CAPE TOWN – Nothing went the way of North-West University (NWU) who suffered a hefty FNB Varsity Cup 28-0 defeat to Tuks (University of Pretoria) at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds on Monday.
Tuks were first to get their name on the score sheet when Johan Grobbelaar mauled his way over the line, giving Tuks a five-point advantage after 10 minutes and that set the tone of the match.
Both teams had their fair share of opportunities to score but the defences held out. Instead, it was left to Tuks pivot Tinus de Beer, with two penalties, to take the scoreline out to 11-0 going into halftime.
Tuks again showed their hand in early second-half play to run up a 21-0 lead and that effectively ended the match as a contest.
Strangely the visitors NWU enjoying the lion's share of second-half possession but bad handling and poor decision cost them dearly.
All that remained for Tuks to do was try to snatch another try to secure a bonus point and that materialised right at the end when they closed out with a 28-0 whitewash.
In Bloemfontein, things went horribly wrong for the fancied Shimlas (University of the Free State) who suffered a shock 38-35 defeat at the hands of neighbours CUT (Central University of Technology) in the Free State derby.
The match ranks as CUT's finest yet in Varsity Cup competition and now boast already three wins this season.
CUT made their intentions clear from the start when they matched Shimlas in all aspects of the match and by halftime, the teams were level pegging at 21-all.
Eventually, the match dished up a feast of 10 tries - five each, but a penalty eventually proved the difference in front of a packed stadium.
Shimlas' defeat has jeopardised their chances of reaching the semifinals.
Next week frontrunners NWU will go up against CUT in Bloemfontein.
In Bellville, Cape Town, an inspired UWC (University of Western Cape) saw off 2018 semifinalists UJ (University of Johannesburg) 29-17 for their first-ever Varsity Cup victory at the UWC Sports Stadium.
A brave fightback saw coach Chester Williams' UWC edge UJ 29-17 in their final 2019 Varsity Cup home game.
Despite still being at the bottom of the log, the victory means UWC have achieved what many thought would be an almost impossible task ahead this season. This win will be remembered for years to come.
UWC restricted their opponents to just two tries, of which one was scored virtually after the full-time siren had gone. This is a true testament of the resilient and clinical defensive effort that the home side put in, for this maiden Varsity Cup victory - and a bonus-point win at that.
In Johannesburg, Varsity Cup action returned to the Wits University campus were the hosts held out for a narrow 30-29 victory over the Cape visitors UCT (University of Cape Town).
The match was one that held a lot of emotion for the Witsies, who held a moment of silence prior to kick off, after former Young Guns player Hendrik Wehmeyer sadly passed away in a motorcycle accident last week. The Young Guns man played for Wits between 2016 and 2017.
After a fairly even first half UCT only just manage to shade Wits 19-18 by the halftime break.
Despite a strong start by UCT, it was Wits who did well to take their scoring chances and at one stage overturned to the halftime deficit to grab a matchwinning 30-22 lead.
UCT rallied at the death but the 8-point margin proved a tad too much and they went down by a point after a penalty try at the death as the scoreline ended 30-29.
Varsity Cup results:
Wits 30-29 UCT Ikeys
UWC 29-17 UJ
CUT 38-35 Shimlas
NWU 0-28 Tuks
African News Agency (ANA)