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

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
VARSITY CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool CUP
Team P W D L Pts
UP-Tuks 8 7 0 1 34
Maties 8 7 0 1 34
UJ 8 5 0 3 25
Shimlas 8 5 0 3 23
Wits 8 4 0 4 21
NWU-Pukke 8 4 0 4 19
NMMU-Madibaz 8 2 0 6 11
UCT-Ikeys 8 2 0 6 9
CUT-Ixias 8 0 0 8 3
Pool SHIELD
Team P W D L Pts
UWC 6 5 0 1 27
Fort Hare 6 4 0 2 20
UKZN-Impi 6 4 0 2 20
WSU 6 3 0 3 14
CPUT 6 2 0 4 10
TUT 6 2 0 4 9
Rhodes 6 1 0 5 6