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Rugby | Varsity Cup

Schalk Hugo scores a try © Gallo Images

NWU cruise into final despite UJ scare

The weather was unable to dampen the spirits of FNB NWU and FNB UJ at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds on Monday, where NWU secured their spot in the final after winning 60-31.

UJ opened the scoring with a seven-point try by Ronald Brown. Kobus Engelbrecht managed the conversion, putting UJ ahead after just two minutes of play.

Odwa Nkunjana scored UJ's second seven-point try in five minutes, putting his team 18-0 up in what was one of the most sensational Varsity Cup starts this season.

Louis van der Westhuizen kept NWU's hopes alive when he found the tryline after a mind-blowing run by Tapiwa Mafura. Schalk Hugo slotted the conversion, leaving NWU chasing UJ 18-7 after only 11 minutes of play.

After some impressive mauling by NWU, Tapiwa Mafura scored right under the poles. Hugo managed the conversion, leaving only four points between them with only 15 minutes played.

Schalk Hugo scored and converted his own seven-point try, putting NWU ahead 23-21 for the first time in the game after half an hour of play.

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NWU continued their domination when Chriswill September dived over the tryline. Schalk Hugo made no mistake with the conversion, putting NWU 30-24 ahead going into halftime.

It was NWU who got the second half underway when AK Nela broke through UJ's defence to score right under the poles. Hugo once again managed the conversion, putting NWU ahead 37-24.

Jan-Louis La Grange scored for UJ and Kobus Engelbrecht converted, but UJ were still trailing 37-31.

NWU went even further ahead when Louis van der Westhuizen scored his second try of the match. Hugo converted the try, leaving UJ chasing NWU 44-31.

Tapiwa Mafura snatched UJ's lost ball, which led to a sensational seven-point try from Dean Stokes. Hugo managed the conversion once again, with NWU now 53-31 ahead.

NWU put the final nail in UJ's coffin when Nkosana Mbatha dotted the ball over the try line for another try. Hugo converted the try, and NWU went 60-31 up with three minutes left to play.

The game ended 60-31 to NWU, but UJ have to be commended for their determination and perseverance throughout the entire 80 minutes, not going down without a fight.

FNB player that rocks: Schalk Hugo (NWU).


NWU: 60

Tries: Louis van der Westhuizen (2), Tapiwa Mafura, Schalk Hugo, Chriswill September, AK Nela, Dean Stokes, Nkosana Mbatha

Cons: Schalk Hugo (8)

UJ: 31

Tries: Ronald Brown, Odwa Nkunjana, Jan-Louis La Grange

Cons: Kobus Engelbrecht (3)

Pens: Kobus Engelbrecht (2)


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 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Matimu Manganyi

Subs: 16 Percy Mngadi, 17 Nelius Theron, 18 Theodore Ferreira, 19 Jaco Swanepoel, 20 Wandile Mazibuko, 21 Nkosana Mbatha, 22 Henko Marais, 23 Justin Newman.

FNB UJ: 15 Ronald Brown, 14 Mujawo Tatendaishe, 13 Jan-Louis la Grange, 12 Austin Davids, 11 Odwa Nkunjana, 10 Kobus Engelbrecht, 9 Bradley Thain, 8 Wian Conradie, 7 Adriaan Bester, 6 James Venter, 5 Estian Enslin, 4 Kevin du Randt, 3 Nico du Plessis, 2 Jannes Snyman, 1 Sibusiso Lali.

Subs:16 Hendrik van Schoor, 17 Dillon Bakos, 18 Luwaca Siyabonga, 19 Malembe Mpofu, 20 Johan Esterhuizen, 21 Jeanluc Cilliers, 22 Cyprian Nkomo 23 Cohen Kiewit


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