FNB NWU-Pukke proved in no uncertain terms that they will be a force in the business-end of the 2014 Varsity Cup competition with an 18-0 win over defending champions FNB UP-Tuks in Pretoria.
Conditions were not easy and the match between the two top teams in the 2014 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International did not reach any great heights, but the visitors will certainly not be complaining!
The Men from Potchefstroom scored two tries to nil in a match which produced few scoring opportunities and will end Week Five of the Varsity Cup in first place on the log, UP-Tuks dropping to second place after their first loss in 2014.
Pukke’s tries were scored by hooker Armand van der Merwe and No.5 lock Francois Robbertse, the former crossing the whitewash shortly before half-time as the visitors led 10-0 at the break.
Inside centre Adriaan Engelbrecht had earlier kicked a penalty to put his team up by 2-0 as half-time approached, but the combative Van der Merwe’s try, with Engelbrecht converting, gave them a crucial 10-0 advantage after 40 minutes.
The second half started in similarly wet conditions to the first, as the hosts looked to get back into the contest, but they were never able to get enough continuity in the game as the elements and the tenacity of Pukke’s defence contributed to keep them out.
Robbertse slid over down the blindside shortly after the 50-minute mark – with Engelbrecht again converting – and at 18-0 there was always going to be one winner in this game.
Tuks ended the match camped on Pukke’s line, in search of points and with it some consolation, but the visitors continued their determined and powerful defence which eventually led to a turnover on the stroke of full-time and with it a valuable away victory.
For FNB NWU-Pukke:
Tries: Van der Merwe, Robbertse
Cons: Engelbrecht 2
FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Ryan Nell, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Emile Temperman, 8 Reniel Hugo (captain), 7 Rudolph Smith, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Dennis Visser, 4 Irn? Herbst, 3 Basil Short, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Arno van Wyk, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Jannes Kirsten, 19 Leneve Damens, 20 Carlo Engelbrecht, 22 Francois Tredoux, 22 Duncan Matthews, 23 Andrew Beerwinkel.
FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Sylvain Mahuza, 14 Edmar Marais, 13 Hoffman Maritz, 12 Adriaan Engelbrecht, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Tiaan Dorfling (captain), 8 Juan Language, 7 Henro-Pierre Swart, 6 Rhyk Welgemoed, 5 Francois Robbertse, 4 Daniel Jordaan, 3 Lhlanhla Ngcamu, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Mashudu Mafela.
Replacements: 16 Jacques Vermaak, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Robey Labuschagne, 19 Philip de Wet, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Rhyno Smith, 22 Lucian Cupido, 23 Elardus Venter.
Referees: Jaco Pretorius, Gerrie de Bruin