A penalty after the full-time hooter gave Tuks a 42-40 home bonus-point victory over NWU, while there were wins for UCT and Wits in the first round of the Varsity Cup.
In the 2020 season opener in Pretoria, UP-Tuks snatched a win and all five points after flyhalf Theo Boshoff held his nerve to slot an acute penalty after full time.
NWU went into the break 26-20 after a thrilling first half with a total of six tries scored between the two sides. It appeared that the visitors would seal a win after Eugene Hare scored a nine-point try to put them 40-39 up with a minute to go.
However, Tuks won a turnover from the kick-off, which led to a subsequent penalty calmly converted by Boshoff. Tuks hooker Werner Fourie also stood out after scoring a hat-trick of tries.
UP-Tuks (42) – Tries: Theo Boshoff, Werner Fourie (3). Conversions: Theo Boshoff. Penalties: Theo Boshoff
NWU (40) – Tries: Edmund Rheede, Evardt Boshoff, Gustav Durandt, Maarten Holtzhausen, Eugene Hare. Conversions: Maarten Holtzhausen. Penalties: Maarten Holtzhausen
Later in the day, playmaker Aidynn Cupido came back to haunt his former side as Wits claimed a 38-10 away win over UWC in Cape Town.
While he did not get onto the scoresheet, Cupido, who moved to Wits from the Cape this year, was at the heart of things for the visitors and looks set for a big season in 2020. Wits hooker Justin Brandon scored a brace of tries.
UWC (10) – Try: Lundi Msenge. Conversion: Keagan Fortune. Penalty: Fortune
Wits (38) Tries: Justin Brandon (2), Travis Gordon, Constant Beckerling, Dandré Degenaar, Kwanele Ngema. Conversions: Kurt Webster (3)
Meanwhile, the UCT Ikey Tigers got their season off to an ideal start by holding out to beat UJ 25-16 in Johannesburg after leading 15-9 at the break.
In a tough first half a try from lock Gary Porter separated the two sides, after UJ took an early lead through a nine-pointer from fullback Shaun Williams. The Tigers extended their lead with a penalty from James Tedder, before UJ hit back when Luke Fortuin went over. UCT sealed the match as replacement back Siba Mzanywa dotted down with 13 minutes left to play.
UJ (16) – Tries: Shaun Williams, Luke Fortuin. Conversions: PW Steenkamp
UCT-Ikeys (25) – Tries: Liam Greenhalgh, Gary Porter, Siba Mzanywa. Conversions: James Tedder. Penalties: James Tedder
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Photo: ASEM Engage