The unbeaten FNB CUT won their second Varsity Shield when they beat FNB UWC 29-19 in an entertaining final in Bloemfontein on Monday.
UWC really took it to the hosts in their first Varsity Shield Final and can be very proud of their effort.
CUT managed to open the scoring in the seventh minute of the game through a Noël Marx penalty after a driving run from tighthead prop Danie van der Merwe.
The visitors did a lot of defending in the early stages of the game and battled to maintain their discipline which meant that Marx could punish them again in the 11th minute but he was unable to convert and the score remained 2-0 to CUT.
The nerves were apparent as both sides were unable to capitalise on the oppositions mistakes.
UWC made a brief appearance in the CUT 22 metre area but could not make it count and they lost lock Methetheleli Fuzani to a yellow-card in the 14th minute of the game after a cynical infringement.
The Bloemfontein side scored the first try of the game when the TMO adjudged that Leon Pretorius had managed to score but Marx missed a fairly straight-forward kick at posts and they lead 7-0 after 16 minutes.
Captain Inus Kritzinger scored the Ixias’ second try after a great backline move, when he picked and went over from about a metre out to give CUT a 12-0 lead after 25 minutes.
The visitors got their first score through a Heinrich Marcus try in the corner of the field after a great break from Minenhle Mthethwa. The conversion from Freddie Muller was wide and UWC trailed 12-5 eight minutes before the end of the first-half.
At the half-time break the home side was 12-5 up after a lull in play in the last 15 minutes of the first stanza.
UWC scored the first points in the second period through a Muller penalty and the visitors were right back in the game at 12-7 after five minutes of play in the second-half.
Muller added another penalty before another try from Leon Pretorius put the home side into a 17-9 lead with 52 minutes gone in the game.
A try from UWC flank Samuel Borsah meant that the scores were level at 17-17 with just under 25 minutes left to play.
With 15 minutes left on the clock Noël Marx kicked another penalty and the hosts lead 19-17.
Warrick Rhoda replied with a penalty of his own and the scores were tie once again with just over 13 minutes left.
Once again CUT snuck ahead through another Marx penalty to take a 21-19 lead.
A great move down the short side with seven minutes left on the clock saw Alec Mhlango go over for the try which ultimately sealed the victory. The conversion was good and CUT opened up a sturdy ten point lead at 29-19.
CUT managed to shut out the game and claim their second trophy in their third attempt.
For FNB CUT:
Tries: Pretorius 2, Kritzinger, Mhlango
Pens: Marx 3
For FNB UWC:
Tries: Marcus, Borsah
Pens: Muller 2, Rhoda
Yellow-Card: Fuzani (14 min)
FNB CUT: 15 Kholo Ramashala, 14 Charles Hitchcock, 13 Johan van Schalkwyk, 12 Leon Pretorius, 11 Meyer van Tonder, 10 Noël Marx, 9 Inus Kritzinger (captain), 8 Juan Hugo, 7 Frans Sisita, 6 Moekoa Bolofo, 5 Andrew Bester, 4 Johan Klopper, 3 Danie van der Merwe, 2 Deon Gouws, 1 Carl Gersbach.
Replacements: 16 Anrich Bitzi, 17 Rudi Fuls, 18 Levette Shikwambana, 19 Dean Kauprihanoff, 20 Christoph Swanepoel, 21 Alec Mhlango, 22 Maphelo Mpondo, 23 Petri Coetzee.
FNB UWC: 15 Warrick Rhoda, 14 Donovan Williams, 13 Kenwin Weiner, 12 Justin Mckay, 11 Minenhle Mthethwa, 10 Frederick Muller, 9 Denzel Willemse, 8 Heinrich Marcus, 7 Jose Julies, 6 Samuel Borsah, 5 Pallo Manuel, 4 Methetheleli Fuzani, 3 Kelvin de Bruyn, 2 Charlton van Jaarsveld (captain), 1 Michael September.
Replacements: 16 Ludwe Ntlokondala, 17 Siphiwokuhle Bakeni, 18 Jaycee Jooste, 19 Sebenza Maphumulo, 20 Charl van Vollenhoven, 21 Yondela Stampu, 22 Quaid Langeveldt, 23 Njabulo Ndlovu.
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
Assistant referees: Oregopotse Rametsi, Local
TMO: Johan Greeff