Third time's the charm for Pukke

Tue, 12 Apr 2016 14:06
Large pukke 2016 varsity champions 800

REACTION: NWU-Pukke hoisted their first Varsity Cup title at the third time of asking when they travelled to Stellenbosch and edged Maties 7-6 at the Danie Craven Stadium.

Pukke headed into the 2016 Final with fresh memories of their two previous losses - UCT-Ikeys in 2014 and UFS-Shimlas in 2015 Final. However, those wounds have now healed.

Under the guidance of former Springbok Sevens captain, Johnathan Mokuena, the Potchefstroom students finally broke their duck and he credits the players' belief rather than "Mokuena magic."

"[The victory] is definitely not Mokuena magic, I think the boys really believed [they could win] because they did all the hard work. My job was simply to get them to believe because they really wanted it. It was a massive team performance.

"The message [to the team] was that we never wanted doubt to creep in. It's a Final and opportunities would be scarce but we needed to stick with our game plan and when it mattered, we took the chance. Credit to the players though, they saw the pressure they were putting on Maties at scrum time and kept plugging away," Mokuena said.

Mokuena added that two key factors contributed to their victory.

"Conceding 50 points against Maties [earlier in the campaign] was our turning point because after that, we dug deep and spirits were lifted.

"The one thing that counted in our favour was the lead up to the final. We pretty much had knock-out matches all along. We had to beat UCT, we had to beat Shimlas, we had to beat UJ and I think that helped us prepare better with regards to being under the pump for 80 minutes," he added.

Pukke captain, Jeandre Rudolph, reserved special praise for Mokuena's predecessor, current Sharks assistant coach Robert du Preez.

"Credit must go to Robert du Preez. He played his part in the two previous finals, so this victory is for him as well," Rudolph stated.

By Tauriq Ebrahim

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
Cardiff Blues v Munster 17h15 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cheetahs v Bulls 17h30 Bloemfontein
Leinster v Scarlets 19h35 RDS Arena
Sun, 05 March 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Saracens 15h00 Kingston Park
VARSITY CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool CUP
Team P W D L Pts
Maties 4 3 0 1 14
Shimlas 4 3 0 1 14
NWU-Pukke 4 3 0 1 13
UP-Tuks 3 2 0 1 10
UCT-Ikeys 4 2 0 2 9
Wits 3 1 0 2 6
UJ 3 1 0 2 6
NMMU-Madibaz 4 1 0 3 5
CUT-Ixias 3 0 0 3 0
Pool SHIELD
Team P W D L Pts
WSU 3 3 0 0 14
UWC 3 2 0 1 12
Fort Hare 3 1 0 2 6
TUT 2 1 0 2 5
CPUT 2 1 0 1 5
UKZN-Impi 2 1 0 1 4
Rhodes 3 0 0 3 2