UKZN Into the Final

5 Two late tries from Brandon Bailing saw the FNB UKZN Impi fight their way to secure a repeat game for the final of the FNB Varsity Shield against FNB CUT; scoring five tries to three to win 39 – 21.

The Impis’ knew that a victory would send them straight into the final whereas a loss meant that they would have to rely on a FNB Fort Hare to defeat FNB TUT. UKZN were able to do it all on their own against a CUT team that threw everything at them.

This has set up an intriguing final for both these teams as it means the UKZN will play CUT again in a week’s time for a chance at the FNB Varsity Shield.

Both teams came out firing and exchanged early tries. CUT were the first to cross the line with Johan van Schalkwyk scoring just after the kick off, the conversion was missed and this left room for the Impi to take the lead after a converted try of their own, Adam Wessels crashed over and a well struck conversion by Duncan Campbell made the score 5-8 to the home team.

Van Schalkwyk was having a great game as he collected his second try of the match to push his team into the lead, Duan Pretorius struck a wonderful conversion to get his first kick over, CUT taking a slim 13-8 lead.

UKZN were offered a chance to cut the lead down to three with a penalty kick, Duncan Campbell stepped up and ably did so, UKZN were now only trailing 10-13 as the first half slowly ticked down.

UKZN continued to push hard and were finally rewarded for their toil as Hendrik Lategan slid over in the corner, Duncan Campbell struck another great kick from out wide to snatch an 18-13 lead.

They were not done yet, as the Impis’ were rampant just before halftime with Shayne Makombe scoring their third try; Campbell was on song to knock over another one to leave the home team sitting pretty at 26-13 on the halftime whistle.

The Ixias fought back well after the break, Deon Gouws bustling over near the corner to score his team an important try while Duan Pretorius was on hand to add the vital three after a great strike from out wide; a five point game at 26-21.

Momentum shifted back to the home team as Brandon Bailing collected his team a bonus point by dotting down in the corner, UKZN pushing their lead out to 31-21 at the second strategy break.

UKZN held onto that momentum, more specifically Brandon Bailing, who went over for his second try of the night to leave CUT dead and buried as time began to run out; Campbell knocked over another one.

The final score in Pietermaritzburg ended 39-21 to the home team to see them through to the final next week against the same opponents, this time in Bloemfontein.

The scorers:

For FNB UKZN Impis:
Tries: Wessels, Lategan, Makombe, Bailing 2
Cons: Campbell 4
Pen: Campbell

For FNB CUT Ixias:
Tries: Van Schalkwyk 2, Gouws
Cons: Pretorius 2


FNB UKZN: 15 Hendrik Groenewald, 14 Shayne Makombe, 13 Brandon Bailing, 12 Kurt Mavrodaris, 11 Hendrik Lategan, 10 Duncan Campbell, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Deon Carney, 7 Zwela Zondi, 6 Lwazi Ngcungama (captain), 5 Johan Wagenaar, 4 Adam Wessels, 3 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Henri Boshoff.
Replacements: 16 Mikyle Webster, 17 Bartholomeus le Roux, 18 Gideon Koegelenberg, 19 Sanele Malwane, 20 Nelson Makhanye, 21 Gavin Nyawata, 22 Yandisa Mdolomba, 23 Sizwe Kuhbeka.

FNB CUT Ixias: 15 Noel Marx, 14 Kholo Ramashala (captain), 13 Charles Hitchcock, 12 Johan Nel, 11 Johan van Schalkwyk, 10 Duan Pretorius, 9 Stephan Griesel, 8 Dean Kouprianoff, 7 Johan Grundling, 6 Moekoa Bolofo, 5 Lyvette Shikwambana, 4 Fanie Coetzer, 3 Danie Van der Merwe, 2 Deon Gouws, 1 Len Noort.
Replacements: 16 Daniel de Jager, 17 Gerhard Baard, 18 Vincent Maruping, 19 Theuns Truter, 20 Marius Grobler, 21 Alec Mhlanga, 22 Mosego Toolo, 23 Hanro Liebenberg.