Ixias get their Varsity Cup reward
Ixias get their Varsity Cup rewardSHARE
The CUT Ixias will play in the 2015 Varsity Cup after they won 35-26 against the UKZN Impi in the Varsity Shield Final in Bloemfontein on Monday.
The Men from Bloemfontein celebrate becoming champions for the second consecutive year and the third time in total, but it is the first time that they have managed to gain promotion up to the Varsity Cup.
Meanwhile, it will be back to the training field for the Impi, as they have a promotion/relegation game against UJ in Potchefstroom next week.
The Impi had a strong wind at their back in the first half but it was the Ixias who got the early territory with clever kicking from scrumhalf Stephan Griesel.
It was an nervy start from both sides in such an important game and it showed, with unforced errors littering the early exchanges.
The men from KwaZulu-Natal were guilty of more mistakes and the Ixias were agressive at the breakdowns and the turnovers began to hurt the Impi.
A lost line-out in the ninth minute lead to the first try of the game as quick ball was sent to the backs where the centres combined well. Johan van Schalkwyk popped a great ball to Duan Pretorius who had wrapped around at pace and found fullback Charles Hitchcock who timed his pass brilliantly to send right wing Alec Mhlanga over in the right hand corner.
Just four minutes later the Ixias were in to score again. They won a turnover in their own half and Hitchcock broke away down the left but was caught by the cover defence.
The Bloemfontein-based side won a scrum just inside the Impi 22 metre area and another silky backline play saw the ball shifted quickly from flyhalf Noel Marx to Pretorius who cantered over to score and then added the conversion.
The visitors tried to strike back, just before the first half strategy break, by setting up a lineout just five metres from the CUT line but their attempts to maul the ball over the line came to nothing and once again the hosts managed to make a turnover at the breakdown and clear their lines.
The UKZN scrum was working well though and they won two further scrum penalties as they dominated the setpiece.
The visitors started to put the very strong wind at their backs to good use as flyhalf Duncan Campbell unleashed a massive touchfinder from inside his own half.
The Impi set up the five metre lineout in the 33rd minute and after the maul didn’t work out, they sent it wide and Campbell stepped through the defence to score near to the posts before chipping over the extra three points to leave his side trailing by just 8-13 at half-time.
CUT were almost made to rue an early second half error as they knocked on from the kick off and Zwela Zondi went over to score after a break from scrumhalf Cameron Wright, but on review the TMO determined that Deon Carney had obstructed Mhlanga to create the gap for Wright to go through and the Ixias got the penalty and a reprieve.
Great work from Pretorius soon extended the Ixias' lead as they won a penalty by forcing Brandon Bailing to hold on and then nailed the kick to give the hosts a 15-8 lead after 47 minutes.
The Impi scrum continued to work wonders for them, just two minutes later, as they forced a penalty on CUT’s feed and set up a five metre lineout.
This time their maul was successful and they rumbled over the line for hooker Dean Muir to dot down. Campbell added the tricky sideline conversion to put UKZN into the lead for the first time. 16-15 with half an hour to play.
Pretorius put his side back into the lead with another good strike from the tee from over 30 metres to make it 17-16 to CUT after 60 minutes.
The advantage didn’t last long as CUT No.8 Dean Kouprianoff hit Wright late after a kick and it gave Campbell a chance to put the Impi back in front from a penalty kick on the 22, which he duly did to edge the Impi ahead 18-17.
A moment of magic from Griesel followed as he broke away from a CUT scrum just inside the Impi 22 and stepped past the covering tackle of Hendrik Lategan to charge over to score a vital try. Pretorius added the conversion to give the Ixias a 25-18 lead with 15 minutes to play.
The Impi hit back with sustained pressure and eventually it told as Deon Carney barged over from close range and Campbell was on hand to put UKZN ahead once more – 26-25 with 10 minutes left.
Pretorius was not done and the CUT inside centre broke away from his own half and beat a few defenders before Hitchcock went on a mazy run, skipping past more Impi players and offloading to Fanie Coetzer to go over for the try. 33-26 to the Ixias with eight minutes to go.
CUT flyhalf Noel Marx added a long-range drop-goal from close to 40 metres out after 74 minutes to put the seal on the win for the home side as they saw out the game to secure progression to the Varsity Cup for the first time.
In the Varsity Young Guns Final UFS-Shimlas Young Guns claimed the title after beating defending champions UP-Tuks Young Guns in a dramatic kick-off after extra time in Pretoria.
UP-Tuks had never lost a Young Guns game heading into this clash, but they were pushed to the limit by a determined UFS side that played the last 15 minutes of regular time and 20 minutes of extra time with just 14 men.
After the scores were level after 100 minutes of rugby, the teams went into a kick-off which saw the gutsy visitors claim a dramatic victory.
CUT Ixias 35-26 UKZN Impi
For CUT Ixias:
Tries: Mhlanga, Pretorius, Griesel, Coetzer
Cons: Pretorius 3
Pens: Pretorius 2
For UKZN Impi:
Tries: Campbell, Muir, Carney
Cons: Campbell 3
CUT Ixias: 15 Charles Hitchcock, 14 Alec Mhlanga, 13 Johan van Schalkwyk, 12 Duan Pretorius, 11 Kholo Ramashala (captain), 10 Noel Marx, 9 Stephan Griesel, 8 Dean Kouprianoff, 7 Vincent Marupeng, 6 Frans Sisita, 5 Lyvette Shikwambana, 4 Fanie Coetzer, 3 Danie van der Merwe, 2 Deon Gouws, 1 Len Noort.
Replacements: 16 Daniel de Jager, 17 Gerhard Baard, 18 Moeka Bolofo, 19 Johann Grundlingh, 20 Marius Grobler, 21 Johan Nel, 22 Theuns Truter, 23 Hanro Liebenberg.
UKZN Impi: 15 Hendrik Groenewald, 14 Shayne Makombe, 13 Brandon Bailing, 12 Kurt Mavrodaris, 11 Hendrik Lategan, 10 Duncan Campbell, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Deon Carney, 7 Zwela Zondi, 6 Lwazi Ngcungama (captain), 5 Johan Wagenaar, 4 Adam Wessels, 3 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Henri Boshoff.
Replacements: 16 Mikyle Webster, 17 Bartholomeus le Roux, 18 Gideon Koegelenberg, 19 Sanele Malwane, 20 Nelson Makhanye, 21 Gavin Nyawata, 22 Yandisa Mdolomba, 23 Sizwe Kuhbeka.
UP-Tuks Young Guns 17-17 UFS-Shimlas Young Guns
For UP-Tuks Young Guns:
Tries: Van Zyl, Van Wyk
Pens: Marais 2
For UFS-Shimlas Young Guns:
Tries: Basson, Rautenbach
Pens: Rautenbach 2
Yellow cards: Andre Venter (UFS-Shimlas, 39 – Dangerous tackle), Venter (UFS-Shimlas, 64 – Dangerous tackle)
UP-Tuks Young Guns: 15 Wyatt Murphy, 14 Dimitrio Tieties, 13 Marquit September, 12 Adrian Maebane, 11 Keanan van Wyk, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Chris Massyn, 6 Heinrich Viljoen, 5 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 4 Abongile Nonkontwana, 3 Pierre Schoeman (captain), 2 Arno van Wyk, 1 Piet Strauss.
Replacements: 16 Francois Steyn, 17 Njabulo Gumede, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Corne Cooper, 20 Kobus Wolmarans, 21 Simon Bolze, 22 Jurie Linde, 23 Matthys Basson.
UFS-Shimlas Young Guns: 15 Stephen Rautenbach, 14 Donovan Gissing, 13 Pieter Faber, 12 Stephan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Charlton Koopman, 10 Ruan Potgieter, 9 Zee Makhabela, 8 Andries Kriek, 7 Boela Venter, 6 Steven Meiring, 5 Andre Venter, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Conrad van Vuuren, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Ox Niche.
Replacements: 16 Anrich Alberts, 17 Petrus Senekal, 18 Daniel Maartens, 19 Refuoe Rampetha, 20 TJ Goodard, 21 Herman Share, 22 Lorenzo Gordon, 23 Gunter Janse van Vuuren.
Referee: Lesego Legoete
Assistant referees: Jan Venter, Wilko Esterhuizen
TMO: Willie Vos