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Varsity Cup: Shimlas see off Tuks

ROUND EIGHT WRAP: UFS Shimlas fought hard to claim a 26-15 bonus-point win against UP-Tuks and consolidate their position at the top of the Varsity Cup log.


The heavy rain in Bloemfontein on Monday took its toll on the pitch and many feared that the conditions might inhibit the hosts’ attacking ambitions.

Those fears proved unfounded, though, when Shimlas took the fight to the highly-rated Tuks pack and then unleashed their dangerous backs to score three tries inside 35 minutes. The players left the field for a brief period due to lightning in the area. When the teams returned, UFS Shimlas struggled to regain the initiative.

The visitors hit back in the second half via two well-executed mauls. Stefan Coetzee’s conversion brought UP-Tuks within four points of the hosts with nine minutes left on the clock. The hosts had the final say, though, scoring in the last minute to secure the four-try bonus point and an important win.

With one round to play, UFS Shimlas are well placed to top the Varsity Cup log. By contrast, UP-Tuks – who claimed no log points from the fixture in Bloem – may need a win against UJ next week to advance to the semifinals.

In Bellville, UJ powered their way to a 50-28 bonus-point win against UWC to move clear of the relegation zone. The Orange Army can breathe easier having secured their place in next year’s Varsity Cup. What’s more, the big win against UWC has kept them in the hunt for a spot in the 2022 playoffs – although they will need to win their next match and hope that other results go their way.

UWC will lament their poor performance in this must-win fixture. They failed to meet the challenge of the UJ forwards at the gainline and lost the territorial battle. The hosts conceded a series of penalties in their own half and flank Godfrey Muzanargwo was shown two yellow cards – and ultimately a red – before the end of the first stanza.


UJ used their maul and the big kicking boot of Jonathan Viljoen to devastating effect. They went to the break with a 31-14 lead and with the four-try bonus point in the bag. The visitors maintained the pressure after the break. The attack racked up 50 points, but the defence could not stop UWC from claiming a bonus point for four or more tries.

UWC will face Maties next week. They will need a bonus-point win at the Danie Craven Stadium, and they will need other results to go their way, in order to avoid relegation to the Varsity Shield.

In Stellenbosch, wing Marcqiewn Titus scored a hat-trick as Maties thrashed the already-relegated Madibaz 61-21. Two of Titus’ tries were seven-pointers, and it was no surprise when he was named the Player That Rocks. The hosts scored eight tries in total, with flyhalf Jurie Matthee and replacement loose forward Siya Matanda each grabbing a brace. Matthee also kicked seven conversions and a penalty goal to finish with a 27-point haul.

The Eagles scored two late tries to beat a gutsy CUT Ixias team 33-14 in Bloemfontein.


With rain pouring down throughout the match, both sides played within themselves while making good use of their forwards. The hosts took a 14-7 lead late in the first half thanks to two driving maul tries that saw their backs rush in to help the forwards get over the line.

But the Eagles, who opened the scoring with a maul try from lock Marvelous Mashimbyi, hit back just before the break when winger Tino Swanepoel scored from a kick-pass. NWU’s other wing, Keenan Twigg, finished off a backline move at the end of the third quarter, before scrumhalf Sylvester Hassien and No.8 André Fouché struck late to secure a bonus-point win that keeps the Eagles’ semi-final hopes alive.

In Johannesburg, the UCT Ikeys boosted their hopes of hosting a semifinal with a 47-23 win against Wits. The visitors led 14-0 after 20 minutes thanks to tries by centre Suleiman Hartzenberg (point-of-origin) and hooker Keagan Blanckenberg, before the hosts hit back with two converted tries that levelled the scores.

But UCT crossed the line again in first-half stoppage time through lock Reynhardt Crous and went on to dominate the second half, scoring another four tries. Wits didn’t help their cause by having two players – flank Alexander Skudder and lock Edward White – yellow carded within 10 minutes of each other.

Varsity Cup Round Eight results and scorers:

UWC 28-50 UJ

The scorers:

For UWC:
Tries: Mauritz Swart, Will Vraagom (1×7), Justin Theys, Peter Williams (1×7)
Cons: Lyle Hendricks 2

For UJ:
Tries: Keegan Joubert, Darnell Osuagwu 2, Musawenkosi Tshabalala, Chergin Fillies, Shaun-Christian Baxter, Kelvin Kanenungo
Cons: Jonathan Viljoen 6
Pen: Viljoen

Player That Rocks: Musawenkosi Tshabalala (UJ)

UFS Shimlas 26-15 UP-Tuks

The scorers:

For UFS Shimlas:
Tries: Jooste Nel, Ruwald van der Merwe, Litha Nkula, Nqobani Dlamini
Cons: Nkula 3

For UP-Tuks:
Tries: Mihlali Stamper, Allister Williams
Con: Stefan Coetzee
Pen: Walter Visser

Player That Rocks: Thabo Ndimande (UFS Shimlas)

Maties 61-21 Madibaz

The scorers:

For Maties:
Tries: Marcqiewn Titus (2×7, 1×5), Chris Rossouw, Jurie Matthee 2, Siya Matanda 2
Cons: Matthee 7
Pen: Matthee

For Madibaz:
Tries: Arnouw Nel, Anovuyo Moyikwa, Jade Stoffels
Cons: Sibalomzi Mqeni, Kholiowe Khonza 2

Player That Rocks: Marcqiewn Titus (Maties)

CUT Ixias 14-33 NWU Eagles

The scorers:

For CUT Ixias:
Tries: Christiaan Venter, Septimus Derkesen
Cons: Floris Brand 2

NWU Eagles:
Tries: Marvelous Mashimbyi, Tino Swanepoel, Keenan Twigg, Sylvester Hassien, André Fouché
Cons: Martin Venter 4

Player That Rocks: André Fouché (NWU Eagles)

Wits 23-47 UCT Ikeys

The scorers:

For Wits:
Tries: Dameon Venter, Luhle Matyolweni, Ebot Buma (1×7)
Cons: Chris Humphries 3

For UCT Ikeys:
Tries: Suleiman Hartzenberg (1×7), Keagan Blanckenberg, Reynhardt Crous, Ntokozo Makhaza, Duran Koevort, Thomas Meyer, Jason MacLeod Smith (1×7)
Cons: Koevort 2, Kyle Bowman 2

Player That Rocks: David Hayes (UCT Ikeys)

Photo credit: ASEM Engage/Hannes Naude

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