Varsity Cup, Round 5


Jacques takes a look at last week’s result and gives us the line up for tonight’s games.

by Jacques

If you every wonder why the organisers of the Varsity Cup are using the slogan: “Rugby that Rocks”, then you just had to experience last week’s games in round four.

Firstly we were treated by an amazing running performance by UJ as they took on Wits in their own back yard. After the mouth-watering game in JHB all focus shifted to PTA for the clash that was made out in the media as the Clash of the Titans as Tuks hosted Maties.

In-between we had UCT playing for their first win in Potch and Madibaz trying to build on their brilliant performance against Maties last week.

Starting in JHB, UJ just outclassed a determine Wits team. I always felt during the game UJ will outplay the newly promoted Wits team, but Wits could have come much closer if they made better decisions on the field. Aimless kicking when on attack and poor decision making took them right out of the game against a very established UJ team.  The final score UJ 63, Wits 24.

In PE another Eastern Cape team showed heart and passion as the NMMU Madiba’s grinded out a hard win against Shimlas with 14-10. The hosts were outscored by two tries to one, but the boot of flyhalf Justin van Staden saw the Madibaz home in dramatic circumstances. Madibaz led 8-5 at half time.

In Potchefstroom the winless UCT got another smack on the nose when they lost against Pukke 29-26. Pukke led 21-13 at half time as we saw UCT coming back in the second half. With 12 minutes remaining on the stadium clock, both teams threw the proverbial kitchen sink at each other in search of the win – with big hits the order of the day in a heart-stopping final 10 minutes of action. At the end Pukke held of a brave UCT team to take the win.

In the Pretoria everybody expected a close game against the defending champions and last year’s finalist, but not many would have expected such a tight affair. Throughout the game I felt Tuks had the game and Maties was just hanging on with a team that made 10 changes from last week. The game was scrappy at stages with both teams making crucial errors on their opponents goal line. Great defence saw both teams only scoring two first half tries. At the end it was the boot of Dean Grant in the final minutes of the game that separate the two teams on the score board.

Tuks had a final assault in injury time on Maties goal line but at the end of about a seven phase move was deemed held up by referee Ben Crouse who I felt had a few ditsy decisions during the game. Maties can take a lot from this game as they have now gave their full squad of players game time and came away with 4 wins after 4 games. For the defending champions it is the second defeat this and share fourth place with the Madibaz from PE.

Tonight we can prepare for much, much more:

UCT versus Maties

NMMU versus UJ

Shimlas versus Pukke

Tuks versus Wits

Varsity Cup Table

1 Maties 4 4 0 0 36 2 18
2 UJ 4 3 0 1 51 3 15
3 NWU-Puk 4 3 0 1 35 2 14
4 Tuks 4 2 0 2 14 3 11
5 NMMU 4 2 1 1 7 1 11
6 Shimlas 4 1 0 3 31 3 7
7 Ikeys 4 0 1 3 -27 3 5
8 Wits 4 0 0 4 -148 1 1

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