Varsity Cup: Ikey Tigers 24 NWU Pukke 47

February 3, 2014
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The FNB NWU-Pukke opened their 2014 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International campaign in clinical fashion as they beat the FNB Ikey Tigers by 47-24 at the Green Mile on Monday.

The Men from Potchefstroom made a mockery of the notoriously windy conditions in Cape Town, as they built on their 21-16 half-time lead to run in four second-half tries as they played into the wind.

It was FNB UCT who made all the early running as the hosts, and 2011 champions, powered into an early 16-0 lead – using their opportunities well into the breeze.

The wind on the Green Mile is always a factor but the hosts launched two brilliant counter-attacks against the wind in the lead-up to their tries; the first counter by right-wing Richard Stewart and later by wing partner Liheli Xoli.

UCT’s opening tries were scored by fullback Ross Jones-Davies and powerful flanker Shaun McDonald – both expertly converted by new flyhalf Dean Grant – as the hosts showed they meant business by going 16-0 up.

However, the visitors absorbed all the early pressure and launched a fightback as the game reached the half-hour mark. Pukke’s kicking game kept them in the opposition’s half, as the Ikeys were guilty of trying to play too much rugby against the wind and forcing a few passes.

First NWU-Pukke No.8 Juan Language crashed over from a rolling maul and then fullback Sylvian Mahuza finished well from a clinical Pukke counter attack – and some poor first-time tackling by UCT – to put his team within touching distance at just 13-16 down.

That deficit soon became an advantage when the impressive Mahuza finished brilliantly from close-range, leaving a would-be defender in his wake with some nifty footwork.

Scrumhalf and captain Tiaan Dorfling converted from wide out and Pukke neared half-time with a 21-16 advantage – knowing, however, that they would have to play the second half into the wind.

UCT made the advantage – of having the wind at their backs – count early on when Jones-Davies collected his own chip ahead from close-range to dive over for his second try. Grant converted and the Ikeys ran back to halfway – ahead by 24-21.

However, that is where it ended for the hosts as Pukke showed great resolve to hit back less then five minutes later when their SA Under-20 flyer Luther Obi ran in strongly on the right-hand side.

Dorfling could not convert their fourth try – as Pukke grabbed a try bonus point – but at 26-24 up the match was still in the balance, although from that point onwards (as the game neared the 50-minute mark) Pukke kept hold of the ball and denied UCT possession and, with it, the advantage of having the wind behind them.

The Ikeys then suffered a double blow just before the start of the final quarter when the visitors scored a try under the posts through replacement forward Philip de Wet – which Dorfling converted for a 34-24 lead – but worse was to follow right afterwards when Ikeys reserve Jason Klaasen was sin-binned.

Klaasen’s absence was not felt on the scoreboard, but it meant more work for his teammates and, as a result, tired the Ikeys out ahead of the final ten minutes – as the visitors continued to boss the possession stakes.

Pukke were then able to rub further salt into their wounds by scoring two more tries – through lock Francois Robbertse and replacement forward Daniel Jordaan. Dorfling converted Robbertse’s try as they neared the 50-point mark, the visitors finishing with seven tries to UCT’s three – a statistic which is tough to argue against.

The scorers:

For FNB UCT:
Tries:
Jones-Davies 2, McDonald
Cons: Grant 3

For FNB NWU-Pukke:
Tries:
Language, Mahuza 2, Obi, De Wet, Robbertse, Jordaan
Cons: Dorfling 4

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4 Comments

  1. avatar David Spohr says:
    February 7th, 2014 at 5:40 am

    I must stop extracting such perverse pleasure in watching arrogant big name Cape sides getting thrashed by rural countryside university sides…
    Naaahhhh

  2. avatar Liezl van Zyl says:
    February 7th, 2014 at 5:47 am

    You want to re-word that one?

    We're going to destroy those country bumpkins.

  3. avatar Boertjie says:
    February 7th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Maties not that geared towards rugby any more.
    Preference now given to ‘normalise’ US by assisting
    students, especially those who have a darker hue
    and don’t speak Afrikaans.
    I’ve cut all my ties with my alma mater waar almal
    nie meer maats is nie.

  4. avatar Natasha Visagie says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 6:00 am

    David ek het vir jou n DM gestuur op twitter. Het jy dit gelees?

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