DUT breaks their duck
VARSITY SHIELD WRAP: DUT claimed their first victory when they edged Rhodes 8-5 in Makhanda on Sunday.
At the end of the current season, the last-placed side on the combined 2021-22 Varsity Shield log will drop out of the tournament.
While DUT remains in this precarious position after Sunday’s win, they have reduced the gap between themselves and Rhodes to a solitary log point.
This bottom-of-the-table game was an error-strewn affair. Both teams buzzed with attacking intent, yet their execution and discipline let them down at key moments.
Neither side managed to seize control of the game. DUT conceded a yellow card on either side of half-time, as did Rhodes. The extra space on the field did little to assist either team’s attack, as they continued to spurn scoring opportunities.
DUT eventually held their shape to score through the fiercely determined flank Menzi Nxumalo in the 61st minute.
Thereafter, an overly robust defensive approach resulted in two more yellow cards as well as a red for Thabani Mnisi.
Rhodes crashed over in the 69th minute to get themselves back into the contest. They had a chance to score the winning try in the final minute, but flank Bradley van Heerden dropped the ball with the line at his mercy.
DUT finished the game with 12 men on the field yet managed to hang on and claim their first victory in the Varsity Shield.
* Earlier, the WSU All Blacks fired late to claim a 25-20 victory over the TUT Vikings.
The WSU All Blacks earned this win on the back of a determined showing in the closing stages. The Vikings, by contrast, relinquished their grip on the contest via a limp performance in the second stanza.
The TUT forwards set the platform for a dominant display in the first half. Captain Laro Delport shifted from No 8 to hooker, and the move ensured that the Vikings pack outmuscled their more fancied opponents at the scrums, lineouts, and mauls.
WSU’s discipline was poor, and scrumhalf Eric Mcaphukana was shown a yellow card for a reckless tackle after seven minutes. The WSU All Blacks managed to score a try against the run of play, and the boot of Lwandile Mapuko kept them in the game.
Delport crashed over for his second try in the dying minutes of the first half. The well-executed Vikings maul ensured that they went to the break with a handy seven-point lead.
They lost momentum, however, when lock Kazadi Mukendi was sent to the sin bin at the start of the second half.
WSU All Blacks started to make an impression via their mobile pack as the contest entered the fourth quarter. They may have taken a substantial lead if not for their poor finishing and four missed penalty attempts.
Their territorial dominance eventually told when flanker Ayabulela Zono touched down into the left-hand corner.
The Vikings won a penalty after the final whistle but proceeded to lose possession at the ensuing lineout. Ultimately, the WSU All Blacks hung on to claim their first win of the campaign.
* In the first match of the day, the UFH Blues scored three tries in their 30-12 win against the UKZN Impi.
Blues flyhalf Keith Chiwara missed an early sitter, but he made no mistake with his second penalty goal attempt and when No 8 Yamkela Mzozoyana crashed over from close range for a converted try they led 13-0.
Straight after the first-half strategy break, UFH outside centre Ryan Maree beat an Impi defender before bouncing off another to score their second try.
UKZN opened their account with a 24th-minute penalty try after Mziyabulela Bathu held back Impi winger Devandré Adendorf. The Blues No 14 was yellow-carded, but his team didn’t conceded any points while he was off and Chiwara’s third penalty made it 23-7 at half-time.
UKZN scrumhalf and captain Johan Maritz got his side back into the game when he darted over in the 53rd minute but the Impi were unable to add to their tally.
UFH Blues wing Senanelo Ndlazi was yellow-carded with 10 minutes to go, but that didn’t prevent his team from scoring a third try through lock Ayabulela Xhosana.
CPUT enjoyed a bye in Round Two.
Varsity Shield Round Two results and scorers:
UFH Blues 30-12 UKZN Impi
For UFH Blues
Tries: Yamkela Mzozoyana, Ryan Maree, Ayabulela Xhosana
Cons: Keith Chiwara 3
Pens: Chiwara 3
Tries: Penalty try, Johan Maritz
Con: Penalty try does not require a conversion
Player That Rocks: Keith Chiwara (UFH Blues)
TUT Vikings 20-25 WSU All Blacks
Tries: Alwyn van Niekerk, Laro Delport 2
Con: Mauritz Maritz
WSU All Blacks 25
Tries: Miyelani Ngobeni, Asekho Marubelela, Ayabulela Zono
Cons: Lwandile Mapuko 2
Player That Rocks: Miyelani Ngobeni (WSU All Blacks)
DUT 8-5 Rhodes
Try: Menzi Nxumalo
Pen: Noah Pekeur
Try: Uza Nyanda
Player That Rocks: Menzi Nxumalo (DUT)
Round Three fixtures
Friday, March 18
(Tuks Stadium, Pretoria)
* Rhodes vs UFH Blues (15.00)
* CPUT vs TUT Vikings (17.00)
* UKZN Impi vs DUT (19.00)
* Bye: WSU All Blacks
Round Four fixtures
Sunday, 20 March
(Tuks Stadium, Pretoria)
* DUT vs CPUT (15.00)
* UFH Blues vs WSU All Blacks (17.00)
* TUT Vikings vs UKZN Impi (19.00)
* Bye: Rhodes