Tuks in dire straits now
By Morris Gilbert
Posted on 09 March 2009
Tuks are in dire straits after their third consecutive Varsity Cup defeat Monday (9 March) in Johannesburg.
Tuks were beaten 9-3 by UJ and now face the real danger of not qualifying for the play-offs.
Tuks are still in the hunting with their fourth place on the log (16), but they have to beat Maties to keep UJ (fifth with 13) out of the semi-finals. UJ is the overwhelming favourite for their last game against NMMU in Port Elizabeth.
The rain that poured down from start to finish made traditional student rugby almost impossible on Monday, putting so much more emphasis on the importance of place kicking. And it is here where Tuks were outdone, missing too many attempts at goal.
The wisdom of sacking points machine Juan-Claude Roos after Tuks’ disastrous performance against Shimlas would make for renewed interesting debate since he could have made the difference with his reliable boot.
Tuks had a late charge and nearly scored the only try of the match in last two minutes, but in the end UJ’s defense held firm. Tuks were over the UJ try-line more than once, but just could not dot down the ball.
Tuks captain Johan de Bruin agreed that his team paid dearly for their under par goal kicking, but is all not doom and gloom.
“We played better and came very close to winning. That, at least, is something to build on for our last group game against Maties. It will be very tough beating them in Stellenbosch, but no game is won or lost before the final whistle goes,” said De Bruin.
TUKS 3 (3): Penalty goal: Marnitz Boshoff.
UJ 9 (6): Penalty goals: Arno Coetzee (2), Earl Lewis.
Other results: Pukke bt TUT 56-14; UCT bt Shimlas 23-20; Maties bt NMMU 58-3.