A historic FNB Varsity Cup victory for FNB CUT Ixias when they downed five-time champions FNB Maties, 19-23, for the first time at the Danie Craven Stadium on Monday, 27 February. The side from Bloemfontein went into the halftime break in a commanding 13-point lead.
The second round of the competition delivered on its new slogan – The Heat Is On – when FNB CUT Ixias brought the heat becoming only the fifth side to beat FNB Maties at the iconic Stellenbosch venue in the FNB Varsity Cup, which in comparison to last week’s sold-out crowd was a very modest one.
The home side thought they were in for yet another emphatic victory via the boot of the stand-in captain for the injured Gift Dlamini, Jurie Matthee, but it proved to be too little, too late. Matthee kicked a massive punt from inside his own 22, five minutes from fulltime, activating the 50/22 rule meaning the home side could feed the lineout deep inside FNB CUT’s half. The home side, however, failed to capitilise on what proved to be their final chance at beating their opponents.
A less-than-clinical display from FNB Maties stopped them from gaining momentum in the opening ten minutes, the visitors drew first blood when Tyler Sefoor converted a penalty attempt, 0-3.
The FNB Maties were reduced to 13 men when lock duo Juan Beukes (11th minute) and Thys Kitshoff (13th minute) were controversially sent to the sin bin for ten minutes. The referee issued a team warning to FNB Maties for transgressing the offside line once too often in the first ten minutes. Beukes and Kitshoff were made an example of when they were sent to the Afkoelstoel.
Credit to FNB Maties’ defensive effort despite the visiting side’s exploitation of the space out wide they could not convert any of their advantages into points. The Bloemfontein would, however, break through the Maroon Machine’s defensive line when Tokelo Ntaopane crashed over from close range, and Sefoor converted the five-pointer. The flyhalf would add his second penalty on the stroke of the first strategy break, 0-10.
The five-time champions pulled one back in the final few minutes of the first half, livewire scrumhalf Mckyle Volmoer sniped from the base of a ruck and burrowed over which Matthee converted, 7-10.
The final say in the opening half would go to FNB CUT Ixias, when Asekho Marubelela went over for his side’s second five-pointer. Sefoor’s conversion sent the teams into the halftime break, with the visitors firmly in the lead, 7-20.
The scoreboard remained unchanged with brief moments of both sides getting over the advantage line in the first portion of the second half. A comical period ridden with errors, much like in their opening match against FNB Ikeys, hampered the home side’s dominance during this period.
In similar fashion to the opening half, the visitors could not convert their territory and excellent ball possession despite advancing deep inside FNB Maties’ half. A stern talking from coaches Matt Proudfoot and Drikus Hancke during the second strategy break reaped rewards. Replacement hooker Francois Breytenbach (5) scored FNB Maties’ second try, Matthee’s conversion attempt sailed to the left, 12-20.
The crowd never stopped backing their beloved FNB Maties, but Sefoor’s boot kept the visiting side’s lead intact. He converted his third penalty attempt with the final 10 minutes of the match approaching, 12-23. FNB Maties needing two scores to keep their home record against FNB CUT Ixias clean.
It was, however, not to be a repeat of last week’s sensational come-from-behind victory against FNB Ikeys. The home side outplayed by a very spirited and disciplined FNB CUT Ixias side, 19-23.
For Maties: 19
Tries: Mckyle Volmoer (5), Francois Breytenbach (5), Ammaar Burton (5)
Cons: Jurie Matthee (2)
Yellow Cards: Juan Beukes (11th minute), Thys Kitshoff (13th minute)
For CUT Ixias: 23
Tries: Tokelo Ntaopane (5), Asekho Marubelela (5)
Cons: Tyler Sefoor (2)
Pens: Sefoor (3)
Yellow Card: Tjaart van der Walt (38th minute)
FNB Player that Rocks: Xavier Swartbooi (FNB CUT Ixias)
FNB Maties: 15 Cade Croy, 14 Matthew van Schalkwyk, 13 Grant De Jager, 12 Aydon Topley, 11 Maselino Pooe, 10 Jurie Matthee, 9 Mckyle Volmoer, 8 DeWet Marais, 7 Simon Miller, 6 Siyabonga Matanda, 5 Juan Beukes, 4 Thys Kitshoff, 3 Corne Weilbach, 2 Siya Ngubelanga, 1 Louwtjie Marais
Replacements: 16 Francois Breytenbach, 17 Vernon Matonga, 18 Ammaar Burton, 19 Marco Van Rhyn, 20 Camden Schoeman, 21 HD Stemmet, 22 MC van Heerden-Smith, 23 Mambo Mkhize
FNB CUT Ixias: 15 Ricoman Titus, 14 Zac Bester, 13 Lesley Botha, 12 Jandre de Beer, 11 Tsepo Malumane, 10 Tyler Sefoor, 9 Xavier Swartbooi, 8 Francois Bester, 7 Ulrich Stander, 6 Jacobus Cloete, 5 Matthew Sekele, 4 Asekho Marubelela, 3 Augustyn Zéan, 2 Tokelo Ntaopane, 1 Albertus Venter
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Drotske, 17 Mamello Moshoaliba, 18 Sisipho Nofuya, 19 Tjaart van der Walt, 20 Katleho Morapane, 21 Thaiso Mkhwebane, 22 Adielson Gouveia, 23 Jacobus Venter