Varsity Cup High Drama!

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.

Joy for Tuks, heartbreak for Ikey

Final scores from last night’s Varsity Rugby action:
Varsity Cup:
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)

Varsity Shield:
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:

Position Team P W D L PD BP Pts
1 Tuks 7 6 0 1 126 6 30
2 Maties 7 6 1 0 122 3 29
3 UJ 7 4 1 2 152 6 24
4 Pukke 7 4 1 2 74 6 24
5 NMMU 7 3 0 4 -7 4 16
6 Shimlas 7 2 0 5 -69 3 11
7 UCT 7 1 1 5 -31 3 9
8 TUT 7 0 0 7 -367 2 2

The final Varsity Shield log:

Position Team P W D L PD BP Pts
1 Wits 8 6 1 1 86 3 29
2 CUT 7 5 0 2 133 4 24
3 UWC 7 3 0 4 -15 4 16
4 Fort Hare 7 3 1 3 -62 1 15
5 UKZN 7 0 0 7 -142 2 2


    1. They (S’Sport) are very irritating but they got us by the short and curlies when it comes to sport on TV.

      The NZ Reunion guys are like a breath of fresh air calling a spade a spade.

      Ever notice how S’Sport will never ever criticize SARU, a ref, a coach, a selector or any of the guys who we, the viewers, ultimately pay via broadcasting rights being paid for by DSTV subs.

      2 recent glaring examples ;

      1, no one on S’Sport ever openly criticized PDV until he announced his “retirement” and literally seconds later the knives were out for the poor fellow,

      2, I don’t think S’Sport has ever reported (in more than just passing) on the Cricket South Africa boardroom saga’s.

      Thank goodness for “freedom of press” on various blog sites like this.

      1. Sadly, they see SARU as a partner, and the rugby as a product that can never be maligned. As such, they produce a slightly sterile and vanilla type product. Fantastic TV coverage of actual sport though – perhaps best in the world!

  1. Lots of drama – the spice of life!

    How’s Varsity Cup web site’s very vague excuse for the oversight? – “varsity cup tournament starts in January while student registrations only in Feb”.

    Last time I looked the first games were on 6th Feb and pretty sure most varsity institutions would have done their registrations by then?

    I see Varsity Cup guys explaining their side this afternoon to EWN, look forward to hearing what they say. To be fair though it does seem as if Varsity Cup also queried the let-off on just a reprimand, but the have responsibility to carry on with the brand in it’s intended spirit.

  2. Hi Tank,

    Just a quick question. You may have answered this in a previous blog and if so I apologize. Do you think the scoring format used this season for Varsity Cup worked, and if so what chances are there of it being pushed up to provincial and national level?

    I for one would be happy with anything that produced exciting rugga!



    1. Howzit Jay. Have not addressed this before, so thanks for the question. The stats show that more tries have been scored, but that might be because the standard of attack has approved, rather than the scoring method. Personally, I have seen no massive change in attitude from teams when it comes to style of play, but I have seen a few magnificent VC games … unlike in the S15, even though they have been tighter … Not sure of the conversion being 3 points as that seems a little unfair on a sweeping move that results on a try in the corner. Make a try worth 6, and penalties and drops worth 2 …

  3. Go through all the teams(Varsity Cup &Varsity Shield) who received a reprimand and you will see a common thread which may tell you why only a reprimand was forthcoming.

  4. Rule 4.10 “They stand a chance to…” Sound more like a lottery than a penalty or punishment! Maybe if they’re lucky they can choose their own punishment.

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