UJ and Tuks blew the play-off race wide open as they picked up big wins against UCT and Maties respectively while Pukke broke their duck against NMMU in the sixth round of the Varsity Cup.
UJ jumped to the top spot on the table as they recorded a 34-22 bonus-point victory over Ikeys in Cape Town. A strong second half showing saw the visitors build a commanding lead and they managed to restrict UCT at the death for an impressive win.
The hosts led 10-7 at half time thanks to an early try by fullback Therlow Pietersen and the boot of Demetri Catrakilis. Skipper Justin Wheeler kept UJ within reach at the break.
Then UJ dominated. They scored three tries in the second stanza through fullback Aubrey McDonald, flyhalf Theuns Kotze and flanker Wendal Wehr. Ikeys hit back through two tries of their own as replacement back Mark Winter and wing Paul Cohen dotted down but UJ held on for the crucial win. The defeat sees UCT plummet to fourth spot after their second consecutive defeat.
In Pretoria, Tuks achieved the biggest result of the round as they triumphed 27-13 against defending champions Maties.
Despite receiving two yellow cards in quick succession and conceding a penalty try when down to 13 men in the first half, Tuks clawed their way back into the game as flyhalf Wesley Dunlop was impressive with the boot and lock Franco Mostert scored a late try to seal the win.
In Potchefstroom, Pukke opened their account with a 57-6 thrashing of the Madibas. Skipper Logtoring Landman and fullback Schalk Oosthuizen starred for the hosts as they both grabbed doubles as Pukke crossed the chalk nine times. After picking up their first win last week, NMMU could only scored two penalties in the first half through flyhalf Martin Muller.
Shimlas got their semi-final ambitions back on track with a resounding 52-26 win over TUT in Pretoria.
The Free State University ran riot as they rounded up eight tries, with speedster Jamba Ulengo the star of the night with his two tries. The hosts managed a consolation bonus point as they scored four tries of their own.
Varsity Cup, Round Six results:
UCT 22(10) – Tries: Mark Winter, Paul Cohen, Therlow Pietersen. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis. Penalties: Catrakilis.
UJ 34(7) – Tries: Aubrey McDonald, Justin Wheeler, Theuns Kotze, Wendal Wehr. Conversions: Kotze (4). Penalties: Kotze. Drop Goal: André Smith
Tuks 27(17) – Tries: Deon Helberg, Franco Mostert. Conversions: Wesley Dunlop. Penalties: Dunlop (5).
Maties 13(10) – Tries: Penalty Try. Conversions: Donald Stevens. Penalties: Stevens.
Pukke 57(31) – Tries: Cecil Dumond, Philip de Wet, Penalty try, Ligtoring Landman (2), Schalk Oosthuizen (2), Tiaan Dorfling, Snoepie Coetzee.
Cons: Dumond (6).
NMMU 6(6) – Penalties: Martin Muller (2).
TUT 26(5) – Tries: Hansie Graaff, Reyno Lopes, Ruan van Loo, Tinus van Wyk. Conversions: Ruan Boshoff (3).
Shimlas 52(26) – Tries: Daniel Acker, Earl-Jivan Snyman, Hendrik Colyn, Jamba Ulengo (2), Jan van Wyk, Pieter Labuschagne, Willie Britz. Conversions: George Whitehead (6).