WSU remain top despite TUT scare
The Eastern Cape outfit remains the only unbeaten side thus far and has proven to be great contenders for the Varsity Shield title.
However, the victory was everything but smooth sailing as WSU's defence were forced to dig deep to keep out a resilient TUT side and edge them 17-13.
Elsewhere in Cape Town, Kurt-Lee Arendse's hat-trick helped UWC to an emphatic 88-8 win over basement dweller Rhodes. The Cape Town-based team scored 11 tries as Rhodes struggled to keep up with the pace the match.
While in Durban, UKZN-Impi put in a gutsy performance against UFH-Blues to ensure they recorded a narrow 16-10 victory.
We look at all the Shield Action!
TUT 13-17 WSU
TUT had a rather slow start to the match, making it easy for WSU to dominate much of the proceedings. The visitors took full advantage of their counterparts' mistakes and within two minutes opened the scoring thanks to Xolani Mbombo's try. Zizipho Kayi added the conversion making it 8-0.
Despite enormous attempts from the hosts to take control of the match, WSU's defence remained solid. Just after the strategic break, TUT were down to 14 men when Stanley Modjadji was sent to the sin bin with a yellow card.
TUT's problems increased as WSU stretched their lead courtesy of a successful penalty kick by Kayi. However, on the stroke of half-time, TUT hit back when Arno Brits scored to break his side's duck, 5-10.
WSU came out with more intent and were soon rewarded with an early second half try thanks to Ntando Mfengu, 15-5.
The ill-discipline of TUT kept putting them on the backfoot as they conceded another kickable penalty. Nkayi slotted another penalty, extending the lead to 17-5.
Minutes later the home side’s Tshepo Nyathi spoiled the party with a try and TUT’s flyhalf Litha Vumisa converted it, reducing the gap to 13-17.
With minutes left to full-time, the home side remained determined to snatch a late victory but the WSU's defence was too strong, as the visitors hung on for the win.
Tries: Brits, Nyathi
Tries: Mbombo, Matiwane
Pens: Kayi 2
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant referees: Local
UWC 88-8 Rhodes
Just after 10 minutes of play, UWC took a 16-0 lead. The home side scored two unanswered tries thanks to scrumhalf Herschelle Jantjies and Roderick Moses. Both tries were converted by Keagan Fortuin.
Rhodes were constantly on the back foot and could not settled down as the windy conditions seemed to be unbearable for the travellers.
The home team capitalised on the visitors’ inability to settle and scored yet another try to rub more salt in their opponents’ wounds. This time through captain of the day Brandon Valentyn to give the hosts a 24-0 lead just before the strategic break.
UWC continued to run rampant and was soon rewarded with a try, thanks to Adrian Paarwater. The big No.8 crossed the chalk after a powerful scrum. Fortuin had his kicking boots on, as he converted to give the hosts a 32-0 lead after 23 minutes.
Just before the 30-minute mark, UWC added an additional two tries, thanks to scrumhalf Jantjies – who sealed his brace – and wing Andre Manuel, to stretch their lead to 48-0.
On the stroke of half-time Rhodes finally pulled one back through Devon Barnard. his try was converted by Ryan Horne to head into the break trailing 8-48.
UWC head coach Chester Williams' substitution proved fruitful as replacements Kurt-Lee Arendse and Shaine Orderson added their names to the scoresheet.
Arendse and Manuel both scored a double as the home side kept piling on the pressure and slicing through the defence, 80-8.
As the final hooter sounded, the home side refused to take their foot off the gas and put the final nail in the coffin as Arendse broke away yet again for his hat-trick, much to the delight of the home fans.
Tries: Jantjies 2, Manuel 2, Valentyn, Orderson, Paarwater, Moses, Arendse 3
Cons: Fortuin 11
UKZN 16-10 UFH
After a 21-42 defeat at the hands of WSU, UKZN redeemed themselves in front of their home crowd.
Fresh from a victory over UWC, Fort Hare were oozing with confidence but the home side kept them at bay to secure a hard-fought 16-10 victory.
More to follow…
For UKZN: TBC
For Fort Hare: TBC