On Monday 14 February, the Valentines Day match between TUT and FNB Tuks saw the visitors come out on top with a 46-34 victory.
Tuks got off to a good start when fullback, Jurgen Visser, crossed the line giving Tuks an early lead. The second try soon followed, courtesy of Blue Bulls wing Deon Helberg. A joint effort by Hayden Groepes and Marnitz Boshoff saw Boshoff run in a try to secure a 19-0 lead over TUT.
TUT’s luck changed when hooker Johan Pieterse made it over the line with some help from his team in TUT’s first visit to the Tuks 22. With a conversion by flyhalf, Ryan Boshoff , TUT had their first points on the board.
Tuks flank, Warwick Tecklenberg, earned his team the bonus point try when he crossed the line putting Tuks in a comfortable lead of 27-12 just 12 minutes before half-time.
However, the turning point of the match came when Tuks centre, Jean du Plessis, was given a red card. This gave the visitors a much needed boost of confidence and they gained the advantage over Tuks who were one man down.
The score was 27-24 at half-time the break after TUT captain, Wikus Botes, and Wessel Cronje both scored tries and put their team a mere 3 points behind the hosts.
TUT came back full force after half-time and took the lead for the first time when Boshoff equalized the score with a penalty and a try was scored by wing, Andisa Nqobo.
The hosts struggled with defense and seemed to be lacking in confidence, but a try from Jono Ross gave Tuks a last minute boost. With 5 minutes remaining and the score at 34-39, Tuks fought hard but proved to be no match for the TUT defense. TUT’s centre, Hansie Graaf, scored the last try of the match, making the visitors the victors.
Captain, Wesley Dunlop, had this to say about his teams defeat, “We started off really well and I was happy with the way the boys were playing, but I think with such a big lead so early in the game we took our foot off the pedal. And then the red card came and that just broke our spirit…we played badly from there.”
Tuks travel to Potchefstroom next to take on Pukke on Monday 21 February 2011.