SIMPHIWE NHLABATHI

In their match against Maties on 23 February UP-Tuks 1 ran in seven tries to remain unbeaten in the Varsity Cup Rugby competition and retain their place on top of the log. The match got off to a fast start with UP-Tuks scoring in the 14th minute when Jannes Kirsten brushed off a defender before defeated three more with him to get the first try of the match. The try went unconverted as Joshua Stander missed the conversion.

Maties fought back and three minutes later JP Lewis scored in the corner. He was hit hard two metres from the try line but remained composed to finish off a team-afforded try. Brandon Thomson scored the conversion to hand Maties an 8-5 lead.

This was the last time Maties were to score in the game. The home side gained the lead in the 21st minute after a dominant maul allowed skipper Wiaan Liebenberg to score a try. Tuks started to assert their dominance on the match and they were rewarded in the 24th minute when Reniel Hugo crossed over the line. Stander scored another conversion, to extend the lead to 21-8.

UP-Tuks secured a bonus point in the 33rd minute with an unstoppable maul which travelled a little over 10 metres to allow Rudolph Smith to dot the ball down. Stander’s conversion extended the lead to 29-8. The home side pushed for another try but Maties defence tightened up as the teams went into the halftime interval.

The home side started the second half and immediately scored the fifth try of the match, with Dewald Human showing exceptional skill and speed to rip the Maties defenders apart in the 42nd minute. Stander added another conversion to extend UP-Tuks’ lead to 29 points.

Tuks continued to rip through Maties and in the 50th minute, an informed Jermaine Kleinsmith made no mistake in adding the home side’s sixth try. Stander added his fifth conversion to extend the lead to 45-8. In the 71st minute Nqobisiswe Mxoli crashed over the line to bring the score up to 50 points for UP-Tuks. Stander added the conversion as UP-Tuks led 53-8 with eight minutes left in the match. This was to be the winning score.

 

Photo: Hendro van der Merwe

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