Pukke hurt Ikeys’ semi hopes

Pukke fought back from a 24-5 half-time deficit to draw 29-29 against Ikeys, while UJ, Maties and Tuks won big in the fifth round of the Varsity Cup.

The result in Cape Town is likely to end defending champions Ikeys’ hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals with only two rounds remaining. After UCT’s poor start to the campaign, which saw them lose three of their opening four games, the draw against Pukke sees them trailing in sixth spot – five log points behind fourth place. UCT will hope Pukke and NMMU drop points in their final fixtures, while they’ll need to beat rivals Maties and Tuks to stand any chance of reaching the play-offs.

The hosts will be disappointed with the outcome, considering their impressive start in the opening 40. They scored three tries in the first half through fullback Dillyn Leyds, loosehead prop Wesley Chetty and wing Mark Winter to hold a 19-point advantage at the break. However, Pukke delivered a strong second-half display and managed to salvage a draw in the last movement of the match when flyhalf Gerhard Notier scored a try and slotted the ensuing conversion.

In Johannesburg, TUT were thrashed by a record score of 93-0 by UJ. It was the biggest winning margin in the competition’s history, eclipsing UJ’s 97-14 win over NMMU in 2010. The hosts ran in 12 tries for the convincing victory, with wing Chrysander Botha grabbing four of them.

In PE, log leaders Maties continued their unbeaten run with a 42-26 win over NMMU. The students from Stellenbosch dominated the first half as they led 26-0 at the break. They went on to win comfortably, but the Madibaz managed to pick up a four-try bonus point after a late rally in the match. Hooker Rob Herring and outside centre Wessel Coetzee starred for Maties as they scored a hat-trick and a brace respectively.

In Pretoria, Shimlas slumped to their fourth consecutive defeat as Tuks eased to a 48-18 win. Last season’s losing finalists scored six converted tries, with fullback Riaan Britz and flanker Deon Helberg grabbing a brace each. Shimlas are now unlikely to finish in the top four.

Varsity Cup, round five results:

UCT 29 (24) – Tries: Dillyn Leyds (2), Mark Winter, Wesley Chetty. Conversions: Nick Holton (3).
Pukke 29 (5) – Tries: Gerhard Nortier, Joubert Engelbrecht, Phillip de Wet, Tiaan Dorfling. Conversions: Nortier (3).

UJ 93 (16) – Tries: Shane Kirkwoord, Aubrey McDonald, JR Esterhuizen, Chrysander Botha (4), Shaun Malton, Divan van Zyl, Adriaan Vermeulen, Wessel du Rand, Wendal Wehr. Conversions: Worsie Kotze (11)
TUT 0 (0)

NMMU 26 (0) – Tries: Jaco Otto, Carl van Niekerk (2), Timothy Agaba. Conversions: Martin du Toit.
Maties 42 (26) – Tries: Rob Herring (3), Os Hamman, Wessel Coetzee (2). Conversions: AndrĂ© Kemp (3), AndrĂ© Smith.

Tuks 48 (24) – Tries: Deon Helberg (2), Riaan Britz (2), Juan Schoeman, Sabelo Nhlapo. Conversions: Welsey Dunlop (6).
Shimlas 18 (10) – Tries: Fanie van der Walt, Reinhardt Erwee. Conversions: Nico Scheepers (2). Penalty: Scheepers.

By Gareth Duncan