While the new nine point try idea being trialled in this year’s Varsity Cup is one that has split opinions among rugby lovers it demonstrated how quickly it could change a game as the University of Free State Shimlas used it to sneak home last night.
It was a nine point effort by replacement back Jacobus van Vuuren that swung the game for the visitors last night as they beat the University of Pretoria Tuks 46-47 in an 11-try spectacle in Hatfield last night.
With a little under 20 minutes to play, Tuks looked to have the game in the bag with a comfortable 46-29 lead but the game changed dramatically in the space of five minutes as Van Vuuren dotted down in the 68th minute before Marco Klopper crossed the whitewash to seal the narrowest of victories.
It means that the defending champions are unbeaten in the competition in the two games played so far while Tuks, who dominated the game until the dramatic turnaround, are winless.
The Pretoria outfit had raced to a 36-15 lead at halftime thanks to tries by prop Johan Neethling, wing Duhan van der Merwe, Riaan Britz and a penalty try while the boot of Josh Stander had added three conversions.
Ruaan Steenkamp extended their advantage in the first five minutes after the interval before the Shimlas fightback started and they managed to dot down four times to pull off a great escape.
There was a massive result for the Central University of Technology Ixias as they pulled off a shock 10-9 win over the University of Cape Town Ikeys.
In the day’s early kick-off the University of Stellenbosch Maties pulled off a narrow 27-25 win over the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Madibaz in Port Elizabeth in a game marred by a number of refereeing errors.
Meanwhile, the University of Johannesburg maintained their unbeaten start to this year’s renewal thanks to a 36-31 win over the NWU-Pukke at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds.
It was the hosts who opened the scoring with Lucian Cupido going over in the third minute but UJ pulled clear with a 17-12 halftime lead and maintained their advantage in the second half.
The one consolation for Pukke is that they earned a bonus point.