SAMANTHA EVANS

UCT ended their FNB Varsity Cup campaign victorious after defeating FNB Tuks in Pretoria on Monday 11 April. The visiting side, who has been in the final twice before, was elated to finally take the cup home after losing to Maties the last two years.

In the first half UCT got off to a promising start. An inside pass to Gregg Mallet from Tim Whitehead presented Ikeys with the chance to put seven points on the board, giving them a lead in the first two minutes.

Tuks took full advantage of the string of penalties conceded by UCT to get back on top. Tuks fly-half and captain, Wesley Dunlop, converted two of the penalties to bring the score to 7-6.

Tuks’s first and only try came from Jean du Plessis. Dunlop followed it up with a successful conversion, making the score 13-7 for Tuks.

UCT made a number of mistakes which eventually cost them three points when Dunlop converted another penalty in the 36th minute. UCT then moved into the Tuks half and fly-half Demetri Catrakilis scored three points for his team, making the score at half time 16-10 for Tuks.

Tuks went into the second half with a slight lead but spent most of it playing a defensive game and conceding penalties. Catrakilis scored a penalty in the 50th minute. He followed it up with another just five minutes later after Warwick Tecklenberg was penalised at a tackle, bringing the score to 16-16.

UCT hooker Matt Page scored a try and Catrakilis converted, putting UCT back in the lead. Tuks were then penalised at the scrum and Catrakilis converted again with just 10 minutes left on the clock.

Tuks spent the final ten minutes attacking the UCT line and was held up over the line on two occasions. UCT was penalised as Tuks gave it one last try but a knock-on signaled the end of the game. The final score was 26-16 to the visiting side.

Tuks captain Wesley Dunlop said that his team played outstanding rugby in the first half and they produced a clinical performance, but they went into the second half defending and that was their downfall. He added that the Varsity Cup as a whole is a great platform for young players who are still studying but want to play rugby on a competitive level.

The 2011 Miss Varsity Cup was crowned during half time and Nicole Greef from Tuks was crowned as the first princess. This year’s second princess was Miss UJ, Chloe Geraghty, and the winner was Miss Pukke, Erena Stofberg.

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