Pukke hang on in Jozi arm wrestle
VARSITY CUP REPORT: Schalk Hugo's boot proved to be the difference between defending champions NWU-Pukke and UJ in Johannesburg as the Potchefstroom side claimed a narrow 16-12 victory.
It was a real arm wrestle in wet conditions as UJ flyhalf Divan Nel looked to have given his side the upper hand at the break. However, Hugo slotted two penalties in the final 20 minutes to leave the home fans heart broken.
It was a tense start with both sides competing well at the breakdown. However, chances were minimal as both outfits' defence kept each other at bay. The deadlock was broken in the 13th minute though when UJ were pinned at the breakdown.
Schalk Hugo stepped up and split the uprights to hand Pukke a 3-0 lead.
Pukke stretched their lead a few minutes later when a set move saw wing Jimmy Mpailane received a pop pass from captain Jeandre Rudolph and the wing stepped his way past the last defender to score. Hugo added the extras to ensure a 10-0 lead after 19 minutes.
UJ regrouped during the first strategy break and came back with three points of their own when Divan Nel slammed home a 53-metre penalty to get his side on the board and cut the deficit to seven points.
Pukke were pushing the limits at the breakdowns and were punished for infringements by Nel. The flyhalf slotted a 50-metre and a 45-metre penalty to bring his side to within a point of their visitors in the 30th minute. Nel slotted his fourth penalty of the match on the stroke of half-time, to ensure a 12-10 lead for the home side.
The start of the second half remained tense as both sides continued to throw everything at their opponents. Both flyhalves missed attempts at goal as the score remained 12-10 to UJ after 60 minutes.
As the arm wrestle continued, Pukke began to turn the screw which led to numerous UJ infringements. Hugo was on hand to give Pukke the lead in the 63rd minute with his second penalty before extending that lead to 16-12 with another penalty in the 72nd minute.
UJ had their chances in the closing minutes but Pukke held on and ran the clock down to grab the victory.
Pens: Nel 4
Pens: Hugo 3
UJ: 15 Ronald Brown, 14 Tyreeq February, 13 Ramaboea, 12 Jaco Fourie, 11 Aphiwe Dyanti, 10 Divan Nel, 9 Johan Esterhuizen, 8 Jo-Hanko de Villiers, 7 Adrian Bester, 6 Wian Conradie, 5 Estian Enslin, 4 Kyle van Dalen, 3 Nico du Plessis, 2 Johannes Snyman (captain), 1 Dillon Bakos.
Replacements: 16 Emmanuel Morowane, 17 Gela Khanya, 18 Reinhaard Nothnagel, 19 Leon Massyn, 20 Hilton Mudraki, 21 Ewan Adams, 22 Peter-John Walters, 23 Sarel Smit.
NWU-Pukke: 15 Lungelo Gosa, 14 Jimmy Mpailane, 13 Elden Schoeman, 12 Henko Marais, 11 Tapiwe Mafura, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Jeandré Rudolph (captain), 7 Marno Redelinghuys, 6 Wandile Mazibuko, 5 Loftus Morrison, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Dewald Dekker, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Dolf van Deventer.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Nico van Tonder, 18 Morné Strydom, 19 Boela Venter, 20 Marcel Henn, 21 Caleb Louw, 22 AK Nela, 23 Justin Newman.
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Marius Jonker