Shimlas jump UJ into semis

Shimlas qualified for the Varsity Cup semi-finals for the first time with a 51-32 win over UJ on Monday.

With one round to go, both teams were deadlocked on 18 log points in fourth and fifth place. UJ were above on points difference. This created a quarterfinal-like encounter at Shimla Park as the winners would progress to the play-offs.

It was a close contest, with UJ in it until the last quarter as the score was deadlocked 32-all. But two late tries from replacement flanker Gerrit Theron and wing Jamba Ulengo secured Shimlas the win.

In other results, UCT finished second on the log as they beat Tuks 38-24 at Groote Schuur on Monday.

Ikeys were already confirmed a semi-final place, but they needed a win to have any chance of gaining home advantage for the play-offs.

It was mission accomplished for Ikeys as pivot Doug Mallet, who got a rare start ahead of stalwart Matt Rosslee, was the difference as he kicked three conversions and three penalties in the 14-point victory.

Undefeated Maties were unreachable at the top of the log, but they achieved an unbeaten campaign and increased their winning streak to seven matches as they downed Pukke 33-17.

Flank Josh Strauss, wing Wilhelm Loock and centre Charl Weideman all crossed the chalk for the defending champions.

Pukke still qualify for the play-offs as they end fourth on the log despite the defeat.

At the other end of the table, TUT beat NMMU 45-40 in Tshwane for their first victory in the Varsity Cup since 2008.

It was the battle of the wooden spoon as the losers would end last on the log. Neither team had won a game this season, so this was their final chance to earn a win after a disappointing campaign.

The home side blitzed into a 40-23 lead but faced a late surge by the Madibas. However, enough was done as the managed to hold on for the hard fought win.

Results, Round 7:
Shimlas 51 – 32 UJ
UCT 38 – 24 Tuks
Pukke 17 – 33 Maties
TUT 45 – 40 NMMU

Semi-finals:
Monday 22 March
UCT vs Shimlas (16:30 k/o)
Maties vs Pukke (18:45 k/o)