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Rugby | Varsity Cup

Wilmar Arnoldi (R) © Gallo Images

Sensational Maties rip Wits to shreds

FNB Maties scored 10 tries in their 65-18 win against FNB Wits at the Danie Craven Stadium to set up a home final against FNB NWU.

By the time kick-off was signalled, NWU had already booked their spot in the 2018 Varsity Cup final. Maties got off to a flyer, scoring in the first minute of the game through prop Neethling Fouche. Chris Smith added the extras for a 7-0 lead early on.

Five minutes later and Maties had doubled their lead via a rolling maul which moved for a good 10 metres before flank Johan van Niekerk dotted down for the home side’s second try.

A third try by the home team prompted the visiting Wits team to call for a Power Play. Wits had kicked aimlessly to the back. The counter-attack, sparked by Edwill van der Merwe, resulted in the ball landing into the hands of Chris Smit who raced to the tryline. Flyhalf Smith added the extras and Maties were 21-0 ahead.

A fourth try by Wilmar Arnoldi confirmed not only Maties’ class but also their forward dominance in the opening 20 minutes – dominance they would carry for the full 80 minutes.

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With the scoreboard mounting, the frustration was telling from Wits. Lock Conor Brockschmidt was shown a yellow card in the 25th minute for a ruck infringement. Ten minutes later scrumhalf Ruan Cloete was also sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on. It was while Brockschmidt was in the sin bin that Wits would eventually get onto the board.

Wing Bin Kasende Kapepula raced to the tryline for a converted seven-point try. Christian Humphries added the extras, yet, at this point, Maties had amassed 33 points. By halftime Maties had all but confirmed their spot in the final, leading 40-9.

Maties extended their lead via a Smith penalty early in the second half. It would be Wits though, who would get the first score of the second half. David Cary latched onto a perfectly executed chip kick and ran almost the length of the field to score. Humphries added the extras and Wits had 18 points on the board to Maties’ 43.

More tries by Duncan Saal, Venter and Munier Hartzenberg extended the home side's lead to 65-18. For Maties it means a home final against NWU. For Wits, it signalled the end of a fairy tale season.

FNB player that rocks: Johan Momsen (Maties)

Yellow Cards: Conor Brockschmidt (Wits); Ruan Cloete (Wits)


Maties: 65

Tries: Neethling Fouche; Johan van Niekerk; Chris Smit; Wilmar Arnoldi; Janco Venter (2); Chris Smith; Duncan Saal (2); Munier Hartzenberg

Conversions: Chris Smith (5)

Penalties: Chris Smith

Wits: 18

Tries: Bin Kasende Kapepula; David Cray

Conversions: Christian Humphries (2)


FNB Maties: 15 Reinardt Fortuin, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Michal Haznar, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Christopher 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 Chippie Oelofse (C)

Replacements: 16 Craig Corbett, 17 Ricky Nwagbara, 18 Piet-Louw Strauss, 19 Brandon Valentyn, 20 Stefan Streicher, 21 Brandon Nel, 22 Munier Hartzenberg, 23 Carlisle Nel

FNB Wits: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Sicelo Champion, 12 Yanga Hlalu, 11 Bin Kasende Kapepula, 10 Christian Humphries, 9 Ruan Cloete, 8 Ayabulela Mdudi, 7 Ruan McDonald, 6 Constant Beckerling (C), 5 Pascal Snyman, 4 Conor Brockschmidt, 3 Cornelius Greef, 2 Cecil John Conradie, 1 Ameer Williams

Replacements: 16 Justin Brandon, 17 Craig Hume, 18 Sipho Siboza, 19 Dawid Bodenstein, 20 Giovan Snyman, 21 Adriaan van Blerk, 22 David Cray, 23 Luyolo Qinela


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