Tuks edge thriller in Potch

Man of the Match Jean-Claude Roos struck 19 points to help Tuks to a 29-27 win over Pukke in Potchefstroom.

Eighteen-year-old Roos had an unbelievable performance with the boot as Tukkies held on to claim the points in a thrilling encounter.

Tuks opened the scoring in just the third minute when centre Johan Jackson intercepted a loose pass and ran almost the length of the field for the opening try of the game. Roos added the extras as Tukkies took a 7-0 lead.

Four minutes later and Pukke were on the board when Willem Botha slotted a penalty to reduce the lead to four points. Botha then struck his second of the night and the gap was down to just one point.

Pukke were dominating, especially at the breakdown, but with six minutes to go in the first half it was Tuks who got on the scoreboard against the run of play as Roos restored their lead.

Tukkies started the second stanza as they did the first with a brilliantly worked try finished off by Elwyn Fransman after some superb running by centre Franco Booysen. Roos converted the try and Tukkies were out to an 11 point lead.

Some ill discipline from Tuks let Pukke back in the game as Botha slotted two penalties in four minutes to reduce the deficit to just five points, but Roos struck back with two of his own with just over 20 minutes left to play.

Pukke continued to camp in Tukkies’ half and were finally rewarded when captain Willem van der Wal powered over the line and Botha slotted the conversion to make it 23-19.

Both flyhalves then exchanged penalties before the impressive Roos slotted a huge drop goal giving his side a seven point lead.

There was more drama to come, however, as replacement Wentsley Scott chased down a kick into the corner and pounced on the loose ball to give Botha an opportunity to level the scores, but the youngster failed with the conversion and Tukkies held on for the win.

Earlier in the day five missed penalties by flyhalf Matthew Rosslee cost UCT as Maties held on to a 12-10 victory in the opening round of the Varsity Cup.

Rosslee gave the Tigers the lead with a 50 metre penalty in the 10th minute, but in the end it was his misses that cost UCT.

Ikeys’ scrumhalf Stuart Commins bagged the only try of the game in the 20th minute when he sniped brilliantly off the back of a maul and dotted down under the posts. Rosslee added the two points and UCT were out to a 10-0 lead.

Maties finally got on the board in the 28th minute through a Donald Stevens penalty which reduced the gap to seven points.

The Tigers, though, were dealt a blow when try-scorer Commins had to leave the field just before the half-time break with a broken wrist.

UCT’s lack of discipline at the breakdown was starting to cost them and Stevens reduced the deficit even further with a penalty from the left-hand touchline in the 46th minute and six minutes later it was a one-point game when Stevens struck his third penalty.

Referee Francois Veldsman finally ran out of patience and sent UCT skipper JJ Gagiano to the bin for infringing at the breakdown and Stevens gave Maties a 12-10 lead with the resulting penalty.

However, Maties were unable to make use of their numerical advantage and the game was still very much in the balance when Gagiano rejoined the action.

With six minutes to go Maties were reduced to 10 men when Dabeon Draghoender was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle, but Rosslee missed the resulting penalty which would have given UCT the lead.

With time up on the clock Maties handed UCT one final chance at victory, but once again Rosslee’s radar was off and Stellenbosch held on for the win.

In the other 16:30 kick off a try by centre Clinton de Klerk helped UJ to a 16-9 victory over TUT while in the opening game of the competition four second half tries helped Shimlas to a convincing 37-11 victory over NMMU.