Tuks triumph over Maties

2013-04-09 00:00

THERE was only one team in it and it wasn’t home side Maties, as UP-Tuks outplayed the University of Stellenbosch first XV to win the Varsity Cup final 44-5 after leading 24-0 at half-time at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch last night.

Tuks, the University of Pretoria’s first XV, dominated in every facet of the game to romp to victory with an emphatic try-count of five to one and in so doing retained their coveted Varsity Cup title which they won in Pretoria last year.

The result was a big surprise as Maties had won seven Varsity Cup league-phase matches on the trot before winning once again in the semi-finals, but this was ninth match unlucky.

Tuks were beaten three times in the league, including a narrow 18-16 home defeat to Maties.

And with 20 000 fans willing them to victory the general consensus was that Maties were outright favourites, particularly as Tuks have never found winning easy in Stellenbosch.

The lineouts were one of Maties’ biggest downfalls, while the relentless pressure, width and huge tackle count forced on them by Tuks ensured that holes would eventually open in their defensive screen.

With the Tuks forward pack winning the lion’s share of quality possession, the Tuks backs were just about always running on to the ball and it was inevitable when scrumhalf Danie Faasen forced his way over after 14 minutes.

Then it was flyhalf Willie du Plessis who capitalised on the quick ball on offer. Centre Handre Pollard was on song with the boot and at the first strategy break Tuks led 16-0.

During the second quarter, Tuks right wing Vainon Willis was a split-second away from scoring in the corner before captain and number eight Jono Ross was another beneficiary of the relentless pressure Maties found themselves under. Pollard converted for 24-0.

With flanker and former Maritzburg College deputy head prefect Lungelo “Bob” Chonco in the thick of things, Maties came desperately close to scoring before half-time, but it was not to be.

Going into the second half with a 24-point deficit, Maties had much to do, but it was Tuks who cranked up the pressure with their dominance of territory and possession.

Left wing Courtnall Skosan made the most of it. The outstanding Pollard’s conversion took Tuks out of sight at 32-0 with 35 minutes left in the game.

Multiple recycles saw Maties manage a try in the corner through right wing Clearance Khumalo (32-5). Pollard and Tuks fullback Clayton Blommetjies restored order with a penalty and drop-goal respectively before Willis eventually got his try with an intercept just minutes from the end. Pollard converted for the 44-5 final scoreline.

In the exciting koshuis final, the Vishuis hostel from University of the Free State beat the Villagers of the University of North West in Potchefstroom 20-16 to earn themselves their third koshuis title.


Maties (0) 5 Try: Clearance Khumalo.

UP-Tuks (24) 44 Tries: Danie Faasen, Willie du Plessis, Jono Ross, Courtnall Skosan, Vainon Willis. Conversions: Handre Pollard (5). Penalty: Pollard. Drop-goal: Clayton Blommetjies.

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