With heavy rain falling in Potchefstroom, the Pukke recorded a 20 – 13 win against UCT Ikeys to grab their third win in four matches.
Pukke looked like ‘fish in the water’ as they outplayed Ikeys in front of a small, but still spirited home crowd. The wet and slippery conditions didn’t present the best playing surface, but it was a great Varsity Cup game nonetheless.
It did not take long for the home side to have points on the board as Elden Schoeman opened the scoring with a try in the 3rd minute, thanks to dangerously good play by the team, with Schalk Hugo adding the conversion to make it 7 – 0. Hugo’s boot looked on point again, despite the unforgiving weather, as he slotted two penalties a bit later on to give the Pukke a 13 – 0 lead in the first 15 minutes.
As the first half progressed, the rain was not in favour of the players as the ball kept slipping out like a bar of soap and the game lost its pace completely. Both teams struggled to get any momentum going or to create opportunities. Just before half time a small breakthrough came for Ikeys as Lohan Lubbe slotted a good penalty goal, making it 13 – 3 at halftime.
In the second half, the Pukke came out with their alternate jerseys, the maroon and black, and immediately put Ikeys on the back foot. That soon changed when Pukke’s Justin Newman got sent to the sin-bin and the Ikeys slotted over a penalty, making it 13 – 6.
The game went from side to side, til replacement flanker Estehan Visagie went over for the Pukke’s second try and Hugo kicked the conversion, stretching the lead to 20 – 6. Ikeys kept trying to create gaps, but the Pukke defence was much better than last week and closed them down. Ikeys’ winger Joel Smith almost created a try out of nothing and gave the Pukke a scare, but excellent defence on the tryline kept him from scoring.
Consolation for Ikeys came in the 80th minute when Gary Porter went over in the corner after the Ikeys spent a lot of time in Pukke’s 22. This also meant that UCT walked away with a bonus point, the final score being 20 – 13.
FNB Player that Rocks: Tapiwa Mafura
FNB NWU-Pukke: 20 Tries: Elden Schoeman (five-pointer), Estehan Visagie (five-pointer) Conversions: Hugo (2) Penalties: Hugo(2)
FNB Ikeys: 13 Tries: Gary Porter (five-pointer) Conversions: Lohan Lubbe (1) Penalties: Lohan Lubbe (2)
Written by Van Zyl Cronje