Shimlas got their Varsity Cup campaign back on track with an comfortable 39-22 win over Tuks in Bloemfontein.
The Free State students enjoyed the bulk of the possession and took their opportunities when they were presented. Tuks had the better of the scrums but failed to take advantage of the solid platform up front and in the end Shimlas ran out deserved winners in front of their home crowd.
Neil Jacobs opened the scoring for Shimlas when he shrugged off a defender, broke the line and had enough pace to go all the way and dot down under the posts to set up an easy conversion which he took himself.
Just over a minute later and big lock Frans Le Grange grabbed the host’s second try after some good work by winger Elwyn Fransman and Jacobs added the extras as Shimlas ran out to a 14-0 lead.
Tuks hit back through two Juan-Claude Roos penalties, but their discipline let them down as they gave away a penalty right in front of the posts and Jacobs made no mistake.
Roos kept his side in touching distance of Shimlas with a huge Frans Styen-like penalty from the half way line.
Shimlas were then awarded a penalty five metres out from the tryline with just under 10 minutes left in the half and their captain Jaco Colyn did brilliantly to take a quick tap and slip through a gap in the Tukkies defence for his sides’ third try of the game. After the buzzer, Colyn added a neat drop goal and Shimlas went into the break with a commanding 27-9 lead.
The hosts came out in the second half determined to get the bonus point try early on, and after a good period of sustained pressure, were rewarded when the ball was spread wide to Wouter Stieger who crossed the line in style for his sides’ fourth of the evening.
Roos successfully slotted his fourth and fifth penalty in quick succession with just under 20 minutes left in the game, but by this time it was only tries that would get Tukkies back in the encounter.
Shimlas put the result beyond any doubt when replacement Hans Grobler finished off a swift attack which was set up by the impressive Marlin Ruiters who burst through a couple of tackles and recycled well to keep the attack alive.
Winger Luvuyo Mhlobiso grabbed a consolation try for the visitors through a brilliant piece of individual play, but it was all too late as the boys from Bloem grabbed the five points.
By Andrew Worling