Tuks players turn it on with second-half try blitz for victory over Wits
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PRETORIA – It took some harsh words during halftime to get the University of Pretoria (UP-Tuks) players going, but once they did, they ran amok in the second half, scoring five tries to clinch a 46-12 victory against Wits in the Varsity Cup encounter Pretoria on Monday.
The victory means Tuks remains second on the log. If they can continue to stick to the plan as the players like to call it, there is no reason why they can’t secure a home semifinal.
That has been coach's Nollis Marais goal right from the start as he reasons that once in a semifinal nothing is impossible.
The University of Stellenbosch (Maties) still top the log with 19 points after four games. Tuks have 15 points, followed by North West University (Pukke) with 14 and the University of the Free State (Shimlas 10).
In Bloemfontein, North West University (NWU) surprised the University of the Free State, (Shimlas 26-13) in the fourth round of their clash, winning 26-13 to end Shimlas’ unbeaten run.
Both teams started off with exciting running rugby and displayed solid defence.
Shimlas played attacking rugby and dominated territory up to the strategy break but could not break the strong defence of NWU.
Shimlas dominated ball possession and territory but scrappy play and handling errors cost them the game.
Raegan Oranje of Tuks in action during the Varsity Cup match between UP Tuks Wits at UP Tuks Stadium on Monday. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/SASPA
In Cape Town, the University of Cape Town (UCT) redeemed themselves as they beat the University of Johannesburg 42-23 in a well-fought match at the Green Mile.
UCT showed what they are capable of after securing six tries against fellow rivals UJ. Ikey Tigers captain Josh Moon could not have led by a better example than getting proceedings underway with his sixth-minute try.
Although the search for UJ’s first win continues, their gutsy performance at the Green Mile did not translate into points.
Despite a 19-point loss the match, at certain moments in the game, it was far tighter than what the scoreboard reflected – with UJ holding a two-point lead over the hosts for some time before the end of the first half.
In Bloemfontein, it took Maties more than an hour, but they eventually ran in eight tries to the two of Central University of Technology (CUT), scoring a convincing win of 50-15 against the home side.
Maties fullback, Anton du Toit, with a personal tally of 22 points, scored an amazing four tries and one conversion.
This win sees Maties consolidating their lead at the top of the Varsity Cup log, taking home a valuable bonus point in an away match.
During the final 17 minutes, the emotive home crowd were stunned into shocked silence, as the Maroon Machine ran in four of their tries, of which one was a seven-pointer from inside their own 22.
UP-Tuks 46 Wits 12
UFS-Shimlas 13 NWU 26
CUT 15 Maties 50
UCT-Ikeys 42 UJ 23.