Tuks send Pukke packing
VARSITY CUP REPORT: UP-Tuks sent defending champions NWU-Pukke crashing out of the competition as they secured a 43-28 bonus point victory in Potchefstroom.
The victory also ensures Tuks finishes the competition in first place on the log and secures themselves a home semi-final and potential home Final. Pukke picked up a four-try bonus-point for their efforts but it wasn't enough to keep themselves in the competition.
Tuks could have taken the lead in fourth minute when Dewald Naude ran through on a brilliant inside line off flyhalf Tinus de Beer but referee Stuart Barry - with the help of TMO Willie Vos - adjudged the offload to be forward.
There was no doubt about Andre Warner's try in the 11th minute when the scrumhalf received the ball on his 10 metre line. He set off on a run and had three Pukke defenders inside their 22 but they seemed bemused and the scrumhalf trotted over to grab a seven-point try. Tinus de Beer added the extras for a 9-0 lead.
But Pukke hit back a few minutes later when, from a five-metre line-out, the home side forced their way over and Elden Schoeman emerged with the ball. Schalk Hugo added the extras to trail 7-9.
Tuks bagged their second seven-point try of the match just after the first strategy break when they attacked from inside their half. They created an overlap and flung the ball wide to Clyde Davids, who slid over in the corner. De Beer was once again on song to stretch the lead to 18-7 after 23 minutes.
Tuks were going all out for their bonus point and grabbed their third try in the 31st minute when Pukke were caught napping. De Beer seemed to want to kick to touch but instead took a tap-n-go and Tuks put the ball through the hands. Naude received it out wide and was not going to be denied a five-pointer. De Beer's extras made it 25-7.
Tuks were reduced to 14 men early in the second half after Aston Fortuin was shown yellow and Pukke took full advantage as they grabbed two converted tries. Walt Steenkamp and Wilmar Arnoldi adding their names to the scoresheet - both converted by Hugo - to reduce the deficit to 21-28 after 52 minutes.
The visitors secured their bonus point in the 60th minute when Warner grabbed his double after sniping from the back of a scrum on Pukke's five-metre line. Joshua Stander converted to extend the lead to 35-21.
Pukke then got their bonus point try in the 67th minute when Loftus Morrison dotted down after a few phases but then a scuffle broke put which resulted in the restart being a penalty in Tuks' favour. Hugo added the conversion though to make it a seven-point game.
Stander opted to kick at goals from the halfway line and split the uprights to take a 38-28 lead after 68 minutes. Sibahle Maxwane put the final nail in the coffin in the 79th minute when he coasted in.
Tries: Schoeman, Steenkamp, Arnoldi, Morrison
Cons: Hugo 4
Tries: Warner 2, Davids, Naude, Maxwane
Cons: de Beer 3, Stander
Pens: de Beer, Stander
Yellow card: Aston Fortuin (UP-Tuks, 43 - repeated infringements)
NWU-Pukke: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Jimmy Mpailane, 13 Elden Schoeman, 12 Henko Marais, 11 Lungelo Gosa, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Marno Redelinghuys (captain), 7 Boela Venter, 6 Marcel Henn, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 Morne Strydom, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Matimu Manganyi.
Replacements: 16 Dane van der Westhuizen, 17 Nico van Tonder, 18 Dewald Dekker, 19 Ruan Venter, 20 Gideon van der Merwe, 21 Caleb Louw, 22 Nkululeko Mcuma, 23 Justin Newman.
UP-Tuks: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Dewald Naude, 13 Adrian Maebane, 12 Impi Visser, 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Andre Warner (captain), 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Eduan Lubbe, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Bryan Leitch, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Els Corniel, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Jaco Holtzhausen, 18 Marius Verwey, 19 Juan-Re Swanepoel , 20 Embrose Papier, 21 Manie Libbok, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 Franco van den Berg.
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referee: Local
TMO: Willie Vos