CPUT claimed a hard-fought opening-round Varsity Shield win over UFH at Loftus Versfeld, while UKZN routed Rhodes and WSU ripped up the record book against DUT.
WSU 136 (62) – DUT RHINOS 11 (8)
WSU ran in 22 tries in blistering conditions to set a new record for points scored in a Varsity Shield match.
The men in black were in rampant form in the opening 20 minutes as they scored five tries courtesy of lock Hlomla Payi, flank Siphosihle Magawu, hooker Nande Lucas, scrumhalf Eric Mcaphukana and inside centre Thembani Kori.
DUT did pull back three points through flyhalf Luyolo Nkwanca’s boot to open their Varsity Shield account.
The strategy break brought welcome relief for the Rhinos but that’s where it ended as WSU continued their attacking blitz with wing Soyama Mini bagging a brace, Magawu scoring twice and lock Asekho Marubelela and wing Tebogo Madigoe etching their names on the scoresheet.
The Rhinos must be credited for not dropping their heads and giving their all against quality opposition and when things did go right, it resulted in a try by wing Langelihle Ntombela in the 29th minute. But it did little to change the status quo as WSU went into the break commanding an impressive 62-8 lead.
WSU were absolutely ruthless in the second stanza as Magawu crossed for his hat-trick try within a minute of the match resuming.
The Mthatha-based WSU just couldn’t be stopped as No 8 Esethu Zenani, outside centre Scelo Tole, replacement utility back Mbulelo Totose and replacement loose forward Lithemba Ngcetane crossed the chalk before the strategy break.
There was no respite for DUT post the second strategy break as WSU exploited their weakness on defence to run in tries left, right and centre.
Replacement prop Miyelani Ngobeni, replacement lock Ayabulela Zono (two), flyhalf Lwandile Mapuko and replacement scrumhalf Sakhele Ngeno all scored to inflate the final score to 136-11.
Player That Rocks: Siphosihle Magawu (WSU)
WSU – Tries: Hlomla Payi, Siphosihle Magawu (3), Nande Lucas, Eric Mcaphukana, Thembani Kori (2), Soyama Mini (2), Asekho Marubelela, Tebogo Madigoe, Esethu Zenani (2), Scelo Tole, Mbulelo Totose, Lithemba Ngcetane, Miyelani Ngobeni, Ayabulela Zono (2), Lwandile Mapuko, Sakhele Ngeno. Conversions: Mapuko (5), Litha Nkula (5), Ngeno (3).
DUT Rhinos – Try: Langelihle Ntombela. Penalties: Luyolo Nkwanca, Andile Dlamini.
RHODES 15 (0) – UKZN IMPI 62 (29)
An impressive display by their backs had UKZN run in 10 tries to get their Varsity Shield campaign off to a promising start.
The Impi raced into a 12-0 lead after just five minutes when No 8 Llawdden Roux and centre Gacula Poswa stormed over the tryline.
UKZN wing Onke Jiba then found space on the outside, with captain Wandile Shabangu sending flyhalf Azakhiwe Afrika away for a sensational team try. Afrika ran in another try just before the strategy break to secure the bonus point.
Jiba’s 34th-minute try made it 29-0 and while prop Minenhle Ngubane was yellow-carded shortly afterwards, it didn’t prove costly for the Impi.
In fact, they struck again early in the second half when a quick penalty tap resulted in a try for Shabangu.
Rhodes finally got on the board after a massive effort from lock Bongumusa Mokuena, who only had eyes for the tryline.
Jiba put in a massive hit to win the ball back for UKZN from which fullback Sibongiwa Novuka scored a try.
Rhodes fullback Simamkele Ngantweni slotted a penalty, before centre Damian Morrow cruised over for their second try.
But UKZN finished strongly, with replacement flyhalf Jodian de Vos, flank Byron Booysen and replacement hooker Menzi Mabaso all crossing the tryline.
Player That Rocks: Azakhiwe Afrika (FNB UKZN Impi)
UKZN Impi – Tries: Llawdden Roux, Gacula Poswa, Azakhiwe Afrika (2), Onke Jiba, Wandile Shabangu, Sibongiwa Novuka, Jodian de Vos, Byron Booysen, Menzi Mabaso. Conversions: Sibongiwa Novuka (6).
Rhodes – Tries: Bomgumusa Mokuena, Damian Morrow. Conversions: Abonga Manka. Penalty: Simamkele Ngantweni
CPUT 36 (24) – UFH BLUES 20 (10)
CPUT got their Varsity Cup campaign off to a winning start despite receiving a first-half red card and two late yellows.
The 2019 Shield champions made the perfect start when they charged down an UFH clearance kick and No 8 Sesona Macala scored after just 20 seconds.
The Blues hit back through flank Lukhonyiso Tosholwana, before CUT grabbed their second try through centre Lunathi Nxele, with flyhalf Feghon-Leigh Snyders again adding the extras.
UFH Brandt Fields slotted a 40-metre penalty goal to narrow the deficit to four points.
CPUT then suffered a big blow when centre Jurick Lewis was red-carded for a dangerous tackle on Fields. They had to play with 14 men for 15 minutes before Lewis could be replaced by a substitute according to the tournament rules.
CPUT wingeNathan Nkutu put captain Butsha Mputa away for a try under the posts, with Snyders kicking the conversion and adding a penalty to make it 24-10 at the break.
Tosholwana was yellow-carded early in the second half only for Fields to lift Fort Hare’s spirits when he added another three points to their tally.
Nxele scored a second try for CPUT but UFH’s luck changed just before the second strategy break when Fields’ penalty struck the post and landed straight in the hands of chasing hooker Mkhonto Caku-Caku, who scored a converted try.
CPUT then received two yellow cards in quick succession for cynical infringements – to lock Mogamat Ameer Hendricks and scrumhalf Hugan Engelbrech – yet were still able to keep FNB UFH out.
CUT secured victory through wing Nathan Nkutu’s late try, with Fort Hare centre Jonathan Booysens being red-carded for dangerous play in the buildup.
Player That Rocks: Nathan Nkutu (FNB CPUT)
CPUT – Tries: Sesona Macala, Lunathi Nxele (2), Butsha Mputa, Nathan Nkutu. Conversions: Feghon-Leigh Snyders (3), Imibongo Vabaza. Penalty: Snyders.
UFH Blues – Tries: Lukhonyiso Tosholwana, Caku-Caku Mkhonto. Conversions: Brandt Fields (2). Penaltie: Fields (2).
The Varsity Shield will continue on Thursday with three matches at Tuks Stadium.
- Rhodes vs CPUT (3pm)
- UFH vs TUT (5pm)
- WSU vs UKZN (7pm)
DUT have a round-two bye.
Photo: Catherine Kotze/Varsity