The University of Johannesburg thumped a hapless Shimlas side 44-8 to put themselves back in contention for a semi-final spot.
The Johannesburg students totally outclassed Shimlas and looked dangerous every time they got the ball as they outscored their opponents by five tries to one. The men in orange were superior at the set pieces and the visitors’ poor handling only served to make matters worse.
UJ got on the board as early as the third minute through scrumhalf Jaco Snyman when he spotted a gap from a lineout and sniped beautifully before evading two defenders and diving over the line. The hosts then extend their lead through a André Smith penalty.
The Free State students failed to get going in the first 10 minutes, but Smith’s penalty seemed to spark them into action.
Johan van Niekerk first got his team on the board with a penalty and 12 minutes later the scores were level as Frans La Grange scored for Shimlas from a well orchestrated counter attack.
But just five minutes later Le Grange went from hero to villain as he conceded a penalty in a kickable position and Smith made no mistake putting UJ back in the lead.
As the half came to an end the game began to open up with action flowing from end to end and UJ fullback Earl Lewis scored his sides’ second try when he chased his own kick. Lewis’s outstretched arm beat two Shimlas defenders to the ball to give his side an 18-8 lead at the break.
UJ extended their lead early in the second half after some good work from the forwards and a TMO referral confirmed that big lock Rob Andrew had indeed grounded the ball on the tryline. Smith converted and UJ were out to a 25-8 lead.
The hosts got the all important bonus point try in the 56th minute when a quick counterattack saw the ball spread wide to winger Edrich van Tonder who chipped the last defender and the bounce was perfect as he dived over the line for a classic try.
Van Tonder got his second in the 66th minute as UJ put the result to bed and with just four minutes left in the game the big winger got his hat-trick as UJ played Shimlas off the field.