Shimlas hold off brave TUT
Nico Scheepers (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The TUT Vikings finally woke up in the 2012 Varsity Cup, but it was a case of too little for them as they went down 36-56 to Shimlas in a Round Six try-fest at Bloemfontein's Shimla Park on Monday.
In all, eleven tries were scored between two sides desperate to get off the bottom of the Varsity Cup standings - ultimately, the Shimlas' first-half effort being rewarded in the end, as the home side led by a fairly comfortable 32-18 at half-time.
But TUT launched a stunning second-half comeback and at one stage threatened to come away with the spoils at just 36-40 down with just over twenty minutes to play. To their credit, however, the home side's defence held out in the final quarter and they profited from two late Vikings errors to put further daylight between the two sides.
In the end it was a bridge too far for the Vikings as tries by replacement winger Divandré Strydom and starting left-wing Jamba Ulengo hammered the final nails into TUT's relegation-bound coffin in the final ten minutes of regulation time.
Even with one round of fixtures remaining in 2012, this loss means that TUT will be relegated to the Varsity Shield in 2013 (with the 2012 Shield winners moving up into the Varsity Cup), whilst Shimlas moved into double figures in terms of log points and away from that dreaded promotion/relegation game (for the seventh-placed Cup team) against the Shield runners-up.
A bright start from Shimlas saw them run into a 16-0 lead after just seven minutes - a try after 48 seconds from right-wing Raymond Rhule and another five minutes later by flanker Armandt Koster suggesting another romp over the hapless Men from Tshwane, who, just seven days ago, lost 93-0 to UJ.
Suggestions of a heavy win for the home side were reinforced when the Men from Bloemfontein promptly secured their four-try bonus point on the stroke of half-time when captain Willie Britz touched down, just reward for the hard-working loose forward, who was a late - and very welcome - addition to the Shimlas starting XV.
The Kovsies soon made it five tries soon after the break (in the 47th minute), when inside centre - and the Player that Rocks - Stephan van der Merwe collected his brace, and at 40-18 up it seemed all over for the Vikings.
But the visitors quickly hit back through a converted Rikus de Beer try - thanks to a nice run from flanker Ryno Coetzee - before the long-striding Graaff made a break from his own half, splitting the Shimlas defence, and eventually finding the necessary support in the shape of captain Wikus Botes. (That was TUT's fourth try, which meant a first log point of the season too!)
More drama was to follow after Botes' try when opposition captain Britz was penalised for a high tackle in the act of trying to stop the TUT try-scorer. Referee Quinton Immelman awarded a penalty to the visitors, but they kicked the ball dead from the spot and, instead, had to receive the 22 drop-out.
Still the Vikings kept the pressure on and soon forced a very kickable penalty which Van Loo wisely opted to convert into points and at 36-40 it was well and truly game on.
The Shimlas defence held out strongly throughout, despite the pressure being put on them by the energetic visitors, but they were punished when they tried to run the ball from their own 22 in the final ten minutes - finishing the game as they started it by conceding 16 points.Scorers:Shimlas:
Tries: Rhule, A Koster, Van der Merwe 2, Britz, Strydom, Ulengo
Cons: Scheepers 7TUT Vikings:
Tries: Engelbrecht, Mumba, De Beer, Botes
Cons: Van Loo 4
Pens: Van Loo 2Teams:Shimlas:
15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Stephan van der Merwe, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Franna du Toit, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Erik le Roux, 7 Willie Britz (captain), 6 Armandt Kotze, 5 JC Astle, 4 Joubert Horn, 3 Ian Potgieter, 2 PW van Vuuren, 1 Charles Marais.
Substitutes: 16 JC van Wyk, 17 John-Henry Harris, 18 Lebo Zietsman, 19 Oupa Mohoje, 20 Pieter Rademan, 21 Reinhardt Erwee, 22 Divandré Strydom, 23 Carl van Heerden.TUT:
15 Quinton van Greunen, 14 Hagen Mumba, 13 Rikus de Beer, 12 Koos Kotze, 11 Ruan van Loo, 10 Melcolm Griffiths, 9 Manny Raposo, 8 Wikus Botes (captain), 7 Yves Basiya, 6 Ryno Coetzee, 5 Ewald Maree, 4 Gavin Engelbrecht, 3 Zandre Grobler, 2 Nathi Sethusi, 1 Dandre van der Westhuizen.
Substitutes: 16 Coert van Gerve, 17 Nico van den Heever, 18 Tinus van Wyk, 19 Peter Matthews, 20 Nico Smuts, 21 Thabo Mangena, 22 Craig van Rooi, 23 Ryno van Rooyen.
Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Jaco Kotze, Marlize Jordaan
TMO: JC FortuinAll results on Monday night:Varsity Cup:
Shimlas 56 (32) TUT 36 (18)
Maties 45 (29) UCT 5 (5)
UP-Tuks 42 (24) NMMU 31 (10)
NWU-Pukke 34 (24) UJ 32 (8)Varsity Shield:
CUT 73 (28) UWC 8 (0)
Wits 21 (8) UKZN 12 (2)Varsity Young Guns:
Maties Under-20 74 (50) NMMU Under-20 (0) 0
UFS Under-20 87 (50) TUT Under-20 20 (7)