UKZN ended CUT’s unbeaten run with a 39-38 victory in Bloemfontein while Fort Hare picked up their first triumph in round five of the Varsity Shield on Monday.
CUT became tournament favourites after they won their first three matches against Fort Hare, UWC and Wits in the opening rounds. However, they suffered their first defeat at home against UKZN as wing Jaco Potgieter slotted a last-minute penalty to clinch the tight affair for the visitors.
After trailing 27-17 at the break, CUT produced a strong second half showing to lead 38-36 in the dying moments of the match as wing Alec Mahlanga scored a late try. However, Pretorius, who scored most of Impis’ points, kicked the deciding three-pointer.
In Alice, Fort Hare secured their first victory of the competition with a 18-17 win over UWC.
The hosts fought back from a 12-6 half-time deficit as centre Thabo Raytana and hooker Vuyisani Mavuso scored tries in the second stanza. UWC scored more tries than the hosts, but flyhalf Charl van Hollenvollen couldn’t add the extras which proved costly for the visitors.
CUT 38(17) - Tries: Jean Cook, Leon Pretorius, Nhlanganiso Sibanda, Alec Mhlanga. Conversions: Jannie Myburgh (3). Penalties: Myburgh (4).
UKZN 39(27) – Tries: Zander Engelbrecht, Kurt Schonert, Jaco Potgieter. Conversions: Potgieter (3). Penalties: Potgieter (6).
Fort Hare 18(6) – Tries: Thabo Ratyana, Vuyisani Mavuso. Conversions: Qondani Katywa. Penalties: Katywa (2).
UWC 17(12) – Tries: Anthony Volminck, Donavon Williams, Charlie van Jaarsveld. Conversions: Charl van Hollenhoven.