UP-Tuks up for Pukke battle
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