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Tough assignment awaits Lucas Strachan Shield holders

By Morris Gilbert

Posted on 14 June 2010

Tuks 1, winner of the Lucas Strachan Shield, will have its work cut out on Saturday (19 June) when they play Silver Valke away in the Carlton Cup second round.

Tuks, that finished top of the log in the knock-out round with 35 points after winning seven of their matches and drawing one, had a bye on Saturday (12 June) as the Blue Bulls Rugby Union still has to rule on a recommendation by the competition committee that Pretoria has to join Brits as the second Carlton club being relegated to the reserve league.

Tuks was scheduled to play Pretoria on 12 June, but the match was put on hold until the BBRU make its ruling.

Silver Valke played Centurion in their second round opener, scoring four tries to three but still felt short by three points. Centurion, who came second in the knock-out round after losing only to Tuks, won 33-30.

The Valke’s gutsy performance puts the prediction of Tuks 1 head coach, Blikkies Groenewald into perspective as he warned his players that the second round will be much tougher.

“The fact that we have retained the Lucas Strachan Shield and were the only team to finish the knock-out round unbeaten will make us the obvious enemy number one in the second round. Every opponent will be out to be the first this season to beat Tuks. We can not expect any favours and will have to be and stay alert at all times,” said Blikkies.

In the knock-out round, Tuks had their hands full with Silver Valke, winning by only 21-13 and failed to score four tries for a bonus point.

“The fact that no points were carried over from the knock-out round, means every team will be starting from scratch. Consistency will therefore be decisive in qualifying for the semi-finals,” added Blikkies.

It makes good sense that Tuks will be targeting its first two second round matches as ‘must wins’ as Silver Valke and Naka Bulle (26 June) finished seventh and sixth respectively in the knock-out round.

Tuks 1 will finalize its 22 on Tuesday.

• 12 June results:

Centurion 33, Silver Valke 30; TUT 25, Naka Bulle 18; Police 42, Harlequins 22.

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