Tuks bounce back at home
VARSITY CUP REPORT: UP-Tuks avoid a second successive defeat when they managed to get the better of a willing Wits outfit by 25-9 in Pretoria.
The home side was down by a solitary point at one stage but 17 unanswered points in the final 50 minutes will prove vital as they remain in touch with the early pace-setters.
Tuks flyhalf Marthinus de Beer handed the home side a 3-0 lead in the ninth minute but Wits pulled things level in the 17th when Warren Gilbert grabbed his side's first penalty of the encounter.
The home side grabbed the first try of the match when wing Dewald Naude raced onto a grubber. De Beer failed to add the conversion, although Tuks' now led 8-3 after 24 minutes.
Gilbert then handed the visitors with two quick-fire penalties to ensure a 9-8 lead after 30 minutes but the home side were not going down easily. Christiaan Massyn put his big frame to good use as he burrowed his way over for Tuks' second try of the match.
De Beer added the extras to ensure a 15-9 lead after 31 minutes and that is how it remained at the half-time break.
The second half was a tense affair as the teams arm-wrestled for dominance. The home side was able to extend their lead to 18-9 in the 48th minute when De Beer added his second penalty of the night.
Wits remained in the contest but could not get extra points on the board. This allowed Tuks to close out the game with a third try in the 77th minute. Massyn bagged his second of the match.
Josh Stander stepped up to slot the conversion and ensure the much-needed victory.
Tries: Naude, Massyn 2
Cons: De Beer, Stander
Pens: De Beer 2
Pens: Gilbert 3
Yellow card: Luxulo Ntsepe (Wits)
UP-Tuks: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Dewald Naude, 13 Adrian Maebane, 12 Impi Visser, 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Marthinus de Beer, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Juan Swanepoel, 7 Christiaan Massyn, 6 Eduan Lubbe, 5 Brian Leitch, 4 Aston Fortuin, 3 Johan Fouche, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Replacements: 16 Theunis Reynolds, 17 Jacobus Holtzhausen, 18 Marius Verwey, 19 Denzel Hill, 20 Theo Maree, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Immanuel Libbok, 23 Franco van den Berg.
Wits: 15 Luxulo Ntsepe, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Josh Jarvis, 12 Brandan Hewitt, 11 Wandisile Simelane, 10 Warren Gilbert (captain), 9 Ruan Cloete, 8 Constant Beckerling, 7 Conor-Terrah Brockschmidt, 6 Ruan Macdonald, 5 Rhyno Herbst, 4 Graham Logan, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 2 CJ Conradie, 1 CJ Greeff.
Replacements: 16 Justin Brandon, 17 Brandon Palmer, 18 Pascal Snyman, 19 Jethro de Lange, 20 Karl Erasmus, 21 Manuel Rass, 22 Gianni Lombard, 23 Ameer Williams.
Referee: Ricus van der Hoven
Assistant referees: Local