Bloemfontein - The Central University of Technology (CUT) began their Varsity Shield campaign with a 31-12 win over FNB Fort Hare in Bloemfontein on Thursday evening.
The home side scored the only tries of the match - through nippy scrumhalf Inus Kritzinger (two) and centre Leon Pretorius - and the University of Fort Hare found the going a bit too tough in the second half after trailing by just 6-10 at half-time.
Captain Kritzinger's first-half try, coupled with a Jannie Myburgh conversion and penalty, gave the home side their four-point lead, despite the efforts of Fort Hare No 10 Qondani Katywa, who kicked two penalties in the first 40 minutes.
The second half began with another try by man of the match Kritzinger (from another successful CUT set-piece), and a Myburgh penalty, but the visitors kept in touch with two more Katywa penalty goals to leave them just 12-18 down.
However, the final quarter was just a bridge too far for the visitors, who conceded their third try when Pretorius profited from some good hands by his team-mates.
Myburgh converted his team's third try, before adding a fourth penalty goal in the final five minutes to end up with a more than useful haul of 16 points.
With time running out, Ixias flanker Grant Shai intercepted a pass from scrumhalf Ntando Kebe in the visitors' 22, and surely would have scored only for referee Gerrie de Bruin to call the teams back for a knock-on in the line-out leading up to Kebe's pass.
It would have been the home side's fourth - and bonus-point clinching - try.Scorers:
Tries: I Kritzinger (2), Pretorius
Conversions: Myburgh (2)
Penalties: Myburgh (4)
Penalties: Katywa (4)