FNB Wits scored a last-minute seven-point try to secure a 30-30 draw with Maties.
The leaders of the FNB Varsity Cup log, FNB Wits and FNB Maties, came head to head in a Varsity Cup encounter at the Wits Rugby stadium in Johannesburg on Monday, February 26. The match ended dramatically in a 30-30 draw after match officials awarded a seven-point try to Wits after the final whistle.
A five-point try in the dying minutes of the game by Wits fullback Tyrone Green saw Wits end the game on 28. But Varsity Cup officials ruled that it was actually a seven-point try resulting in both sides sharing the spoils and ending Maties’ winning streak in the 2018 season.
The match began with Maties dominating the game and winger Edwill van der Merwe opening the scoring with a try in the seventh minute of the game. Maties continued to put pressure on Wits when they scored two more tries, resulting in a 17-0 lead over the Braamfontein outfit.
Wits’ first try was scored by Green in the 32nd minute, but the team did not stop there. Wits inside centre AJ Van Blerk scored a seven-point try followed by a conversion by flyhalf, Chris Humphries, which resulted in a 17-14 scorecard at the end of the first half.
The second half of the match saw more intensity from both teams. Stellenbosch player Wilmar Arnoldi scored the first try, leading to a 10-point lead over Wits. The referee penalised Wits for dangerous play by awarding the Maties a penalty which took the score to 27-14.
With 10 minutes left to spare, Wits secured a try from substitute Taine Chabant but Maties came back with another penalty from Chris Smith, bringing the score to 30-21.
Green scored a 5-point try in the last minute but Maties ended the game with 30-28.
FNB Player of the Match: Niel Oelofse (FNB Maties)
FNB Wits: 30
Tries: Tyrone Green (2), AJ Van Blerk, Taine Chabant
Conversion Tries: Chris Humphries (3)
FNB Maties: 30
Tries: Edwill Van Der Merwe, Eldoe Schoeman, Johan Momsen
Conversion Tries: Chris Smith
Penalties: Chris Smith (2)