Bloemfontein - FNB Shimlas ensured that the FNB Maties would not have it all their way in the 2011 Varsity Cup, when they beat the three-times champions by 21-15 in Bloemfontein on Monday night.
In a brutal encounter at Shimla Park, last year's losing
semifinalists claimed their first-ever Varsity Cup win over the
defending champs - just seven days after they had begun their 2011
campaign with a home loss to UCT.
The selfsame Ikeys have benefited most from this Shimlas win, with
the Men from Cape Town moving into first place on the log - although
Shimlas did themselves no harm either as they opened some daylight
between themselves and the winless NMMU and Pukke teams.
Shimlas - playing in front of a much better crowd in Bloem - scored
the game's only tries (one in each half) as they ran into an early lead
thanks to ex-Matie Charl Weideman's first try in Shimlas colours.
Weideman profited from a fine break by flyhalf Jaco Colyn - in a late
change to the Shimlas XV, he moved to flyhalf with Enrico Acker taking
over at scrumhalf - and Franna du Toit (starting at fullback, not
flyhalf) slotted the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
A Du Toit penalty then made it 10-0, but the Maties - courtesy of
their 'new' man at flyhalf André Kemp - managed two first-half
three-pointers (a penalty and a drop-goal) to leave the score at 10-6 to
the home side at half-time.
The undoubted highlight of the second half was Shimlas winger Jamba
Ulengo's try shortly after the 60-minute mark, the speedster running
some 40 metres for a crucial five-pointer, the Maties having - for the
first time - taken the lead at 15-13.
Ulengo's score came in the all-new 'Powerplay' - which means free
Black Label for all Kovsies fans at the Spur on Tuesday night! - but it
also allowed the hosts to keep their noses in front at a crucial stage.
Replacement Shaun Davids failed to convert Ulengo's try, but his
second penalty of the night stretched the Shimlas lead to 21-15 with
time running out.
Shimlas, eventually, held on to record their first win of the 2011
season, no doubt leaving coach Jaco Swanepoel a happier man after last
week's dismal opening, whilst Maties coach Chean Roux will have little
trouble motivating his troops for an away clash against the high-riding
FNB TUT team.
For FNB Shimlas:
Try: Weideman, Ulengo
Con: Du Toit
Pens: Du Toit, Davids 2
For FNB Maties:Teams:
Pens: Kemp, Stevens 3
15 George Whitehead, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Earl Snyman, 12 Charl Weideman, 11 Cameron Jacobs, 10 Francois du Toit, 9 Jaco Colyn, 8 Willie Britz (captain), 7 Pieter Labuschagnè, 6 Hanno Pieterse, 5 Joubert Horn, 4 Wilken Heyns, 3 Henry van Niekerk, 2 JC van Wyk, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 John-Henry Harris, 18 Oupa Mohoje, 19 Etienne Terblanche, 20 Enrico Acker, 21 Zandre de Bruin, 22 Shaun Davids, 23 Ian Potgieter.
15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Tshotsho Mbovane, 13 Ryan Nell, 12 Louis Jordaan, 11 Tythan Adams, 10 Jody Rose, 9 Donald Stevens, 8 Tertius Daniller, 7 Grant Hattingh, 6 Helmut Lehman, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Andrew Prior, 3 Buhle Mxunyelwa, 2 Callie Visagie (captain), 1 Johan Roets.
Replacements: 16 Gareth Light, 17 Os Hamman, 18 Meyer Swanepoel, 19 Sam Mabombo, 20 James Alexander, 21 André Kemp, 22 Jarryd Buys, 23 Suan Havenga.
Referee: Dilbert November