UP- Tuks 1 had to fight hard for a win against The University of the Free State (Maties) in their first game of the Varsity Cup season at Loftus Versveld on 30 January. Tuks was dealt an early blow when lock Eli Snyman limped off the rain soaked field in the second minute. The team was hindered further when fly-half Tinus de Bruyn picked up a yellow card in the eighth minute.
Maties took an early lead through a penalty until UP-Tuks 8th man Christiaan Massyn bulldozed his way over the line to give the team a 2 point lead. However, Maties went into half time with a 6 point to 5 advantage. Tuks regained their lead in the 57th minute through a penalty and the match was delicately poised for most of the rest of the second half.
The lead was short lived as Maties converted another penalty and for most of the second half managed to thwart all of UP-Tuks’ attempts at pushing for a try. However, Tuks flyhalf Tinus de Bruyn struggled over the line in the 73rd minute to give Tuks a late, four point advantage which they managed to hold on to until the end of the game. When the final whistle blew, Tuks finished 13-9 victors.
Tuks’ next fixture is an away game against the Nelson Mandela Metropolitain University (Madibaz) on 13 February.