Johannesburg – The NWU-Pukke opened their 2014 Varsity Cup campaign in clinical fashion as they beat the Ikey Tigers 47-24 in Cape Town on Monday.
The Potchefstroom students built on their 21-16 half-time lead to run in four second-half tries in windy conditions.
Ikeys did all the early running as the hosts powered into an early 16-0 lead using their opportunities well into the breeze.
The hosts launched two encouraging counter-attacks against the wind in the lead-up to their tries, the first by right-wing Richard Stewart and later by wing partner Liheli Xoli.
Tigers fullback Ross Jones-Davies and flanker Shaun McDonald scored the first tries of the match with flyhalf Dean Grant converting to go 16-0 up.
However, the visitors launched a fightback as the game reached the half-hour mark.
Pukke eighthman Juan Language crashed over from a rolling maul and then fullback Sylvian Mahuza finished well from a counter attack to put his team within touching distance as they trailed by three points.
The deficit soon became an advantage when the impressive Mahuza finished from with some nifty footwork.
Pukke scrumhalf and captain Tiaan Dorfling converted from wide out giving his side a 21-16 lead going into the half-time break.
Ikeys made the advantage of having the wind at their backs count early on when Jones-Davies collected his own chip ahead to dive over for his second try. Grant converted for a slender 24-21
However, Pukke showed great resolve to hit back less than five minutes later when South African Under-20 flyer Luther Obi scored.
Dorfling could not convert their fourth try and with Pukke holding onto a two-point lead the match was still in the balance.
Ikeys suffered a blow before the start of the final quarter when the visitors scored a try under the posts through replacement forward Philip de Wet, with Dorfling converting to stretch the lead to 34-24.
To add insult to injury Ikeys player Jason Klaasen was sin-binned shortly after.
Pukke rubbed more salt into the hosts' wounds scoring two more tries through lock Francois Robbertse and replacement forward Daniel Jordaan.
Scorers: UCT 24 (16): Tries: Ross Jones-Davies (2), Shaun McDonald. Conversions: Grant (3)
NWU-Pukke 47 (21): Tries: Juan Language, Sylvian Mahuza (2), Luther Obi, Philip de Wet, Francois Robbertse, Daniel Jordaan. Conversions: Tiaan Dorfling (4) – Sapa