KEVIN VAN DER LIST
Tuks 1 rugby captain, Jono Ross believes that his team has “yet to peak” in this year’s Varsity Cup and that the Tuks faithful still have a lot to see from last year’s beaten finalists. The men from Pretoria have won their opening two encounters of this year’s tournament. They beat UJ in their first fixture this season with a 23-8 score line, while last week’s game against TUT saw Tuks win 40-0. However, Tuks’ performances thus far have by no means been faultless. Tuks 1 coach, Nollis Marais was quoted as saying on the TuksRugby website that he was “very disappointed” with Tuks’ game against TUT and that a repeat of this against Pukke will “cost [Tuks] dearly.” Jono Ross said that he was happy with the way they have performed thus far, but that there still is lots of room for improvement. Despite Tuks not being at their full potential, they lead the log standings after round two with nine points. Maties are hot on their heels with nine points but Tuks find themselves at the top of the table thanks to a higher points-difference. Tuks’ next match against Pukke, who are on six points after round two, having won one of their two matches, will take place on 20 February at the TuksRugby Stadium at 19:00.. The meeting against Pukke may see one or two changes to the Tuks outfit although there were not any major injuries in the TUT game according to Tuks fly half Wesley Dunlop. Dunlop added that the team “has worked hard on their defence as that’s the key to the way [they] want to play.” The team will be confident going into their game against Pukke. “We’re expecting them to take us on with their forwards, using their key players like Engelbrecht and Pretorius, but we’re ready for them,” Dunlop stated. Ross said he thinks his team has a “good chance” of securing their third win this season, although it will be a tough game. “Pukke have shown that they are a good team so we’re expecting a tough physical game,” he said. Ross is excited to play in front of his home crowd as he believes it will give his side the boost it needs to seal the victory against Pukke.
Photo by Dr Jaco Joubert