Pukke end on a high
Pretoria - Five first-half tries set the FNB NWU-Pukke rugby team up for a 48-0 victory over the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in their final Varsity Cup outing of the season on Monday night.
Despite the win, it was still the most disappointing season the Potchefstroom students experienced in the competition since their first trophy hunt in 2008.
The result ensured that Pukke steered well clear of the promotion/relegation zone, while at the same time restoring some pride in a team that had been one of the favourites to reach the play-offs at the start of the year.
For the TUT Vikings, the loss was the worst they suffered in a season where they started with great promise by beating archrivals Tuks back in Round Two.
As far as their last match is concerned, the Pretoria side were outclassed in all departments and experienced only ten minutes worth of enjoyable rugby.
Pukke ran in eight tries, while their hosts failed to trouble the scorers.
The visitors had two tries to show for their efforts in the first 20 minutes where they took far greater care of possession than their hosts.
Both five-pointers were scored by wing Andrew van Wyk as the Men from Potchefstroom showed their intent to finish the competition on a high note.
The third try of the match came within minutes of the first strategic break when scrumhalf Tiaan Dorfling extended his team's lead with another clinical finish.
The highlight of the first match was undoubtedly the try centre Hennie Skorbinski scored from an attacking set-piece.
Pukke flyhalf Cecil Dumond ran a hard line which put most of the TUT backline on the wrong foot before off-loading to Skorbinski who cut his way through the defence to secure the bonus point for four tries.
Pukke continued to up the pace and this resulted in Dorfling's second try of the night.
Despite a 31-0 half-time deficit, the TUT Vikings started the second half on a positive note and would have considered themselves unfortunate not to have opened their account.
However, that was the only time in the match that TUT threatened the Pukke tryline...
The visiting side outlasted the initial onslaught and were quick to respond with a try by hooker JC Oberholzer who was pushed over the line by his pack from an attacking line-out.
And if the floodgates weren't open wide enough already, Pukke ran in three more tries to seal the deal.
Skipper Ligtoring Landman said afterwards that his team was very disappointed not to have made the play-offs. "Playing rugby at the Puk means making the semifinal and this is the first time since this competition started that we failed to do so," he said.
Tries: Van Wyk 2, Dorfling 2, Skorbinski, Oberholzer, Schoonraad, Seerane
Cons: C Dumond 3, Oosthuizen
15 Hansie Graaff, 14 Theuns Kruger, 13 Simphiwe Mtimkulu, 12 Lutho Nyeka, 11 Ruan van Loo, 10 Ruan Boshoff (captain), 9 Ettienne Greeff, 8 Wessel Cronjé, 7 Ryno Lopes, 6 Vince Gwavu, 5 Marcel Esterhuyse, 4 Tinus van Wyk, 3 Dandre van der Westhuyzen, 2 Johan Pieterse, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Replacements: 16 Eugene Cunha, 17Anton Krynauw, 18 Ryno Coetzee, 19 Mare Ewald, 20 Mcgaffin Zylon, 21 Abednego Mamushi, 22 Oswald Gibson, 23 Braam van der Merwe
15 Schalk Oosthuizen, 14 Andrew van Wyk, 13 Kempie Rautenbach, 12 Alfred Skorbinski, 11 Joe Seerane, 10 Cecil Dumond, 9 Tiaan Dorfling, 8 Spanner Pretorius, 7 Philip de Wet, 6 Siya Mdaka, 5 Victor Kruger, 4 Ligtoring Landman (captain), 3 Marthinus Dreyer, 2 JC Oberholzer, 1 Pens Sharneck
Replacements: 16 Chris Schoonraad, 17 Snoepie Coetzee, 18 Thabo Mamojele, 19 Gabriel Strydom, 20 Johann Laker, 21 George Tossel, 22 Tershwin Raubenheimer, 23 Mashudu Mafela
Referee: Tiaan Jonker