Varsity Cup: Shimlas' comeback stuns Tuks

Posted on February 17, 2016

Pretoria played host to an incredible FNB Varsity Cup match, presented by Steinhoff International, between FNB UP-Tuks and the defending champions, FNB UFS-Shimlas, on Monday. After finding themselves trailing 43–15 after 43 minutes, Shimlas staged an impressive comeback to snatch a stunning 47–46 victory in the final moments of the match.

FNB UP-Tuks appeared the more determined of the two sides in the opening moments after their home defeat by FNB Pukke the week before. Tuks’ Neethling Fouche scored the first try of the match to cancel Stephan Janse van Rensburg’s penalty goal for FNB Shimlas. The missed conversion meant the score remained at 5–3 to Tuks until after the first strategy break when Tuks were awarded a seven-point penalty try. Joshua Stander didn’t miss this opportunity and brought the score to 12–3.

The teams seemed evenly matched during the remaining minutes of the first half, with only the new point-scoring system separating them. Wing, Duhan van der Merwe, and fullback, Riaan Britz, scored two nine-point tries for Tuks, while prop, Teunis Nieuwoudt, and flyhalf, Pieter-Steyn de Wet scored two five point tries for Shimlas. Tuks ended the first half with a 36–15 lead.

While most teams may have bowed their heads and accepted defeat,  Shimlas showed exactly why they are the defending champions, showing great character and clawing their way back into the game. Tuks once again began the half well with a 44th-minute converted try, but one seven-point try and a converted five-point try by  Shimlas signalled a turn of the tide, making the score 43–29 at the 60-minute mark.

A penalty by Stander two minutes later gave the leaders some breathing space, but only temporarily. A fantastic nine-point try that was finished by Shimlas reserve, Jacobus van Vuuren, highlighted just how quickly things can change with the new scoring system, bringing Shimlas just six points behind after the conversion. But Shimlas weren’t done and their reserve hooker, Marco Klopper, scored their fourth try of the match in 74th minute. The conversion that followed completed the comeback as Shimlas defended well during the last five minutes to win 47–46.

Tuks will need to work on their strategies for the later stages of games before they travel to Stellenbosch to face Maties at the Danie Craven Stadium next Monday. Shimlas can be proud of both the win and the character they showed in the process.

FNB UP-Tuks kick-off against FNB Maties at 19:00 on Monday, 22 February 2016 and the match will be televised.


Player that Rocks: Marco Mason



FNB UP-Tuks:

Tries: Neethling Fouche (penalty try), Duhan van der Merwe, Riaan Britz, Ruan Steenkamp

Conversions: Joshua Stander (4)

Penalties: Stander


For FNB UFS Shimlas:

Tries: Teunis Nieuwoudt, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, Mafuma Mosolwa, Nicolaas Immelman, Conrad van Vuuren, Marco Klopper

Conversions: Stephan Janse van Rensburg, Marco Mason (3)

Penalty: Stephan Janse van Rensburg.



FNB UP-Tuks:

15 Riaan Britz, 14 Keanan van Wyk, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Toko Maebane, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Frederik Eksteen, 6 Ruan Steenkamp (c), 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Aston Fortuin, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel


16 Jan Enslin, 17 Du Toit Genis, 18 Pieter Janse van Vuuren, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Carlo Engelbrecht, 21 Quaid Langeveldt, 22 Max Calitz, 23 Justin Forwood


FNB UFS Shimlas:

15 Marco Mason, 14 Renaldo Meyer, 13 Stephan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Arthur Williams, 11 Mafuma Mosolwa, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Nardus Erasmus, 7 Neil Claassen (c), 6 Rampheta Refuoe, 5 Dennis Visser, 4 Vidima Ntokoza, 3 Rudolph Botha, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Teunis Nieuwoudt


16 Marco Klopper, 17 Nche Retshegofaditswe, 18 Nicolaas Immelman, 19 Musa Mahlasela, 20 Armand Pretorius, 21 Apiwe Dinga, 22 Daniel Maartens, 23 Conrad van Vuuren


- Author Dan Lombard

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