There is a reason why this competition is one of the most exciting competitions in the South African domestic season.
The pure effort from all the teams gives every real rugby supporter goosebumps and last night’s games came up with other few surprising results yet again.
Game 1: Pukke 57 NMMU 6
At last the men from Potch could put a win together and although NMMU is not the strongest side in the competition, everyone needs to start winning somewhere.
The Pukke recorded a 57-6 win over the men from PE and ensured that they will not leave this year’s competition with that wooden spoon. Despite being the only team in the competition yet to record a win going into this match, Pukke looked anything but a team that should be lagging at the bottom of the 2011 Varsity Cup table.
Both sides were eager to run the ball at every opportunity – although NMMU made far too many handling errors that Pukke were able to capitalise on and, in the process, execute some clinical finishing to score nine tries.
For FNB Pukke: Tries: Dumond, De Wet, Penalty try, Landman 2, Oosthuizen 2, Dorfling, Coetzee
Cons: Dumond 6
For FNB NMMU: Pens: Muller 2
Game 2: Tuks 27 Maties 13
The shoe was definitely on the other foot last night at the Tukkies stadium whether men from Pretoria bullied Maties into submission.
In contrast to last week’s game were Maties forwards won the game for them against UCT, Tukkies overpowered Maties. You can see the hand of Meyer on these youngsters and if anybody was worried where the next Bakkies, Danie and Victor are going to come from they would not have to look further than Pretoria.
Tukkies survived two yellow cards and a penalty try to triumph over the defending champions. The final score actually flatters Maties as they were beaten in every possible way in the game. I would be a very worried man if I were Chean Roux today and I hope that his smiles on the side of the field last night was because he just could not get himself to cry in fort of the camera’s.
If Maties want to retain their status as Champions, they have to improve by almost 60% from last night. I still believe that this Tukkies team (as I said in the beginning of the tournament) can go all the way and win this thing and last night they proved it.
For FNB Tuks: Tries: Helberg, Mostert Con: Dunlop Pens: Dunlop 5
For FNB Maties: Try: Penalty tryCon: Stevens Pens: Stevens 2
Game 3 TUT 26 Shimlas 52:
Shimlas last night again proved that its not all Maties, Tukkies and Ikeys when it comes to real contenders for the crown this year as they smashed TUT.
Shimlas ran in eight tries, but also conceded four as they went into relax-mode towards the end of the match. The visitors started with great confidence after last week’s come-from-behind victory over Pukke and with their first visit to TUT’s 22, No.8 Erik Le Roux barged over for the opening try.
TUT showed signs of the form they enjoyed at the start of the competition, but could not convert the territorial advantage they enjoyed throughout the first half into points.
For the FNB TUT Vikings: Tries: Van Loo, Lopes, Van Wyk, Graaff Cons: Boshoff 3
For the FNB Shimlas: Tries: Le Roux, Ulengo 2, Colyn, Acker, Van Wyk, Theron, Snyman Cons: Whitehead 6
Game 4 UCT 22 UJ 34
The other surprise of the night came from the wind tunnel were UJ won their game away from home against UCT 34-22.
UJ ran in four tries against UCT’s three tries in a game that only really came to life in the second half. UJ returned from the break full of running but their early second-half sorties came to nought as the Ikeys’ defence stood firm.
However, as the Ikeys created pressure by taking play deep in their opponents’ half their lapses at the breakdown play cost them dearly. Their inability to protect their ball saw the UJ speedsters stage several break-outs in quick succession with telling effect.
Tries by Aubrey McDonald, Jacques Pretorius, Wigan Pekeur, all of which were converted by Kotze took the game away from the Ikeys. In the final quarter the Ikeys pressed hard but in the end they ran out of time, after tries by backs Mark Winter and Paul Cohen, with Catrakilis succeeding with one conversion.
With the clock running down, André Smith hammered the final nail in the Ikeys’ coffin with a drop-goal to put the final result beyond doubt.
For FNB UCT: Tries: Pietersen, Winter, Cohen Cons: Catrakilis 2 Pen: Catrakilis
For FNB UJ: Tries: Wheeler, McDonald, Pretorius, Pekeur Cons: Kotze 4 Pen: Kotze DG: Smith
This leaves the race for who will host a semi-final wide open as the last round of matches will take place next Monday night. Just to wet the appetite, here is what waits for us in the final group matches next week.
Week 7 Fixtures:
17.00 Tuks v UCT (TV)
19.00 Maties v UJ (TV)
19.00 NMMU v Shimlas
19.00 TUT v Pukke
Log after Week 6
UJ – 22
Maties – 21
Tuks – 21
UCT – 19
Shimlas – 19
Pukke – 7
TUT – 6
NMMU – 6
We will talk about all the permutations in the coming week but one thing is for sure nobody can afford a slip next week.
Additional information from www.varsitycup.co.za