It was a night of high, high Varsity Cup drama … both on and off the field …
Just before the kickoff of the evening’s first game between Ikeys at Tuks, Eyewitness News exposed the fact that a few teams (including Tuks and Shimlas) were facing charges of failing to adhere to the rule that 16 players per team need to be registered students.
Ikeys, fighting for survival in the tournament, then went up against the high riding Tukkies, and were leading with 8 minutes to go. Tukkies then scored not 1, but 2 tries (including the all important bonus point try) to beat the Ikeys and go top of the log … In the process condemning Ikeys to 7th place on the log and a guaranteed promotion/relegation match!
UCT had asked me to do the Alma Mater half time interview on SuperSport … It was set up during the week and I came back early from a weekend away at the Breede for it … As I was on my way to chat to Elma to finalise the content, the SuperSport producer cancelled it because the interview was with me … Beyond irritating … But to be fair, SuperSport head Tex Teixeira has already guaranteed it was not his call and that he will have a word with said producer …
During the Ikey game, Varsity Cup issued a statement saying that “A disciplinary process was set in motion as a result of which Judicial Officer Jannie Lubbe felt a reprimand (for the teams who broke the student eligibility rules) was sufficient as he regarded the breaches to be in the nature of an oversight. The Varsity Rugby tournaments start at the end of January, while university registration only takes place in February and some oversights occurred.”
This while they tried to get his process done without telling the media (Well done to Cindy Poluta for breaking this) and UCT were fined R25 000.00 and docked 4 log points 2 years ago because they could not afford to send a team to USSA … A fine that was subsequently increased to R 50 000.00 …
Also rule 4.10 in the list of Varsity Cup tournament rules states that “Where a member university transgress any of the rules laid down in points 4 or 5 (student eligibility and development), a dispute will declared against them and they stand the chance to:
4.7.1 – Lose all points gained for that match, and/or;
4.7.2 – Also give full points to the other team, and/or;
4.7.3 – Also loose 5 league points from the log as a penalty.”
I have a feeling there might be more to come in this little drama …
As said Tuks finished the season at the top of the log, their four-try bonus point victory over UCT earning them top spot, after the Maties played to a 10-all draw against UJ.
That means that Tuks will now host the fourth-placed Pukke in Pretoria next week (one versus four), followed by a rematch between the Maties and UJ at the Danie Craven Stadium (two versus three) – the draw with UJ costing the Maties a potential home final.
The Maties held a 2-0 half-time lead over UJ but found themselves trailing 2-10 deep into the second half thanks to UJ lock Marnus van Huyssteen’s try, the only try of the match until the 79th minute. A late try on the full-time hooter- from inside centre Louis Jordaan put his team back in at 7-10 down. Flyhalf André Kemp stepped up and slotted the conversion to draw the game.
Tuks were very impressive in their 29-18 win over the hapless Ikeys, who will now have to play in a one-off promotion/relegation match – against the Varsity Shield runners-up – on the day of the 2012 final on Easter Monday.
In other last-round action on Monday, Pukke showed that they will be contenders in the play-offs with a whopping 64-24 win over the Shimlas – who, like UCT, had a disappointing 2012 season. And the Madibaz smashed the hopeless Varsity Shield-bound TUT Vikings 90-34 in Tshwane – TUT’s second time this season that they have conceded 90 points or more.
* There will be a repeat of last year’s Varsity Shield Final after Wits beat UWC 28-15 in Cape Town.
Final scores from last night’s Varsity Rugby action:
UCT 18 (16) UP-Tuks 29 (8)
UJ 10 (0) Maties 10 (2)
TUT 34 (5) NMMU 90 (37)
NWU-Pukke 64 (40) Shimlas 24 (8)
UKZN 15 (15) Fort Hare 16 (8)
UWC 15 (5) Wits 28 (23)
Varsity Young Guns:
UCT 8 (8) UP-Tuks 66 (37)
UJ 32 Maties 31
The final Varsity Cup log:
The final Varsity Shield log: