UCT and Wits had to settle for a 10-10 draw in Cape Town as both teams remained unbeaten, while there were wins for CUT, NWU and Maties in round five of the Varsity Cup.
In the fifth round of the tournament, UCT returned to the Green Mile to host northern rivals Wits. With both sides coming into the contest undefeated, the match started off as a cagey affair.
The home side got the first try of the match through a fantastic effort from fullback Athi Gazi, with flyhalf James Tedder adding the conversion to give the Ikey Tigers a 7-3 lead at half time. Wits flyhalf Kurt Webster slotted a penalty for their only points of the half.
In the second half, it was UCT who dominated both territory and possession in the early stages. James Tedder kicked over a penalty to make it 10-3. However, Wits worked their way back into the match and set up a thrilling finale when lock Emmanuel Tshituka broke through and dotted down to level the scores.
Wits centre Aidynn Cupido, a Capetonian, looked like he might prove the difference when he broke the line with just seconds left to play, but UCT held out for the draw.
UCT are now in third place on the Varsity Cup log, but are level on 19 points with Maties, who have a game in hand. Both teams trail UP-Tuks by just two points after the league leaders lost to Maties in Stellenbosch. UCT next travel to the Danie Craven Stadium for what could be a season-defining derby.
Meanwhile, CUT outplayed their local rivals Shimlas to claim a convincing 35-14 win in the Bloemfontein derby. It was CUT’s second straight win over Shimlas and one which kept their slim playoff hopes alive.
After a tight first half the Ixias entered the break leading 19-14 on enemy territory, thanks to two penalties from flyhalf Charles Williams and a try from flank Luvuyo Ndevu. Shimlas tried to work their way back into the match, but their hopes were dashed when wing PJ Krugell added nine points to CUT’s lead when he intercepted against the run of play for a converted point-of-origin try.
At the bottom end of the table, the University of Johannesburg looks set for a battle against relegation after being handed their fourth straight defeat by North-West University.
NWU scored three tries for a 19-6 win to stay in the fight for a top-four finish.
Photo: ASEM Engage