Pukke open their account
Potchefstroom - FNB Pukke recorded an emphatic 57-6 win over FNB NMMU in Monday's round six action in Potchefstroom - the home side's first Varsity Cup win of the season.
Despite being the only team in the competition yet to record a win going into this match, Pukke looked anything but a team that should be lagging at the bottom of the 2011 Varsity Cup table.
Pukke ran riot against a stunned looking NMMU, who disappointingly just never seemed to turn up for the match after they had done so well to beat the TUT Vikings last week.
Both sides were eager to run the ball at every opportunity - although NMMU made far too many handling errors that Pukke were able to capitalise on and, in the process, execute some clinical finishing to score nine tries.
The Pukke attacked in the opening minutes and after a well-executed turnover, centre Wouter Watermeyer surged into space and threw a long pass out to flyhalf Cecil Dumond, who dummied, stepped inside and wrong-footed three NMMU defenders as he strolled over for the opening try.
The visitors were quickly back in the game through the boot of flyhalf Marius Muller, who was happy to bang two penalties through the uprights to punish Pukke for infringements at the breakdown.
Pukke continued to dabble in tries and a neat inside pass from Dumond to Philip de Wet saw the flank sliced through the defence untouched to score the second try of the match.
The home side were soon on the attack once again and when Watermeyer chipped a ball through on goal, and was illegally tripped by NMMU skipper Jaco Swanepoel, a penalty try was awarded.
Pukke then drove the ball forward from an attacking line-out and popular Pukke captain Ligtoring Landman peeled off the back, threw a dummie and crashed over for the bonus point try - with half-time still some time away.
NMMU looked like opening their try tally in the final few minutes of the first half, but the final pass was fumbled by left wing Charl van Loggenberg only for Pukke flyer Andrew van Wyk to swoop on the ball and charge down the touchline. Van Wyk did well to release fullback Schalk Oosthuizen, who brushed off the attempted tackle of Vuyolwethu Mazaka to score the try and take the score to 31-6 - in Pukke's favour - at half-time.
Early in the second half Dumond went clean through a gap and off-loaded to Alfred Skorbinski and he, in turn, passed out to scrumhalf Tiaan Dorfling who went over for the try that started back inside the Pukke 22 - that made it 38-6 and snuffed out any chance of a remote Madibaz comeback.
NMMU mounted a promising attack with some quick hands until one loose pass was pounced on by Dorfling. The scrumhalf hacked the ball through and when Muller was unable to clean up at the back from NMMU, Oosthuizen was on hand to pick up and score his second try.
The floodgates had now completely opened up and Pukke spread the ball wide to Landman, who was lurking in the backline and charged through a hole to score a dream try for a lock and his second of the match - all of which no doubt added to his Man of the Match Award.
Pukke added yet another try when they were able to set up a rolling maul close to the NMMU line that the visitors were unable to stop as it rumbled over the whitewash and replacement prop Snoepie Coetzee emerged from the pile of bodies to claim the try.
With the result of the match already beyond question the game became increasingly scrappy in the last 20 minutes with some unnecessary mistakes creeping in, however, it was a first-class performance from Pukke who shot up past NMMU and TUT on the log.
TUT, however, are yet to play, but it keeps the Wooden Spoon battle very open ahead of next week's final round of league fixtures.
Tries: Dumond, De Wet, Penalty try, Landman 2, Oosthuizen 2, Dorfling, Coetzee
Cons: Dumond 6
Pens: Muller 2
Pukke: 15 Schalk Oosthuizen, 14 Andrew van Wyk, 13 Kempie Rautenbach, 12 Wouter Watermeyer, 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 Alfred Skorbinski,
22 Terswin Raubenheimer, 23 Mashudu Mafela.
NMMU: 15 Vuyolwethu Mazaka, 14 Juan du Preez, 13 Wade Roos, 12 Jeffrey Taljard, 11 Charl van Loggenberg, 10 Marius Muller, 9 Shannon Rick, 8 Jaco Swanepoel (captain), 7 André Goosen, 6 Ferdinand Gerber, 5 Mzwande Zito, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Ross Dawid-Anderson, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Musa Tukela.
Replacements: 16 Lumka Mbane, 17 Dexter Seanancy, 18 Louis Fourie, 19 Ulrich Pretorius, 20 Marlin Ruiters, 21 Bradley Kretzmann, 22 Hlangoluhle Nodongwe, 23 Andile Mrwebi.