Cape Town - UP-Tuks scored a late try to snatch a 13-9 (half-time 5-6) victory over Maties in Round One of the tenth edition of the Varsity Cup at Loftus Versfeld on Monday night.
The wet conditions proved to be a huge obstacle for both teams as they tried to keep their hands on the ball in front of a good turnout of supporters.
Maties were first to register points as flyhalf Ernst Stapelberg kicked a penalty in the 17th minute.
This galvanised Tuks into putting together a few good phases that culminated in No 8 Chris Massyn scoring off the back of a strong driving maul. Flyhalf Tinus de Beer could not add the extras.
The rain continued to bucket down but that did not stop the teams from playing expansive rugby while defending like men possessed as they tried to assert dominance over each other.
Maties had the final say before half-time as Stapelberg landed another penalty to give the visitors a slender 6-5 lead at the break.
The second half proved to be much of the same as the rain settled into a light drizzle with much of the proceedings happening between the two 22m areas.
De Beer put Tuks in the lead for the first time with a 58th minute penalty but Stapelberg replied almost immediately with a penalty of his own. Maties tried hard to break Tuks' defensive line but the home side held strong leaving the students from Stellenbosch frustrated.
De Beer pulled the curtain down on the match as he burrowed his way over to cross the tryline with minutes left on the clock.
Player that Rocks: Chris Massyn (Tuks)
Tries: Chris Massyn, Tinus de Beer
Penalty: Tinus de Beer
Penalties: Ernst Stapelberg (3)
15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Dewald Naude, 13 Toko Maebane, 12 Impi Visser, 11 Keanan van Wyk, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Theo Maree, 8 Chris Massyn, 7 Marco van Staden, 6 Ruan Steenkamp (captain), 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Aston Fortuin, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Substitutes: 16 Theuns Reynolds, 17 Jaco Holtzhausen, 18 Brian Leitch, 19 Eduan Lubbe, 20 Raegen Oranje, 21 Christo Hamman, 22 Mervano da Silva, 23 Franco van den Berg
15 Craig Barry, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Kyle Steyn, 12 Braam Venter, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Ernst Stapelberg, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Devon Nash, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Beyers de Villiers (captain), 5 Johan Momsen, Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Jacobus van der Merwe, 2 Freddie Kirsten 1 Wesley Adonis.
Substitutes: 16 Craig Corbett, 17 Niel Oelofse, 18 Janco Venter, 19 Mitchell Carstens, 20 Logan Boonzaaier, 21 Chris Smith, 22 Ryan Muller, 23 Wikus Groenewald