Defending champions Maties will meet Tuks in the final of the University Sport South Africa tournament at Wits on Friday in a repeat of last year’s decider. THEO GARRUN reports.
Tuks were rampant in downing Shimlas 47-10 in the first semi-final, while Maties had to dig deep to keep a plucky Wits side out, winning 12-7 in the end.
Shimlas had no answer to the power of the Tuks forwards. The Pretoria side won the lion’s share of the possession and they responded by scoring five tries to one. They led 23-10 at half-time and shut Shimlas out in the second half.
To rub it in, Tuks aimed every kickable penalty at the posts, which resulted in flyhalf Thinus de Beer amassing 27 points via a try, four penalties and five conversions.
Wits got the only try of the second semi-final, scored by Connor Brockschmidt, and led 7-3 at half-time.
They were in many respects the better of the two sides. They struggled in the scrums, but managed to steal a number of Maties lineout balls and when they got going, their backline looked dangerous.
Wits’ discipline let them down, however, and they were heavily penalised, particularly at the breakdown. Pierre du Toit slotted four of the penalties for Maties and missed at least four others as Wits were adjudged to infringe at just about every ruck.
The game ended with Wits throwing everything into the attack, but Maties held out and they go into their third final in a row.
The NMMU Madibaz caused something of a surprise when they beat Pukke in a playoff for the minor placings. They will play UJ, who turned it on to beat CUT 53-5, in the fifth place playoff on Friday.
Friday’s final kicks off at 12 noon.
Tuks (47) – Tries: Thinus de Beer, WJ Strydom, Bart Le Roux, Fred Eksteen, Wiaan van Niekerk. Conversions: De Beer (5). Penalties: De Beer (4).
Shimlas (10) – Try: Kurt Eybers. Conversion: Nicholas Naude. Penalty: Naude.
Maties (12) – Penalties: Carlisle Nel (4).
Wits (7) – Try: Connor Brockschmidt. Conversion: Brandon Hewitt.
Fifth place playoff semi-finals:
UJ 53 CUT 5
NMMU 23 Pukke 20
Photo: Theo Garrun