Tukkies beat the Pukke for the second year running in Potchefstroom on Monday night, pipping the home side 29-27 in a thrilling Varsity Cup opener.
SAPA reports that local flyhalf WD Botha had an opportunity to level the score in the last seconds after a try by reserve centre Wentsley Scott in the corner, but his kick drifted wide.
Botha scored 17 points on the night, but the evening belonged to the 18-year-old Jean-Claude Roos, who scored 19 points, including a monster drop goal on the night.
Tukkies scored both their tries at the start of either halves and the Pukke had to play catch-up rugby from the start.
Outside centre Johan Jackson intercepted a loose pass and ran nearly 65m to score unchallenged with the chasers soon giving up the footrace after the kick-off.
But it was flyhalf Roos who silenced the local crowd when he attempted a penalty kick of 65m plus – a sign of things to come. He had another go from inside his half and it got contagious when Pukke’s scrumhalf Worsie Kotze narrowly missed a shot at goal from inside his half of the field.
Tukkies led 10-6 at the break, but it was the Potchefstroom students that dictated most of the play during the first stanza with some fierce rucking, big tackles and a dominant scrum.
A Roos penalty helped Tukkies to a four point cushion but one always had the feeling that the tide was turning towards the home side.
Captain Willem van der Wall led from the front and new scrumhalf Worsie Kotze made all the right decisions.
But the second half started much like the first when Franco Booysen ghosted through the Puk defence to send the speedster Alwyn Fransman away. Roos converted and Tukkies lead 17-6.
Inside centre Devan Eckard, the culprit who missed Booysen, was immediately replaced by Ashwin Scott. It was Eckard’s second vital mistake after a crucial handling error when Kotze send him away on the blind.
Botha narrowed the gap with his third penalty and a fourth, which cut the lead to five.
After missing one relative easy kick Roos split the poles with a precision kick and the lead increased to eight and soon afterwards to 11, thanks to a monster penalty from the sideline by the young flyhalf.
Pukke scored their first try by captain Van der Wal, driving the number eight over from a five yard lineout. Botha converted from near the touchline and the difference was only four points.
A late tackle cost Pukke another three points the deadly boot of Roos, but Botha cancelled it out seconds later his fifth penalty.
Roos finished the Pukke off with a monster drop with less than seven minutes to go.
Reserve centre Wentsley Scott scored a vital try with less than a minute to go, but Botha’s conversion from the touchline drifted wide.
Pukke: Tries: Willem van der Wal, Wentsley Scott. Conversion: WD Botha. Penalties: Botha (5)
Tukkies: Tries: Johan Jackson, Elwin Fransman. Conversions: Jean-Claude Roos (2). Penalties: Roos (4). Drop goal: RoosTweet