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Tukkies suffer first defeat

By Morris Gilbert

Posted on 24 February 2009

The biggest irony of Tuks’ first defeat in the 2009 Varsity Cup competition is that they were not so much beaten by a better team, but rather dug their own grave against Ikeys on Monday (23 February).

Ikeys clinched their 24-22 victory in the dying seconds after flyhalf Matthew Rosslee converted his fourth penalty of the match. UCT’s first ever appearance at the LC de Villiers Stadium will remembered for all the right reasons.

Tuks may not be the log leaders any longer, but they are still ahead of UCT. Maties, now the only unbeaten side in the competition, took over from Tuks as log leaders. Tuks and Ikeys both have 15 points, but UP’s better points difference (59 to 55) is good enough for second place.

Tuks came very close to winning, but in the end it was a fair result since the visitors scored two tries to one and made less critical errors that Tuks. It is in fact a case of back to the drawing board for the home side as they were their own worst enemy with poor handling, judgment, tactical kicking and especially bad line out play.

There were mitigating circumstances however, like the wet, slippery conditions and some bad refereeing. The last penalty of the match was, for instance, was awarded to UCT despite a huge knock by an Ikey player in the preceding line out.

Tuks started in the best way possible manner by scoring their only try in the second minute. Early in the first half they were actually leading 13-0, but as the game progressed it became evident that Ikeys were adapting better to the difficult playing conditions and also making full use of Tuks’ too many basic errors.

TUKS: Try: Gerhard van der Merwe. Conversion: Juan-Claude Roos. Penalty goals: Roos (5).
UCT: Tries: Therlow Pietersen, Marcello Sampson. Conversion: Matthew Rosslee. Penalty goals: Rosslee (4).

Other results: Maties bt Pukke 31-10; Shimlas bt UJ 44-8; NMMU bt TUT 28-18.

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