NWU-Pukke beat Maties 7-6 in the 2016 Varsity Cup final presented by Steinhoff International, after an 89th minute try by flanker, Marno Redelinghuys. In arguably one of the tightest rugby finals ever witnessed in South African rugby, Pukke spent 12 minutes on the Maties line, with time running far over the 80-minute mark. Pukke were rewarded nine penalties in that period, with Chris Smith and Remu Malan both being yellow-carded in that time as well.
Severe pressure eventually led to the Maties’ wall breaking and they will be blaming themselves after they failed to use numerous chances in Pukke’s half to score tries of their own. In the end Pukke’s relentless pressure told, as they crossed the line to secure their first Varsity Cup title in the competition’s nine-year history, winning 7-6.
Earlier, UCT, having gone winless in seven rounds of the Varsity Cup, found themselves in a do-or-die clash against UWC – who ended second in the Varsity Shield. The winner would have gained entrance into next year’s expanded Varsity Cup, while the loser would have to fight it out in the Varsity Shield. The Ikey Tigers emerged victorious 40-5 to preserve their top flight status for another season.
Photo credit: Liam Hamer-Nel/alliancephoto.com