UP-Tuks up for Pukke battle

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:09
Large tuks players walks varsity cup 800

VARSITY CUP SPOTLIGHT: Any suggestion that UP-Tuks will take their foot off the gas in their final round match against NWU-Pukke has been put to bed. Tauriq Ebrahim reports.

Tuks are currently sitting pretty at the top of the log, tied on points with Maties and separated by points difference, and have a guaranteed home semi-final - and possible home Final - in their sights ahead of their clash with Pukke.

Pukke has a chance to sneak into the semi-finals as well with a bonus point victory over Tuks, which adds a new dimension to the contest.

"It's going to be a huge game for both sides. Our aim is to end first on the log and for that to happen we still need five points. That secures a home semi and possible home final. However, Pukke needs to win to reach the semi-final.

"Depending on the results, we can still end third. That could then potentially see us having to make a trip to Cape Town to face Maties and that is certainly not ideal. Therefore, we will not be settling for anything less than five points from the game.

"It's going to be tough though as we have not managed to beat them [Pukke] since 2012," Tuks coach Pote Human said.

Tuks would need a vast improvement on their first half performance from the one they produced against UCT-Ikeys, that saw them trail 0-23 early in the encounter. Human felt as though they were too soft in their approach but was pleased with the eventual outcome as they ran in seven unanswered tries from that point.

"We let ourselves down in the first 30 minutes and we can't let teams like Pukke get that type of start [against us], as we won't be able to come back into the game.

"We were fortunate that we managed to start moving the ball that led to us scoring tries. We hit them [UCT] hard in the second half. We gave away three easy tries in some soft moments and that we cannot afford [to do] against Pukke.

"We need to be more patient and clinical in our approach by keeping the ball through numerous phases and outworking them [Pukke]," he added.

By Tauriq Ebrahim
@Tauriq365
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
VARSITY CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool CUP
Team P W D L Pts
UP-Tuks 8 7 0 1 34
Maties 8 7 0 1 34
UJ 8 5 0 3 25
Shimlas 8 5 0 3 23
Wits 8 4 0 4 21
NWU-Pukke 8 4 0 4 19
NMMU-Madibaz 8 2 0 6 11
UCT-Ikeys 8 2 0 6 9
CUT-Ixias 8 0 0 8 3
Pool SHIELD
Team P W D L Pts
UWC 6 5 0 1 27
Fort Hare 6 4 0 2 20
UKZN-Impi 6 4 0 2 20
WSU 6 3 0 3 14
CPUT 6 2 0 4 10
TUT 6 2 0 4 9
Rhodes 6 1 0 5 6