FNB Tuks stayed top of the Varsity Cup standings when they smashed a hapless FNB TUT 45-9 at the TUT Stadium in Pretoria on Monday.
It was one-way traffic for most of this FNB Varsity Cup match presented by Steinhoff International, with only some token first half resistance from TUT – which saw them get three penalties.
However, Tuks had wrapped up the bonus point and the match inside the first half – taking a 26-9 lead – before three late tries hammered home the victory.
The trouble started in the set pieces for TUT. Not only were their scrums under pressure, as they conceded two turnovers, but their line-outs were a total shambles – where they lost six balls on their own throw just in the first half.
With their normally physical pack looking very lethargic against the determined Tuks forwards, TUT also failed to control the little ball that they did receive.
The Tuks turned their early ascendancy into quick points and after just four minutes prop Ettienne Breytenbach barrelled over from a couple of phase-plays. Flyhalf Piet-Piet Swart added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
And before 10 minutes were up centre Franco Booysen had scored the second try, after stealing the ball in a tackle situation and sprinting 60 metres for the score. Swart’s conversion made it 14-0.
Three minutes later Tuks fullback Johan Jackson was over after the TUT tacklers only put up token resistance. Swart’s conversion was good and after 13 minutes it was 21-0.
TUT finally broke their duck on the board in the 16th minute, when flyhalf Adillio Coutiers, who had missed an earlier penalty, slotted his second attempt. He then missed a shot at goal in the 18th minute, before slotting one three minutes later as the TUT students tried to claw their way back in the game. And it became 9-21 in the 26th minute, as the TUT forwards started to find their rhythm and also had a period of dominance in terms of possession.
But the first-half comeback was ended in the 38th minute, when Tuks’ tighthead prop Peet Vorster went over in the corner after a couple of phases and some tidy handling by the backs on his inside.
Even more important, Tukkies had secured the bonus point before the break and they took a seemingly insurmountable 26-9 lead into the half-time break.
The second half struggled to get going – with Tukkies seemingly happy to sit on their lead and TUT unable to string enough phases together.
This saw the game amble along between points of breakdown and set pieces, with the occasional bursts of energy from both sides.
The most excitement in the third quarter of the game came when Tukkies prop Peet Vorster was sin-binned for repeated infringements at the breakdown. And he was followed by teammate Henjo van Niekerk for the same reason as the game entered the final quarter.
However, despite having a numerical advantage, TUT still did not look like really scoring. In fact in the 66th minute TUT were also reduced to 14 men when replacement Jaques Venter was yellow carded for dangerous play at a line-out.
The first score in the second half came only in the 73rd minute, when – from a turnover – wing Aaron Denenga sprinted down the left touchline for a converted try – which saw Tuks stretch their lead to 33-9.
With TUT now well beaten, right wing Luvuyo Mhlobiso joined in the Tuks festivities with a late try – unconverted – to make it 38-9. And the late flurry continued as centre Gerhard van der Merwe also went over in the dying second to make the final score 45-9.
For FNB TUT:
Pens: Coutiers 3
For FNB Tuks:
Tries: Breytenbach, Booysen, Jackson, Vorster, Denenga, Mhlobiso, Van der Merwe
Cons: Swart 4, Van den Berg
Yellow cards: Peet Vorster (Tuks, 52 – repeated infringement., slowing the ball down at the ruck), Henjo van Niekerk (Tuks, 61 – repeated infringements, not rolling away at the breakdown), Jaques Venter (TUT, 66 – foul play, pulling a player down in the line-out)
TUT: 15 Chanley Williams, 14 Wynand Willis, 13 Johan Swartz, 12 Simphiwe Mthimkulu, 11 Hoosein Legoabe, 10 Adillio Coutiers, 9 Andre Potgieter, 8 Wikus Botes, 7 Athi Mtya (captain), 6 Adrihan Kruger, 5 Tiaan Fick, 4 Pieter Fourie, 3 Jan-Harm Steenkamp, 2 Brendan Tshoshane, 1 Jaques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Ruhan de Kock, 17 Sangoni Mxoli, 18 Jaques Venter, 19 Oswin Mentoor, 20 Nico van Zyl, 21 Branco du Preez, 22 Tjaart Kleu.
Tuks: 15 Johan Jackson, 14 Luvuyo Mhlobiso, 13 Gerhard van der Merwe, 12 Franco Booysen, 11 Aaron Denenga, 10 Piet-Piet Swart, 9 Ignick Windvogel, 8 Willie Nel, 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Danie Crous, 5 Henjo van Niekerk, 4 Johan de Bruin (captain), 3 Peet Vorster, 2 Kurt Haupt, 1 Ettienne Breytenbach.
Replacements: 16 Alfred Khoza, 17 Peet Botma, 18 Emile Verster, 19 Gert Lubbe, 20 Christian van den Berg, 21 Chandre Boshoff, 22 Elwyn Fransman.