Pukke too good for Shimlas
NWU-Pukke scored five second-half tries to romp to an impressive 48-29 bonus-point win over UFS-Shimlas in Potchefstroom on Monday.
The fired up hosts’ intensity was immediately apparent as they made some massive hits in the opening minutes that made their intentions clear.
UFS-Shimlas were on the attack for most of the opening 10 minutes but handling errors deep inside NWU-Pukke’s half and a powerful home scrum, which won two pressure-relieving penalties, kept the visitors at bay.
NWU-Pukke looked the more threatening of the teams with the little early possession they had, attacking with fluency and width. In discipline by UFS-Shimlas scrumhalf Kevin Luiters – who attempted to stomp on lock Peet van der Walt – put the men in blue under pressure.
However, excellent set-piece play, first stealing a five-metre line-out and then managing a tighthead after the ball had been taken back at the previous line-out, saw UFS-Shimlas escape and the game remaining scoreless going into the first strategy break.
UFS-Shimlas got on the board in the 23rd-minute courtesy of a majestic offload out of the back of the hand by wing Maphutha Dolo, who found Oupa Mohoje in support.
The flank was brought down metres short but managed an offload of his own to No.8 Neill Jordaan, who went over for a scintillating try. The conversion was wide but the visitors finally had some reward for their territorial dominance.
NWU-Pukke hit back as captain Tiaan Dorfling exploited the lack of sufficient pillar defence to run in a soft try from 10 metres out, with a successful conversion by centre Adriaan Engelbrecht, who scored 23 points and produced a goal-kicking masterclass, giving the hosts an 8-5 lead.
A quick tap by Luiters and a well-timed pass to Joubert Engelbrecht saw the centre spin out of a tackle and dot down in the corner on the stroke of half-time after a sustained period of pressure. Star flyhalf Gouws Prinsloo kicked the touchline conversion to give UFS-Shimlas a deserved 13-8 lead at the break.
NWU-Pukke changed the complexion of the game moments after the interval as they scored twice within eight minutes, Engelbrecht bashing over following good phase play before fullback Sylvian Mahuza intercepted and ran all of 80 metres to put the hosts up 24-13.
A converted try by lock Neil Claasen, who burrowed over from a metre out, reduced the deficit to three before an explosive run by NWU-Pukke flyhalf Johnny Welthagen saw him score the bonus-point try and restore the 11-point lead.
The lead ballooned to 19 prior to the second strategy break as wing Edmar Marais fielded an aimless kick and broke four tackles to all but seal victory for NWU-Pukke.
Marais, after his spectacular solo try, was yellow carded for tripping opposite number Dolo, who went on to bag a bonus point for the visitors with a try at the death.
Mahuza had the final say for NWU-Pukke, though, as he pounced on a loose ball and scored his second try in the final play of the game.
Tries: Dorfling, Engelbrecht, Mahuza 2, Welthagen, Marais
Cons: Engelbrecht 6
Tries: Jordaan, Engelbrecht, Claasen, Dolo
Cons: Prinsloo 3
Yellow card: Edmar Marais (NWU-Pukke).
NWU-Pukke: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Edmar Marais, 13 Jaap Pienaar, 12 Adriaan Engelbrecht, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Tiaan Dorfling (captain), 8 Juan Language, 7 Henro-Pierre Swart, 6 Rhyk Welgemoed, 5 Francois Robbertse, 4 Peet van der Walt, 3 Elardus Venter, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Mashudu Mafela.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Robey Labuschagne, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Rhyno Smith, 22 Lucian Cupido, 23 Lhlanhla Ngoama.
UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Maphutha Dolo, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Sethu Tom, 10 Gouws Prinsloo, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Neill Jordaan, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Neil Claasen, 4 Fanie van der Walt, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Elandré Huggett (captain), 1 Rudolf Botha.
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Gideon Bruwer, 18 Johan van der Hoogt, 19 Gerhard Oivier, 20 Kay-Kay Hlongwane, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 Divandré Strydom, 23 Justin Pappin.
Referees: Oregopotse Rametsi, Stefan Geldenhuys
TMO: Willie Vos