It was a battle for the top of the log on Monday 26 March when FNB NWU took on FNB Maties at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds. Although the game ended in a draw, it was FNB Maties who had more to smile about when they secured the home final.
FNB Maties kicked off and were first to get points on the board when Duncan Saal scored in the corner for FNB Maties. Chris Smith made no mistake with the conversion, putting FNB Maties ahead 7-0 after only three minutes.
Wandile Mazibuko put FNB NWU back in it when Tapiwa Mafura made the line break and passing it to the flanker to score the seven-point try. Schalk Hugo missed the conversion but the scores were level 7-7 after only six minutes of play.
Schalk Hugo scored FNB NWU’s first drop kick of the competition, putting FNB NWU 10-7 up. Jimmy Mpailane’s great show of pace edged FNB NWU further ahead when Tapiwa Mafura scored in the corner. Schalk Hugo managed a very tight conversion.
FNB NWU’s Louis van der Westhuizen put more points on the board for FNB NWU with another try, and Hugo slotted the conversion. FNB NWU were ahead 26-14 with only five minutes left in the first half.
On the brink of half time, Wilmar Arnoldi scored for FNB Maties and Chris Smith added the two with the conversion. At half time FNB NWU lead FNB Maties 26-21. FNB Maties got the second half off to a steady start when Chris Smith converted a penalty, leaving FNB Maties chasing FNB NWU 26-24.
FNB Maties domination continued when Ernst van Rhyn scored. Chris Smith made no mistake with his conversion, leaving FNB Maties 33-26 ahead with twenty minutes still to play.
FNB Maties domination was short lived when Jimmy Mpailane won the ball from the kick off and the ball bounced in Henko Marais’s favour for a try. Schalk Hugo got another tight conversion, which left FNB NWU level 33-33 with FNB Maties for the second time in the game.
Chris Smith tried his luck with a drop kick, but was unsuccessful. Not even a minute later he tried again, again to no avail. The scores were level with everything to play for in the last five minutes. After dominating most of the second half, FNB Maties kicked the ball out when the final whistle blew. The game ended in a draw, but FNB Maties walked away securing the home final.
Fixture: FNB NWU vs FNB Maties
Venue: Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds
Fulltime score: FNB NWU 33-33 FNB Maties
FNB Player That Rocks: Tapiwa Mafura (FNB NWU)
FNB NWU: 33
Tries: Wandile Mazibuko, Tapiwa Mafura, Louis van der Westhuizen, Henko Marais
Cons: Schalk Hugo (3)
Drop Kicks: Schalk Hugo
FNB Maties: 33
Tries: Duncan Saal, Remu Malan, Wilmar Arnoldi, Ernst van Rhyn
Cons: Chris Smith (4)
Pens: Chris Smith
FNB NWU: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Jimmy Mpailane, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 AK Nela, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Tiaan Bezuidenhout, 7 Estehan Visagie, 6 Wandile Mazibuko, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Matimu Manganyi
Subs: 16 Percy Mngandi, 17 Nelius Theron, 18 Theodore Ferreira, 19 Jaco Swanepoel, 20 Ruan Viljoen, 21 Nkosana Mathaba, 22 Henko Marais, 23 Justin Newman.
FNB Maties: 15 Reinhardt Fortuin, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Michael Haznar, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Edwil van der Merwe, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Remu Malan, 8 Marno Redelinghuys, 7 Janco Venter, 6 Johan van Niekerk, 5 Johan Momsen, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Chippy Oelefse.
Subs: 16 Craig Corbett, 17 Ricky Mwagbara, 18 Piet-Louw Strauss, 19 Brandon Valentyn, 20 Stefan Streicher, 21 Brandon Nell, 22 Munier Hartzenberg, 23 Carlisle Nel.