DAN LOMBARD

FNB UP-Tuks beat FNB UJ 34-29 at the UJ Stadium last Monday to keep their second-place position on the Varsity Cup log.

Head coach Nollis Marais told Perdeby that “UJ were very physical and we had to work hard for our win.” He said that he was happy that his team won the game but that they could have done more to capitalise on scoring opportunities.

Tuks scored first with centre Handre Pollard bursting through a tackle to allow full-back Clayton Blommetjies to score. Pollard added the conversion to allow Tuks an 8-0 lead after three minutes.

UJ’s hard work paid off when prop Wessel du Rand scored their first try and full-back Kobus de Kock was successful with his conversion attempt to level the score.

Tuks centre Piet Lindeque squeezed through a small gap in UJ’s cover defence to score in the corner. Pollard scored the conversion to make the score 16-8.

UJ increased their intensity in the closing stages of the first half. Tuks’ defence was strong and UJ were denied two tries through De Kock and scrum-half Jacques Pretorius. Pollard scored a long-range penalty and played a crucial role in setting up Shaun Adendorff’s try as the visitors capitalised on UJ’s mistakes.

Sustained pressure from UJ saw Du Rand score his second try which was converted by De Kock. The try cut the deficit to 26-16 but still allowed Tuks to go into half time with a ten-point lead.

UJ built on their first-half momentum and Pretorius scored a try from a quick tap penalty. De Kock was successful with his third conversion and added a try of his own with the help of wing Chrysander Botha. Although De Kock missed his fourth conversion, UJ still took a 29-26 lead.

Tuks regained their composure and hooker Mbongeni Mbonambi slipped past two tacklers and offloaded the ball to wing Courtnall Skosan to score the match-winning try, which was converted by Pollard.

In other Round 6 action, FNB NWU-Pukke beat FNB NMMU 39-36 while FNB UFS-Shimlas held FNB Ikeys to a 21-21 draw. FNB Maties beat FNB Wits 48-21.

Photo: varsitycup.co.za

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