CUT claim Varsity Shield crown

CUT beat Wits 25-18 in Johannesburg to win the 2011 Varsity Shield title and the opportunity to earn a place in the Varsity Cup next season.

Wing Alec Mhlanga starred for the second-tier champions in a scrappy affair as he scored either side of half time to grab a brace. Outside centre Jaco Oosthuizen crossed the chalk in the first stanza while fullback Andre le Roux kicked 10 points via two conversions and two penalties in the seven-point victory.

Wits, who struggled to cope with CUT’s pace and physicality for most parts of the match, kept within in reach through tries from lock Charles Baggot and wing Riaan Arends. Wits managed to create several opportunities at the death to level the scores, including wing Nkuli Gamede’s great break from the midfield into CUT’s red zone in the final minute which created an exciting finish, but they couldn’t reach the try line as the visitors managed to hold on for the win.

The victory will see CUT face off against TUT (the bottom-placed team in this season’s Varsity Cup) in a promotion/relegation play-off, which is scheduled as one of the two curtain raisers for the Varsity Cup final between Tuks and Ikeys next Monday.