Varsity Cup wrap: Tuks blitz sinks UWC, Maties blow CUT away

Reigning champs UP-Tuks scored seven tries in a resounding 51-19 win over UWC in Cape Town, while there were also victories for Maties, NWU, UCT and UJ in round five of the Varsity Cup.

Playing with a howling south-easter at their backs, Tuks had the better of possession and territory in the first half and converted most of their opportunities. Big men like prop Ethan Burger carried strongly to breach the UWC defence on a regular basis. The visitors scored four tries in only 28 minutes to secure the bonus point.

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UWC were outplayed at the set pieces and at the collisions. While the wind influenced their performance in the first half, they were their own worst enemies with ball in hand and conceded far too many penalties. The hosts were more accurate in the second stanza, and managed to score three tries. Nevertheless, they failed to reduce the deficit sufficiently to claim any consolation bonus points.

In wet and cold conditions in Bloemfontein, Maties blew the CUT Ixias away with a brilliant first-half performance during which they scored six tries to lead 47-0 at the break. Hooker Sean Swart crossed the line twice and went on to win the Player That Rocks award. To their credit, the hosts showed far more fight in the second half, restricting their opponents to just one more try – wing Sibabalwe Xamlashe’s second – while scoring three themselves, including two from captain Luvuyo Ndevu. Maties had to play 15 minutes of the second half with 14 men after replacement prop James Combrinck was red-carded for the apparent use of a knee on a player.

Having begun their 2022 campaign with three impressive victories, the UFS Shimlas suffered a second consecutive defeat when they went down 32-22 to the NWU Eagles in Bloemfontein. Two penalties from flyhalf Nivan Petersen and two converted tries by outside centre Tino Swanepoel gave the visitors a commanding 20-0 lead after half an hour. The Free State students responded with two late first-half tries and another early in the second half that slashed the deficit to just three points. But they conceded a penalty try when collapsing an Eagles lineout driving maul in the 55th minute and then lost replacement prop Blaine Golden (red card) and flyhalf George Lourens (yellow card) in quick succession. NWU Eagles wing Naiden Jaarts’ 73rd-minute try put the result beyond doubt, although Shimlas did score their fourth try in the final play of the game to earn a bonus point.

At the Green Mile, hooker Keagan Blanckenberg’s 75th-minute try from a lineout driving maul gave the UCT Ikeys a 33-26 win over the Madibaz. The visitors had raced into a 16-0 lead after nine minutes thanks to converted tries from fullback Kyle Cyster (point of origin) and No 8 Siyamthanda Jwacu. But, the Ikey Tigers hit back with two tries of their own to trail 19-14 at half time, and then scored a third at the end of the third quarter to take the lead. The Madibaz’s third try made it 26-26 with 10 minutes remaining, but it was UCT who finished the game strongly to secure a hard-fought bonus-point win.

Varsity Cup Round 5 results and scorers:

UJ 29 (14) – Tries: Darnell Osuagwu, Likhaya Tengimfene (1×7), Kelvin Kanenungo (1×7). Conversions: Shaun-Christian Baxter (2). Penalties: Baxter (2)

Wits 24 (3) – Tries: Setshaba Mokoena, Phillip Krause, Luhle Matyolweni. Conversions: Chris Humphries (3). Penalty: Humphries.

Players That Rock: Shaun-Christian Baxter & Mpho Kubheka (UJ)

 UWC 19 (0) – Tries: Aydon Topley, Justin Theys, Shaine Orderson. Conversions: Lyle Hendricks (2)

UP-Tuks 51 (28) – Tries: Ethan Burger (2), Bernard van der Linde (1×5, 1×7), Allister Williams, Orateng Koikanyang, Divan Venter. Conversions: Clyde Lewis (7)

Player That Rocks: Tiaan de Klerk (UP-Tuks)

CUT Ixias 19 (0) – Tries: Septimus Derkesen, Luvuyo Ndevu (2). Conversions: Zinedene Booysen (2)Maties 52 (47) – Tries: Brendan Venter (1×7), Sean Swart (2), Marcqiewn Titus (1×7), Sibabalwe Xamlashe (2), Nevaldo Fleurs (1×7). Conversions: Nevaldo Fleurs (4). Penalty: FleursPlayer That Rocks: Sean Swart (Maties)

UFS Shimlas 22 (12) – Tries: Jooste Nel (2), Litha Nkula, Lourens Oosthuizen. Conversion: Litha NkulaNWU Eagles 32 (20) – Tries: Tino Swanepoel (2), penalty try, Naiden Jaarts. Conversions: Nivan Petersen (2). Penalties: Petersen (2)Player That Rocks: Riaan Genis (NWU Eagles)

UCT Ikeys 33 (14) – Tries: Kyle Bowman, Ruben Labuschagne, Keagan Glade, Mika Schubert, Keagan Blanckenberg. Conversions: Duran Koevort (4)Madibaz 26 (19) – Tries: Kyle Cyster (1×7), Siyamthanda Jwacu, Leon van der Merwe. Conversions: Sibalomzi Mqeni (3). Penalty: MqeniPlayer That Rocks: Taariq Kruger (UCT Ikeys)

Photo: ASEM Engage/Nasief Manie

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Dylan Jack