The FNB Puk’s inside centre Wouter Watermeyer scored a hat-trick of tries as the home side bamboozled the FNB Nelson Mandela Metropole University on their way to a 41-13 Varsity Cup victory at the Fanie du Toit on Monday.
The six-tries-to-one victory saw the Potchefstroom students keep alive their play-off hopes in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
It was Watermeyer who ignited a very ordinary Puk side midway through the first half, when he scored the first of his three tries to give them a slender 8-3 lead after aimless kicking from both teams.
The Puk lead was short-lived before lock Luke Belling bulldozed his way over and NMMU took an unlikely lead with Belling’s lock-partner Jacques Naudé in the bin.
Watermeyer then took matters into his own hands and cut against the grain of the defence to score and give his team a half-time lead of 15-13.
After the break the Puk found their rhythm and fullback Willem Barnard added his name to the score sheet with a typical Barnard trade-mark run. Those two scores gave the Puk the confidence to open up and run at their tiring opponents.
The next score was by the aggressive lock Grant le Roux after an Andries Mahoney snipe, both converted by replacement flyhalf Cecil Dumont.
What followed next should be the try of the tournament when Watermeyer received the ball deep inside his own ’25, when he stepped the first line of defence, ran straight through the middle and rounded the cover defence for an 80-yard gem.
Puk was reduced to 13 men with both Le Roux and flank Savvas Nel in the bin, but their confidence was so high that it never looked like NMMU would score, even they exerted big pressure.
The moment when Le Roux returned he won a line-out ball inside his own half and left wing Lolo Waqa was unleashed and the speedster added another break-away try.
With five points in the bag and their tails up after a confidence inspiring performance it should be expected that Puk would be hard stopped for the rest of the tournament.
Tries: Watermeyer 3, Barnard, Le Roux, Waqa
Cons: Botha, Dumont 2
Pens: Laubscher 3
Pukke: 15 Willem Barnard, 14 Lloyd Seleka, 13 Wenstley Scott, 12 Wouter Watermeyer, 11 Lola Waka, 10 WD Botha, 9 Andries Mahoney, 8 Willem van der Wal (captain), 7 Thabo Molete, 6 Jaco Lötter, 5 V Kruger, 4 Grant le Roux, 3 Stephan Bezuidenhout, 2 Stoffel Duvenhage, 1 Jaco Koch.
Replacements: 16 Lourens Botes, 17 BG Uys, 18 Francois Robbertse, 19 Savvas Nel, 20 Teuns Kotzé, 21 Cecil Dumond, 22 Andrew van Wyk.
NMMU: 15 Vuyolwethu Mazaka, 14 Dale Geyer, 13 Wade Roos, 12 Marius Muller, 11 Lutho Zatu, 10 Willem Laubscher, 9 Neil Weitz, 8 Jaco Swanepoel, 7 Andre Goosen, 6 Morné van der Westhuyzen (captain), 5 Jacques Naude, 4 Luke Beling, 3 Pierre Hammond, 2 Allistiar Langson, 1 Tyron Williams.
Replacements: 16 Wade Lotter, 17 Eugene Nolan, 18 Frans van der Walt, 19 Jannie Fourie, 20 Lusu Booi, 21 Devon Melville, 22 Phiwekuhle Lalendle.