Last night we saw MNNU causing another upset when they beat UCT 23-21 with a last minute penalty that hit the crossbar before sneaking over.
It is the second time this season that the men from PE threw the apple cart over (forget just upsetting it) in winning one of the so-called bigger teams. The man who was in the centre of it all in the Shimlas upset, Bradley Kretzman stepped up to the plate again in the dying minutes of the game to kick the crucial penalty over. This ensured MNNU first ever victory over UCT.
Both teams scored three tries each in a stop start game with a lot of handling mistakes. At one stage I thought I am watching my son’s O/9 game again. The Madibas sprinted out of the blocks and took an early lead of 13-0 just to see it closed down by brilliant play from UCT backline when they when they managed not knock the ball on, but they held their nerve to keep on fighting till the end..
UCT, however, have a very tough task ahead of them should they want to qualify for a fifth consecutive semi-final place with matches against NWU-Pukke (home), FNB Maties (away) and FNB UP-Tuks (home). One more loss would definitely mean the end of their 2012 campaign.
For FNB NMMU:
Tries: Swanepoel, Crocker, Otto
Cons: Smith, Kretzman
For FNB UCT:
Tries: Leyds 2, Bax
Cons: Holton 2
In the second televised game UJ recorded a record score against their host Shimlas in Bloemfontein. They hammered Shimlas in an open running game by 50 points to 18.
For FNB Shimlas:
Tries: Horn, Franna du Toit
Cons: Scheepers 2
For FNB UJ:
Tries: Francois du Toit, Esterhuizen 2, Dreyer, Botha, Van Deventer, Kirkwood
Cons: Cronjé 5
In the other games we saw a top of the table clash in Coetzenburg with Maties and Tuks exchanging blows for a full 80 minutes. Maties were able to hold off Tuks at the end to win by the narrowest of margins, 23-21. The quality from both sides in the match was out of the top drawer. Tuks could have sneaked a win in the final second but replacement player Reniel Hugo swooped on a loose ball and booted it into touch to clinch a dramatic victory for Maties.
The fanatical home support might have given Maties just enough of a lift in the end but one gets the feeling that these two sides could meet again in the 2012 FNB Varsity Cup.
For FNB Maties:
Tries: Nell, Hatting, Van der Merwe
Cons: Stevens, Kemp
For FNB UP-Tuks:
Tries: Kemp, Blommetjies
Cons: Dunlop 2
Pens: Dunlop 3
Here are all the Results of last night:
- NMMU 23 Ikeys 21
- Smilas 18 UJ 50
- Puk 52 TUT 8
- Maties 23 Tuks 21