Cape Town — UFS Shimlas fought off a late surge by UP Tuks to claim a 26-15 win in Bloemfontein and book a Varsity Cup semi-final spot.
In a top-of-the-table clash, play was paused due to lightening in the 34th minute. The pouring rain didn’t stop the hosts from scoring three tries in the opening half, however.
The log-leaders produced some hot moments in heavy rain against the defending champions, but Tuks had the upper hand in the second half as their forwards took control.
FULL TIME and @UFSweb have picked up another huge scalp! The Shimlas hold off a late charge by the defending champs @TuksSport to stay top of the log and unbeaten at home.— Varsity Cup (@varsitycup) April 4, 2022
FNB UFS 26 -15 FNB Tuks #RugbyThatRocks proudly brought to you by @FNBSA and @SteersSA pic.twitter.com/3G5EWRvwE6
Shimlasgot their first try through Jooste Nel, and their second came when Ruwald van der Merwe took a tap-and-go 10 metres out before beating a few defenders to go over (14-3). George Lourens gave a top chicken-wing pass to Litha Nkula to get their third in fine style after he hit the gap and turned on the gas for the score around the half-hour mark (19-3).
The hosts held onto their lead at half time, and Tuks scored their first try in the 51st minute from a rolling maul (19-8).
They scored their second with 10 minutes to go (19-15), again courtesy of a maul, but Shimlas ran in a bonus-point try at the death through Kwezi Dlamini and secure a 26-15 victory to stay top of the log and unbeaten at home.
This season, two teams will be relegated from the Varsity Cup and will compete in the 2023 Varsity Shield. No Varsity Shield team will be promoted to the top-tier competition, with both tournaments having eight teams from 2023.
The Madibaz have already been relegated, as they cannot finish any higher than bottom place on the combined log. The Eastern Cape side have accumulated the fewest points over the past two years.
FULL TIME and @MatiesSport have levitated to a bonus point victory over @Madibaz_Sport. The maroon machine overwhelmed the visitors at the DC to win their 100th FNB Varsity Cup game!— Varsity Cup (@varsitycup) April 4, 2022
FNB Maties 61 -12 FNB Madibaz#RugbyThatRocks brought to you by @FNBSA and @SteersSA pic.twitter.com/on2q14jnU9
In a do-or-die clash between the University of the Western Cape and the University of Johannesburg — who were both in the relegation danger zone going into the match — the Gauteng side won 50-28.
Shimlas next face Madibaz away, while UCT and Maties will take on CUT and UWC, respectively. Tuks will travel to Johannesburg to face UJ.
Shimlas 16 — Tries: Jooste Nel, Ruwald van der Merwe, Litha Nkula, Kwezi Dlamini Conversions: Nkula (3).
UP-Tuks 15 — Tries: Mihlali Stamper, Allister Williams. Conversion: Stephan Coetzee Penalty: Walter Visser.
CUT Ixias 14 - 33 NWU Eagles
Maties 61 - 12 Madibas
Wits 23 - 47 UCT Ikeys