Tuks beat Shimlas 28-21 in a thrilling game on Monday to progress to the Varsity Cup final where they will meet Maties.
Tuks have been the form team throughout this year’s competition and came into the playoffs as the top qualifier. By contrast, Shimlas had been inconsistent and only snuck into the semi-finals after Pukke failed to win their last round-robin game.
A brace by winger Sibahle Maxwane and an opportunistic try by captain and scrumhalf André Warner, all of which were converted by Tinus de Beer, gave the hosts a 23-0 lead. But Shimlas weren’t discouraged and launched a mini-comeback.
Flank Phumzile Maqondwana scored a seven-point try and Marco Mason converted as they trailed by 14 at half-time.
The team from Bloemfontein continued to trouble the Tuks defence after the break. And when the hosts conceded a yellow card, the visitors struck, with replacement hooker Hanno Snyman and lock Neil Claassen scoring tries. Mason only succeeded with one of the conversions, and Tuks were fortunate to hang on to a two-point lead.
With the pendulum swinging back and forth, it would be the hosts who came up with a big play. Hooker Corniel Els flummoxed Shimlas’ defence for a try that put the result to bed.
Tuks – Tries: Sibahle Maxwane (2), André Warner, Corniel Els. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (3).
Shimlas – Tries: Phumzile Maqondwana, Hanno Snyman, Neil Claassen. Conversions: Marco Mason (2).
Tuks – 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Dewald Naude, 13 Toko Maebane, 12 Impi Visser, 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 André Warner, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Chris Massyn (c), 6 Marco Van Staden, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Bryan Leitch, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Els Corniel, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Subs: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Jaco Holtzhausen, 18 Marius Verwey, 19 Eduan Lubbe, 20 Theo Maree, 21 Manie Libbok, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 Franco van den Berg.
Shimlas – 15 Marco Mason, 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Lihleli Xoli, 12 Stephan Janse Van Rensburg (c), 11 Carel Wynand Coetzee, 10 Nicholas Naude, 9 Dian Badenhorst, 8 Wilandre Kotzenberg, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Neil Claassen, 4 Nicolaas Immelman, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Anrich Alberts, 1 Kwenzokuhle Blose.
Subs: 16 Hanno Snyman, 17 Johan Kotze, 18 Thabiso Msiza, 19 Raymond Woest, 20 Nardus Erasmus, 21 Armand Pretorius, 22 Rayhaan Lombaard, 23 Sechaba Matsoele.
Photo: Varsity Cup