Shimlas produced an attacking masterclass to thrash Maties 50-28 in Bloemfontein and end a seven-game drought against the Stellenbosch-based side.

Last week, Shimlas scored eight tries and 56 points against UWC in Bellville, and on Monday night they put seven tries and 50 points past one of the tournament’s traditional powerhouses to announce themselves as the favourites for the 2022 FNB Varsity Cup title.

It's worth noting that Shimlas lost 81-24 to Maties last year. Clearly a new coaching staff – which includes former Springbok attacking guru Swys de Bruin – and approach has made all the difference. The forwards laid the platform for this important victory. 

Shimlas turned down several kicks at goal in the period that followed, and earned the desired reward when they scored four tries from close range. By half-time, the hosts had powered their way into a commanding lead. They had also secured the four-try bonus point. They weren’t done yet, though.

Lock Marco van Rhyn was shown a yellow card after Maties were given a team warning for cynical play on their own tryline. Shimlas didn’t hesitate to kick the resultant penalty to touch. They reset their formidable maul, and scored, with Thabo Ndimande emerging from the pile of bodies for his third try of the evening.

The Free State students lost their way in the third quarter, and conceded two yellow cards due to infringements on their own tryline. Maties narrowed the deficit to 10 points – and may have reduced the gap further if not for their wayward goal-kicking.

Against the run of play, however, the 13-man Shimlas struck a telling blow. The result marks Shimlas’ third win against Maties in the history of the tournament – as well as their first victory against the men from Stellenbosch since 2015.


FNB UFS Shimlas 50 (26) – Tries: Thabo Ndimande (3), Thabang Mahlasi, Nathan Jordan, George Lourens, Jandre Nel. Conversions: Litha Nkula (4). Penalty: Nkula.

FNB Maties 28 (11) – Tries: Chris Rossouw, Sean Swart, De Wet Marais, Gift Dlamini. Conversion: Jurie Matthee. Penalties: Matthee (2).

In Potchefstroom, the NWU Eagles claimed a convincing 40-19 bonus-point win over a plucky UWC outfit, who played with adventure and intent, despite being largely outplayed by the hosts in the scrums and lineouts over the course of the contest.

The speed and quality of their passing game, however, stretched the NWU Eagles’ defence and created opportunities for lethal finishers such as Peter Williams on the outside. The UWC wing touched down in the eighth minute to give his side an unexpected lead.

Thanks to the gargantuan presence of men like André Fouche at the breakdown, the NWU Eagles managed to stall the visitors’ momentum. They then proceeded to put their much-vaunted scrum and rolling maul into action - three tries later the hosts led 21-7, although UWC hit back before half-time by producing an enterprising surge to set Peter Williams up for his second try.

But the NWU Eagles were not done yet and they finished with a flourish to secure the first win of their 2022 campaign.


FNB NWU Eagles 40 (21) – Tries: Heinz Bertram, Riaan Genis, Vernon Paulo, Ruben du Plessis, Pienaar van Niekerk. Conversions: Nivan Petersen (3), Martin Venter. Penalty: Venter.

FNB UWC 19 (19) – Tries: Peter Williams (2). Conversions: Lyle Hendricks (2). Penalty: Hendricks.

In Cape Town, the UCT Ikeys claimed a comeback win for the second successive week when they overturned a 24-5 half-time deficit to beat UJ 26-24. Hooker Alex Castle scored two tries for the hosts, with No 8 Jason MacLeod Smith’s 75th-minute bonus-point try from a lineout driving maul converted by fullback Duran Koevort.

FNB UJ flyhalf Jonathan Viljoen had a chance to snatch victory in the last minute but his 45m attempt missed the mark. Hooker Hloni Mphuthi scored two tries for the visitors.


FNB UCT Ikeys 26 (5) – Tries: Alexander Castle (2), Ntokozo Makhaza, Jason MacLeod Smith. Conversions: Duran Koevort (3).

FNB UJ 24 (24) – Tries: Hloni Mphuthi (2), Likhaya Tengimfene. Conversions: Jonathan Viljoen (3). Penalty: Viljoen.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, flank Dian Schoonees crossed the line twice as UP-Tuks recorded a 22-6 win against the FNB Madibaz.

The visitors led 10-0 at half-time, with flyhalf Chadwyn November scoring Madibaz’s only points early in the second half.


FNB Madibaz 6 (0) – Penalties: Chadwyn November (2).

FNB UP-Tuks 22 (10) – Tries: Dian Schoonees (2), Louis Meiring, Francois Klopper. Conversion: Jandré Burger.

In Johannesburg, winger Azi Afrika’s 75th-minute converted try and a late penalty from flyhalf Chris Humphries gave Wits a thrilling 20-18 win against the CUT Ixias.

The visitors were reduced to 14 men for 20 minutes when flank Jan Kotze received a fourth-minute red card but were still able to lead 13-10 at the break. They extended that to eight points when lock Kevin Strydom scored early in the second half but FNB Wits would finish the match with a flourish.


FNB Wits 20 (10) – Tries: Setshaba Mokoena, Azi Afrika. Conversions: Chris Humphries (2). Penalties: Humphries (2).

FNB CUT Ixias 18 (13) – Tries: Jacquin van Wyk, Tiaan Drotske, Kevin Strydom. Penalty: Floris Brand.

FNB Varsity Cup Round 3 fixtures (28 February):

● FNB CUT Ixias vs FNB UFS Shimlas (17:00, CUT Rugby Stadium, SuperSport channel 211)
● FNB UP-Tuks vs FNB UCT Ikeys (19:00, Tuks Stadium, SuperSport channel 211)
● FNB Maties vs FNB Wits (19:00, Danie Craven Stadium)
● FNB UJ vs FNB NWU Eagles (19:00, UJ Stadium)
● FNB UWC vs FNB Madibaz (19:00, UWC Stadium)