Shimlas remain unbeaten after routing UCT 44-24 in their round six Varsity Cup clash in Bloemfontein.
The hosts booked a first ever home semi-final courtesy of an unassailable 34-8 half-time lead, despite a strong second-half surge by UCT.
Shimlas were in the ascendancy from the get-go, scoring a try in the first minute of the match through flank Gerhard Olivier after great interplay by the forwards. UCT thought they had levelled matters shortly thereafter, but the referee ruled that the ball was played on the ground. Shimlas cantered downfield to score at the other end through Johan van der Hoogt, and just before the strategic break, Daniel Maartens burrowed over to make it 21-0.
The Capetonians eventually got on the board after the strategic break, when a wayward Shimlas lineout was scooped up and chipped through for Lihleli Xoli to scuttle in untouched. But two more scores, from Olivier and Maartens respectively, had the visitors on the ropes at the break.
Known for their dramatic comebacks, UCT scored either side of Olivier's hat-trick score in the second half, and played with renewed hope. The Ikey Tigers' resistance crumbled, however, when Boela Venter grabbed Shimlas' seventh try against the run of play.
Meanwhile in Johannesburg, Tuks scored five tries to blank out Gauteng neighbours UJ 34-0, guaranteeing them a home semi-final. Elsewhere, Maties claimed a 26-16 bonus-point win over NMMU in Stellenbosch to keep their play-off aspirations alive, and in Bloemfontein, Pukke scored seven tries to pummel hosts CUT 57-16.
In Varsity Shield action, UWC trio Quaid Langeveldt, James Verity-Amm and Gordon-Wayne Plaatjies each scored a brace to hand their side a massive 66-10 win over TUT in Bellville, while hosts Wits easily beat UKZN 40-26 in Johannesburg.
Shimlas (44) – Tries: Gerhard Olivier (3), Johan van der Hoogt, Daniel Maartens (2), Boela Venter. Conversions: Niel Marais (3).
UCT (24) – Tries: Lihleli Xoli (2), Guy Schwikkard. Conversions: Nicolas Holton (2), Schwikkard.
Maties (26) – Tries: Beyers de Villiers, Kobus van Dyk, penalty try, Mike Muller. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (2).
NMMU (16) – Tries: Andisa Ntsila, Devon Lailvaux. Conversions: Steven Hansel (2).
Tuks (34) – Tries: Dan Kriel, Dayan van der Westhuizen, John Jackson, Joshua Stander, Andrew Beerwinkel. Conversions: Stander (3).
CUT (16) – Tries: Len Noort, Duan Pretorius. Conversions: Pretorius (2).
Pukke (57) – Tries: Rhyno Smith, Juandre Williams, Rowayne Beukman (2), Dillon Smit, Dean Stokes, Jaco Buys. Conversions: Smith (6).
UWC (66) – Tries: Quaid Langeveldt (2), James Verity-Amm (2), Stuart Austin, Brandon Valentyn, Gordon-Wayne Plaatjies (2), Matthew Faught. Conversions: Darian Hock (7).
TUT (10) – Try: Mandla Mdaka. Conversion: Dylan du Buisson. Penalty: Du Buisson.
Wits (40) – Tries: Ameer Williams, Marx Koch, Ayabulela Mdudi, Luvuyo Pupuma, Brandan Hewitt, Tommy Damba. Conversions: Hewitt (5).
UKZN (26) – Tries: Lwazi Ngcungama, Rowan Gouws, Marius Louw. Conversions: Siphatisene Dube (2).
Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen/Varsity Cup/SASPA