Tuks scored three late tries to secure a 29-18 win against UCT in the seventh and final round, a result that sees them top the Varsity Cup log.
It was mission accomplished for the students from Pretoria as they surpassed a 16-8 half-time deficit for the bonus-point victory, and they will now host Pukke in the semi-finals next week. For UCT, it was a disappointing finish to a nightmare Varsity Cup title defence campaign.
The hosts held an eight-point advantage at the break as fullback Dillyn Leyds and wing Richard Stewart scored a try apiece to Tuks’ only points via fullback Hayden Groepes’s effort.
However, Ikeys could only add a penalty in a poor second-half showing. Winger Deon Helberg started the Tuks fightback as he crashed over from close range. After UCT were reduced to 14 men in the 70th minute when lock Pallo Manuel received a yellow card, the visitors ran rampant with two tries through flanker Wiaan Liebenberg and replacement lock Sthembiso Mhlongo.
This result had great signifance in the standings as Maties and UJ finished with a 10-10 stalemate in Johannesburg. Although unbeaten during the league phase, the draw saw Maties surrender their No 1 spot. Chean Roux’s men will face UJ again next week, this time for a place in the 2012 title decider.
The team from Stellenbosch were lucky to share the spoils as UJ led 10-2 late in the game after fullback Theuns Kotze’s 78th minute penalty. However, inside centre Louis Jordaan crossed the chalk and flyhalf Andre Kemp slotted a conversion in the last movement of the match to level the scores.
In other results, NMMU thumped TUT 90-34 in Tshwane while Pukke thrashed Shimlas 64-24 in Potchefstroom.
Round seven, results:
UCT 18 (16) – Tries: Dillyn Leyds, Richard Stewart. Conversions: Nick Holton (2). Penalty: Holton.
Tuks 29 (8) – Tries: Deon Helberg, Hayden Groepes, Sthembiso Mhlongo, Wiaan Liebenberg. Conversions: Willie du Plessis (3).
UJ 10 (0) – Try: Marnus de Villiers. Conversion: Guy Cronje. Penalty: Theuns Kotze.
Maties 10 (2) – Try: Louis Jordaan. Conversion: Andre Kemp. Penalty: Donald Stevens.
Pukke 64 (40) – Tries: Andrew van Wyk (2), Henro-Pierre Swart, John Roy Jenkinson, Martin Dreyer, Philip de Wet, Siyabulela Mdaka, SW Oosthuizen. Conversions: Gerhard Nortier (6), Tiaan Dorfling (2).
Shimlas 24 (8) – Tries: Armandt Koster, Jamba Ulengo, Pieter Rademan. Conversions: Reinhardt Erwee (3).
TUT 34 (5) – Tries: Ewald Mare, Hansie Graaff, Jakobus Kotze, Rikus de Beer, Zandre Grobler. Conversions: Ruan van Loo (3).
NMMU 90 (37) – Tries: André Goosen, Carl van Niekerk, Eckard Jacobs, Gerhardus Smith (2), Howard Mnisi, Jaco Swanepoel (2), Mayibuye Ndwandwa, Quinton Crocker (2), Ray Godfrey. Conversions: Smith (10).