Potchefstroom - NWU-Pukke thrashed CUT 70-7 in their Varsity Cup opener at the Fanie du Toit Sportsgrounds on Monday night.
Pukke hit the ground running, with Walt Steenkamp opening the scoring within the first two minutes of the game. Schalk Hugo converted successfully, putting the hosts 7-0 ahead.
After spending the first ten minutes in CUT’s half, Dean Gordon took advantage of an overlap and managed to score in the corner for Pukke. Hugo once again converted successfully, with Pukke now 14-0 ahead.
Estehan Visagie and Hugo converted as the home side led 21-0 after 25 minutes.
The students from Bloemfontein had an opportunity to get some points on the board after being awarded a penalty, but Heinrich Bitzi was unable to convert, leaving the score at 21-0.
Pukke stretched their lead via a Hugo penalty before, on the cusp of half time, Tiaan Erasmus managed to drive over the line and score for the visitors.
Bitzi converted to reduce the half-time deficit to 24-7.
Early in the second period, Gordon scored the first seven-point try of the match after a brilliant cross-kick from Hugo, who also managed to convert the try.
Tapiwa Mafura’s great show of pace put the home side even further ahead after he scored in the corner. Hugo missed his first conversion of the game, but Pukke were leading 40-7.
Gideon van der Merwe put Pukke further ahead after 51 minutes when he went over in the corner.
After 54 minutes, Pukke opted to use their powerplay, choosing to send off Duncan van Vuuren and Ruben Heymans from CUT. Unfortunately, they were unable to capitalise from the three minutes of only 13 men on the field for CUT, with the score remaining 45-7 after 57 minutes of play.
After 61 minutes, CUT used their powerplay, sending Pukke's Evardi Boshoff and Akhona Nela off for three minutes.
This proved to be futile as Visagie scored his second try of the match for the hosts. Hugo slotted the conversion, putting Pukke ahead 54-7.
Hendrik Marais scored a runaway try from inside his own half, giving Pukke their third seven-point try of the game. Hugo converted successfully with the score at 63-7 with 10 minutes remaining.
Just before the final whistle Evardi Boshoff got his first try and Pukke’s ninth, with Hugo nailing his last conversion to make the final scoreline 70-7.
For all his efforts and his two tries scored, Estehan Visagie was named the Player That Rocks.
Tries: Walt Steenkamp, Dean Gordon (2), Estehan Visagie (2), Tapiwa Mafura, Gideon van der Merwe, Hendrik Marais, Evardi Boshoff
Conversions: Schalk Hugo
Try: Tiaan Erasmus
Conversion: Heinrich Bitzi
15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Dean Gordon, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Akhona Nela, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswell September, 8 Pieter Bezuidenhout, 7 Estehan Visagie, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Johannes Retief, 3 Johannes Ferreira, 2 Siphesihle Mngadi, 1 Morné Strydom
Substitutes: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Nelius Theron, 18 Robert Hunt, 19 Duren Fillies, 20 Edward Haas, 21 Nkosana Mathaba, 22 Hendrik Marais, 23 Jimmy Mpailane.
15 Rasmus Breedt, 14 Dimitrio Tieties, 13 Duncan van Vuuren, 12 Mazithulele Nkosi, 11 Dian Dry, 10 Heinrich Bitzi, 9 Ruben De Haas, 8 Stefan Kruger, 7 Rayno Nel, 6 Dean Rossouw, 5 Brendon Fortuin, 4 Sylvester Makakole, 3 Hendrik Smit, 2 Tiaan Erasmus, 1 Quintin Vorster.