Madibaz stun Tuks in deluge

On fields looking more like water polo pools, the coastal teams made a charge up the leaderboard in Round Six of the Varsity Cup last night.

There were important wins for UCT,  NMMU and Maties in an enthralling penultimate round of matches before the play-offs, leaving the competition wide open heading into the final week of league action.

The Ikey Tigers ran in four tries against Shimlas to secure their first victory at home on the Green Mile this season and move into second place, just four log points behind pace-setters Pukke. The Cape team scored three tries playing into the wind in the first half and then went on to claim the bonus point after half-time as they romped to a 25-5 victory. This result leaves Shimlas down in sixth place after starting the round in third position.

Torrential rain in the northern part of the country had a big say in the other three matches, as UJ and Tuks slumped to defeats at home, whilst Pukke were forced to work hard for their victory over Wits in Potchefstroom.

Defending champions Tuks suffered their second consecutive defeat at home, as the Madibaz ground out a crucial 19-9 win which saw them move past the Pretoria side into third place on the standings. It was NMMU’s second big scalp of 2014, having beaten the Maties back in Round One.

Tuks are now level on log points with three-time champions Maties who ended UJ’s hopes of making the semifinals this season with a comfortable 24-8 victory.

Points difference is all that separates Maties and Tuks on the log, which sets up their showdown in Stellenbosch next week perfectly. Depending on bonus points, this game might very well decide the final semi finalist.

Pukke were able to maintain their position at the top of the standings, but they were made to work hard for their 16-8 win by a determined Wits side still looking for their first victory in the competition.

Next week will see the final round of league action take place in the 2014 Varsity Cup – without doubt the most open competition since the inaugural event in 2008.

Shimlas take on NMMU, Maties host Tuks, Pukke entertain UJ and UCT face Wits in Joburg on March 17, with just 10 points separating the top 6 teams.

The Varsity Young Guns showdown between Tuks and Pukke had to be postponed until Wednesday due to the unplayable conditions, whilst UJ notched a dramatic last-minute 28-24 win over Maties.

In the Varsity Shield CUT travelled to Alice where they earned a bonus-point 28-18 victory over Fort Hare, who are the only team to have beaten them since 2012. UWC secured a vital 24-17 win over TUT in Pretoria to move up to third place, just one log point behind second-placed UKZN, who had a bye.

The scores and scorers:

UCT 25-5 Shimlas

For UCT:

Tries: Stewart, Klaasen, McDonald, Jones-Davies

Pen: Grant

Con: Grant

For Shimlas:

Try: J du Toit

Pukke 9-19 NMMU

For Tuks:

Try: Massyn

Pens: Schoeman 2

For NMMU:

Tries: Adams, Godfrey

Con: Hauptfleisch

Pens: Hauptfleisch 3

Pukke 16-8 Wits

For Pukke:

Tries: Vermaak, De Wet

Cons: Engelbrecht 2

For Wits:

Try: Nel

Con: Davids

Yellow Card: Brent Crossley (Dangerous tackle, 27 mins)

UJ 8-24 Maties

For UJ:

Try: Botha

Con:  Schmidt

For Maties:

Tries: De Klerk,  De Villiers 2

Cons: Du Preez 3

The Varsity Cup log:

Log

A pic of the Tuks field where they hosted NMMU:

Tuks vs NMMU rain