Madibaz lose fifth Varsity Cup clash on the trot to UJ in Johannesburg

BY MARC JACOBSON - MARCH 7, 2017
Madibaz lose fifth Varsity Cup clash on the trot to UJ in Johannesburg

FNB University of Johannesburg won their third consecutive match 36-28 against the FNB Madibaz at the UJ Stadium in their FNB Varsity Cup clash, with the Port Elizabeth-based side now having lost five games on the trot on all-away soil.

The match showed to be a real arm-wrestle in close contention with each side dotting down four tries. The difference in score line proved to be the two more successive conversions executed by UJ and the two penalties they tallied by kicker, Divan Nel.

Getting into a defensive lapse early on, the Madibaz were forced to string together phrasal tackles through an early UJ onslaught.

Their defensive strategy amounted to some avail, but poor handling and execution with ball-in-hand, meant UJ capitalised and scored a try to take a 7-0 lead.

With the Madibaz enduring much pressure throughout the first half, falling well-short in their territory stakes, UJ then converted a penalty and scored a converted mauling try to take the scores to 17-0.

On the brink of half-time, Madibaz then softened the score line and narrowed the gap with an unconverted try scored by fly half and kicker, Thomas Kean, to make the score 17-5 at the break.

The break seemed to serve the Madibaz well, as they looked more clinical and sharp in the second-half – scoring a try just five minutes in, from lock Wynand Grassman. Again, the try was unconverted and the scores were taken to 17-10.

Again, looking more rejuvenated in the second 40, the Madibaz looked to gain some sort of ascendency after a flow of momentous phases on attack saw Nicholas Oosthuizen cross the whitewash for a seven-point try. The conversion was slotted through successfully and after three unanswered tries, the Madibaz suddenly took a 19-17 lead on the 50th minute mark.

Momentum then suddenly shifted, as UJ too responded with a seven-point try – taking the scores to 26-19, before Nel converted a penalty to stretch the lead evermore to 29-19. Nailing the coffin in, UJ then scored a sounding try to take a comfortable 36-19 lead.

Madibaz managed to then play with a never-die spirit, as they scored a constellation seven-point try through replacement, Simon Bolze – taking the final scores to within the 12-point margin.

The Madibaz are now placed eighth on the overall Varsity Cup log with just six table points. UJ are currently fourth with 16 points.

NMMU are set to play against Wits at the Wits Rugby Stadium in their next Varsity Cup outing.

On the other end, the FNB University of Fort Hare saw a 28-16 victory over FNB Tshwane University of Technology at the Davidson Rugby Stadium in Alice in their Varsity Shield encounter. FNB Walter Sisulu University also managed to conjure up a 20-15 victory over FNB Cape Peninsula University of Technology at the BCM Stadium in Mthatha.

After having won four games out of five, UFH are placed second on the Varsity Shield log with 20 points, while WSU are fifth-placed with eight points and two wins out of four.    

Image: UJ celebrating a try against the Madibaz.