A brace of tries by winger Andrew van Wyk helped NWU-Pukke to a 26-16 victory over FNB NMMU in their Varsity Cup Round One clash in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
The flying right wing scored twice in the first half to set up the victory for NWU-Pukke, who were in complete control for most of the first half to lead 26-8 at the break.
Slick handling from the backs created opportunities for the Pukke backs, who made the most of their chances to clinch the four-try bonus point on the stoke of halftime.
While it looked as though the floodgates might have opened after prolonged dominance up front from NWU-Pukke in the first 40 minutes, the loud home crowd got behind their team and the Madibaz were able to stem the tide in the second half.
NMMU’s resilience was helped by a number of needless errors from both sides as the quality of the game deteriorated after an exciting first half full of tries.
While the game became riddled with errors, yellow cards for NWU-Pukke’s Joe Steerane and Philip de Wet brought the match back to life as NMMU attacked.
With ten minutes left on the clock, NMMU centre Quinton Crocker scored in the right-hand corner to set the game alight.
NMMU showed real urgency in a valiant attempt to claim a late victory, but NWU-Pukke were resolute in defence and despite going scoreless in the second half, were able to hold on for the win.
For FNB NMMU:
Tries: Otto, Crocker
Cons: Smith 2
For FNB NWU-Pukke:
Tries: Dorfling, Oosthuizen, Van Wyk 2
Cons: Nortier 2
NMMU: 15 Gerrit Smith, 14 Eckard Jacobs, 13 Quinton Crocker, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Mayibuye Ndwandwa, 10 Martin du Toit, 9 Anton Verster, 8 Jaco Swanepoel (captain) , 7 Ulrich Pretorius, 6 Jaco Otto, 5 Mathew Lutge, 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Ross David-Anderson, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey.
Replacements: 16 Kobus Greeff, 17 Phillip Nel, 18 Louis Fourie, 19 Thomasau Forbes, 20 Marlin Ruiters, 21 Bradley Kretzman, 22 Devon Lailvaux, 23 Gareth Hartley.
NWU-Pukke: 15 SW Oosthuizen, 14 Andrew van Wyk, 13 Hennie Scorbinski, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht (captain) , 11 Joe Seerane, 10 Gerhard Nortier, 9 Tiaan Dorfling, 8 Spanner Pretorius, 7 Ernie Strydom, 6 Philip de Wet, 5 Victor Kruger, 4 Siyanda Ndlovu, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 JC Oberholzer, 1 Henry Scharneck.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Zander de Kock, 18 Lodewyk Uys, 19 Siya Mdaka, 20 Andries Botha, 21 Ruan Jacobs, 22 Terswin Raubenheimer, 23 Mashudu Mafela.
Referee: Lesego Legoete
Assistant referees: Rodney Bonaparte, Local (TBC)