibaz.
The Ikey Tigers made 12 changes to their starting lineup with an eye on their upcoming semi-final and it did disrupt their rhythm in the first half.
However, UCT corrected the ship in the second half, with centre Michael Brink bagging a brace before lock Matthew Grobler scored a point-of-origin bonus-point try.
Player That Rocks: Michael Brink (FNB UCT Ikeys)
UCT Ikeys – Tries: Josh van Vuren, Michael Brink (2), Matthew Grobler (1×7). Conversions: Brink (3). Penalties: James Tedder, Kyle Bowman.
Madibaz – Tries: André Gerber, Aya Oliphant (1×7), Tiaan Schutte. Penalty: Warrick Day. Drop goal: Schutte.
UJ 29 (8) FNB NWU EAGLES 33
The NWU Eagles survived a second-half fightback from UJ to record a vital win.
The five log points temporarily took the Eagles above the CUT Ixias into the top four on the log, before the latter’s win over UP-Tuks later in the day.
NWU led 28-8 after 52 minutes before FNB UJ stormed back to lead 29-28 after 62. But two late yellow cards proved costly for the Orange Army as the Eagles scored the match-winning try against 13 men.
Player That Rocks: Indiphile Tyeda (FNB UJ)
NWU Eagles – Tries: Pienaar van Niekerk (2), Charl Pretorius, Sylvester Hassien, Gustav du Rand. Conversions: Nivan Petersen, Marco Donges (2).
UJ – Tries: Prince Nkabinde (1×5, 1×7), Indiphile Tyeda, Jurich Claasens. Conversion: Jurich Classens. Penalty: Indiphile Tyeda.
WITS 40 UWC 10
Wits ended UWC’s semi-final hopes with a convincing win.
Udubs came into this match full of confidence after thrashing FNB CUT, but two matches in four days appeared to take its toll as FNB Wits claimed just their second win of the campaign.
Player That Rocks: Mark Snyman (FNB Wits)
Wits – Tries: Mark Snyman, Siyabonga Xulu, Dameon Venter, Lindokuhle Ncusane (2), Setshaba Mokoena (1×7). Conversions: Keagan Lailvaux (4).
UWC – Try: Lungi Msenge. Conversion: Johan Lamprecht. Penalty: Ethan Diston.
UFS SHIMLAS 24 MATIES 81
Maties thrashed FNB UFS Shimlas at Loftus Versfeld to set up a semi-final meeting with UP-Tuks.
The five-time champions, who outscored their opponents by 11 tries to four, appear to be hitting their straps at the right time of the tournament.
Player That Rocks: Lian du Toit (FNB Maties)
Maties – Tries: Lian du Toit (2×7), JJ Kotze (1×5, 1×7), Marcqiewn Titus (1×7), Juan Mostert, Dylan de Leeuw (1×7), Gift Dlamini, HJ Luus (2), Waqar Solaan. Conversions: Christopher Schreuder (8).
UFS Shimlas – Tries: Danco Burger, Rewan Kruger, Shima Molepo (1×7), JP Duvenage. Conversion: Duvenage.
UP-TUKS 40 CUT IXIAS 41
UP-Tuks centre Zandré Kruger missed an 83rd-minute conversion as CUT claimed a one-point win at Loftus Versfeld to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
Leading 41-33, FNB CUT looked set to run down the clock, only to concede a turnover with seconds remaining. FNB UP-Tuks then did brilliantly to take the ball through 15-plus phases before replacement winger Enrique Cronjé scored a point-of-origin try two minutes into stoppage time.
However, the conversion – from a relatively difficult angle considering the pressure situation – went wide, much to FNB CUT’s delight.
Player That Rocks: Xander Botha (FNB CUT)
UP-Tuks – Tries: Louritz van der Schyff, André van der Merwe, Eduan Lubbe, Zandré Kruger, penalty try, Enrique Cronjé (1×7). Conversions: Jaylen James (3).
CUT Ixias – Tries: Janus Venter (4), Luvoyo Ndevu, Cohen Jasper (1×7). Conversions: Charles Williams, Jasper (2). Penalty: Williams.
Photo: Christiaan Kotze/ Varsity