FNB Maties and UFS-Shimlas played out an exciting 13-13 draw in windy conditions in Stellenbosch on Monday night.
UFS-Shimlas scored all of their points in the first half and Maties scored all of theirs after half-time as the wind had a huge say at the Danie Craven Stadium.
The opening exchanges were tense, with neither side able to impose themselves on the game in the windy conditions, and the sides went into the first strategy break still deadlocked at 0-0.
The visitors opened the scoring soon afterwards when tighthead prop Justin Pappin forced his way over from close range, and Gouws Prinsloo added the easy conversion to put UFS-Shimlas 8-0 up.
The Free State side were playing with the wind in the first half and they made it count when wing Maphuta Dolo crossed in the corner to stretch their lead to 13-0 late in the first half.
They took that advantage into the break, leaving Maties with it all to do in the second half in the difficult conditions.
The home side made a determined start to the second 40 minutes, and it was not long before flyhalf Robert du Preez got over for a try in the corner which he converted himself to reduce UFS-Shimlas’ lead to 13-8.
Maties had all of the momentum and looked to have levelled matters when Helmut Lehmann got over the tryline, but the try was not awarded and UFS-Shimlas held on to their five-point advantage.
They held that lead at the second strategy break, but with less than a converted try between the sides it was still anyone’s game in the last 20 minutes.
Maties were desperate to overhaul the visitors and it showed as a number of basic errors cost them, boosting UFS-Shimlas hopes of pulling off a win on the road.
However, they finally managed to find the finishing touch when scrumhalf Jean Nel got over from close range to draw level with the visitors at 13-13.
Both teams threw everything at each other in the dying stages of the match as they looked for the winning score, but it was not to be as they ended deadlocked to take two log points each.
For FNB Maties:
Tries: Du Preez, Nel
Con: Du Preez
For FNB UFS-Shimlas:
Tries: Pappin, Dolo
FNB Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Clearance Khumalo, 13 Mark Hodgskiss, 12 Louis Jordaan, 11 Caleb Smith, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jean Nel, 8 Tertius Daniller (captain), 7 Lungelo Chonco, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Nicol Heyns, 2 Freddie Kirsten, 1 Johannes Kleinhans.
Replacements: 16 Charl de Villiers, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Ian Groenewald, 19 Justin Benn, 20 Louis Nel, 21 Chris Smith, 22 Johnny Kotze, 23 Liam Hendricks.
FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 Ludwig Erasmus, 14 Maphuta Dolo, 13 Tertius Kruger, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht (captain), 11 Sethu Tom, 10 Gouws Prinsloo, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Gerhard Olivier, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Neil Claassen, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Justin Pappin, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Franco van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Markus Odendaal, 17 Luan de Bruin, 18 Johan van der Hoogt, 19 Neill Jordaan, 20 Kay-Kay Hlongwane, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 Divandré Strydom, 23 Gideon Bruwer.
Referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Christie du Preez