Varsity Cup: Players that rocked (Week 1)

DYLAN JACK looks at the players who stole the headlines in the opening three rounds of the Varsity Cup throughout last week.

Cohen Jasper (CUT)

CUT have been the surprise package of this year’s tournament, as the Bloemfontein university has shot up the table and finished the first week in first place, with three wins out of three.

Jasper has been a key player in those performances as the 20-year-old fullback scored four tries in two games, dotting down in their wins over UJ and the NMU Madibaz.  With a combined total of over 238 metres made, Jasper looks a class act when running from the back and will continue to be a nightmare for defences when the tournament resumes in 11 days’ time.

Andre-Hugo Venter (Maties)

Venter made the most of his first Varsity Cup start by crossing for four tries against UWC, before he came off the bench to score the decisive try in tight encounter with Wits.

The son of former Springbok Andre Venter is a dead ringer for his father when carrying the ball, while his set-piece work has also been accurate.

James Tedder (UCT Ikey Tigers)

The UCT flyhalf put in a superb performance in the Cape derby win over Maties, set up his team’s first try with a pinpoint cross-field kick, while also marshalling his defence and kicking accurately at goal.

Tedder followed that up with solid showings against Wits and UJ, to help UCT stay unbeaten after the first three rounds. His boot is a key element in UCT’s gameplan and he will no doubt have an important role if they hope to make the playoffs.

Henco van Wyk (Wits)

Despite playing in his very first Varsity Cup tournament, Van Wyk looks like a senior in the Wits backline. The 19-year-old centre scored a brace against Maties as Wits narrowly missed out on a stunning win over the title holders.

Gilroy Lee Philander (UWC)

The dreadlocked speedster showed his attacking prowess as UWC made an excellent start to the 2021 season in a thrilling draw with Shimlas. Philander scored a brace of seven-point tries and looked like a massive threat on the counter-attack.

UWC ended the first week in sixth place, with eight points from their three games, but could climb the table if Philander continues his form at fullback.

Tinotenda Masevere (UWC)

Masevere shot the lights out with a brilliant hat-trick of tries as UWC ended their week with a 47-40 win over the NMU Madibaz. His first try was the best of the bunch as he received the ball from a lineout and beat four defenders on his way to the tryline.

Photo: Varsity Sports

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Dylan Jack