Five of the best for Tuks
FNB UP-Tuks recovered from a slow opening fifty minutes to record a 40-0 Varsity Cup Round Two win over their fellow provincial rivals, the FNB TUT Vikings, on Monday afternoon.
TUT, as they did against the FNB Maties last week, started strongly and won the first penalty of the day - only this time Ruan van Loo could not add the two points.
The visitors, however, wasted no time in springing into action and a lovely Wesley Dunlop break found Jerome Pretorius who, in turn, found the fleet-footed Clayton Blommetjies for the game's first try.
Dunlop converted from virtually under the uprights and Tuks led by 8-0 after just seven minutes.
At that stage, TUT were by no means out of the match and the score remained at 8-0 going into the afternoon's first strategy break and, thereafter, the home team were the ones making all the play - flyhalf Hansie Graaff having made two lovely breaks, both of which led to nothing in the end.
After 30 minutes the score was still 8-0 in Tuks' favour, but TUT found themselves ahead in the possession stakes - at 51% to 49%. Van Loo then had another shot at goal, just before the halftime whistle sounded, but he missed and the visitors went into the break eight points up.
It was all TUT after the break, the home side having no doubt taken some confidence from their first-half display, but, again, they struggled to convert that pressure into points. They did, however, come very close in the 47th minute, only to lose to the ball over the line before making a unforced handling error when they opted to run the resultant penalty.
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Tuks cleared their line but then saw their main man Dunlop replaced by Willie du Plessis - it is not clear if it was because of an injury or not.
Willie du Plessis came on to replace Dunlop and within four minutes he was lining up a conversion kick after hooker Jacques Momberg smashed his way over the TUT goalline - carrying two defenders with him - from a close-range tap penalty.
That converted try doubled TUT's score to 16-0, but it soon became 24-0 when burly centre Dabeon Draghoender crashed over for a try in the right-hand corner - having snapped up a loose pass from the Vikings' impressive winger Craig Pheiffer.
Du Plessis stepped up again and coolly nailed the touchline conversion, before getting over for a try of his own; his first in the Varsity Cup, after a neat one-two with SA Sevens winger Deon Helberg.
Du Plessis fed Helberg, who had come off his wing, before collecting an inside pass from the speedster to run over virtually unopposed and, again, adding the three points on offer to put Tuks ahead by 32-0 after 66 minutes of play.
Both sides had their moments in the final exchanges, with TUT no doubt deserving more than zero on the scoreboard, but the Men from Tuks would have been very happy with their second victory of the 2012 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International - especially after last year's shock 34-46 home loss to the Men from Tshwane.
Draghoender came very close to a second try three minutes from fulltime and flanker Okkie Kruger was then stopped on the line just seconds later as Tuks looked to put the icing on the cake.
The visitors, however, were not done yet and they were awarded a scrum basically on the fulltime whistle.
Eventually their power told - as the siren sounded - and they were deservedly awarded a penalty try by referee Quinton Immelman to inflate the scoreline to 40-0 after Du Plessis' fourth conversion of the day.
For the FNB TUT Vikings:
For the FNB UP-Tuks:
Tries: Blommetjies, Momberg, Draghoender, Du Plessis, Penalty try
Cons: Dunlop, Du Plessis 4
TUT: 15 Hagen Mumba, 14 Craig Pheiffer, 13 Rikus de Beer, 12 Brahm du Preez, 11 Ruan van Loo, 10 Hansie Graaff, 9 Nico Smuts, 8 Wikus Botes, 7 Yves Basiya, 6 Ryno Coetzee, 5 JJ Breett, 4 Gavin Engelbrecht, 3 Dandre van der Westhuyzen, 2 Johan Pieterse (captain) , 1 Coert van Gerve.
Replacements: 16 Zandre Grobler, 17 Nico van den Heever, 18 Peter Matthews, 19 Ryno Lopes, 20 Melcolm Griffiths, 21 Craig van Rooi, 22 Thabo Mangena, 23 Nathi Sethusse.
Tuks: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Dabeon Draghoender, 11 Hayden Groepes, 10 Wesley Dunlop, 9 Lohan Jacobs, 8 Jono Ross (captain) , 7 Jacques Verwey, 6 Okkie Kruger, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Mike Williams, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Jacques Momberg, 1 Sabelo Nhlapo.
Replacements: 16 Chris Crous, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lean Schwartz, 19 Jono Janse van Rensburg, 20 Clayton Stewart, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Riaan Britz, 23 Basil Short.
Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Gerrie de Bruin, Dilbert November
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee, Johan Greeff