The University of Pretoria (Tuks) put their shock defeat of last week behind them when they scored a well-deserved 35-10 Varsity Cup victory over the NWU-Pukke in Potchefstroom on Monday night.
When the final whistle blew it was high-fives all round in the FNB Tuks coaching box and they seemed to be celebrating the fact that their players stuck to plan for most of the match. That, despite a frantic start to the match both sides were guilty of committing far too many unforced errors early on.
In the first quarter the charged-up Potch crowd had to settle for two easy penalty conversions one to each of the goal kickers.
Tuks soon took back their three-point lead after skipper Wesley Dunlop nailed another penalty in front of the posts.
The first try of the night was scored by scrumhalf Danie Faasen, but the credit must go to Tuks fullback Jurgen Visser for his brilliant take of an up-and-under just outside his 22 which started the move.
Former Matie Visser set up the first phase before the ball was sent wide to centre Arno van Zyl who ran an elusive line to bring his side well inside opposition territory. Quick recycling followed and Tuks took the right option to stretch their lead to 13-3.
The second try was inevitable as the Pukke backline struggled to control the ball for most of the night.
Coetzee was again involved in the action when he snapped-up a stray pass with the support from his forwards arriving within seconds.
Pukke did well to survive the initial onslaught but were penalised for being off-sides and that allowed the visitors to kick for the line from where they set up hooker Robbie Coetzee's try from a rolling maul. Dunlop made no mistake with the conversion to give Tuks a 20-3 lead with 20 minutes left to play in the first half.
To add insult to injury, the Pretoria students scored another try just before the break. This time wing Hayden Groepes found some space out wide, but it was again a case of Pukke not being able to control it when they had it.
Trailing 3-25 at half-time the only thing that the home side could have been proud of was their work at scrum-time.
The visitors were more accurate in their execution and their appetite for contact situations never seemed to fade.
But still it was no spectacle for the neutral spectator.
As was the case in the first, Faasen scored the first points of the second half which, like most of his teams attacking opportunities, resulted from poor handling by the Pukke backs.
Eventually, the home side managed to score a try of their own when replacement flyhalf Cecil Dumond showed his Currie Cup pedigree as he darted through the Tuks backline.
Tuks would, however, have the final say when Visser was rewarded for his hard work in the match with a try in the corner.
Visser was one of the star players in the Tuks squad, while the tested halfback combination of Faasen and Marnitz Boshoff also yielded positive results.
For FNB Pukke:
Try: C Dumond
For FNB Tuks:
Tries: Faasen 2, Coetzee, Groepes, Visser
Cons: Dunlop 2
Pens: Dunlop 2
Pukke: 15 Willem Barnard, 14 Andrew van Wyk, 13 Kempie Rautenbach, 12 George Tossel, 11 Johannes Seerane, 10 John Welthagen, 9 Johann Laker, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Thabo Mamojele, 6 Jan Rose, 5 Victor Kruger, 4 Ligtoring Landman (captain), 3 Marthinus Dreyer, 2 Johan Oberholzer, 1 Henri Scharneck.
Replacements: 16 Christiaan Schoonraad, 17 Dewald Coetzee, 18 Jacobus van Zyl, 19 Johannes Pretorius, 20 Tiaan Dorfling, 21 Cecil Dumond, 22 Tershwin Raubenheimer, 23 Mashudu Mafela.
Tuks: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Andries Coetzee, 13 Arno van Zyl, 12 Wesley Dunlop (captain), 11 Hayden Groepes, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Danie Faasen, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Wesley Kotze, 6 Warwick Tecklenberg, 5 Nqubeko Zulu, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Jean Rossouw, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Vincent Koch.
Replacements: 16 Chris Crous, 17 Stephanus Pretorius, 18 Franco Mostert, 19 Jacques Verwey, 20 Clayton Stewart, 21 Dabeon Draghoender, 22 Dirk Dippenaar, 23 Juan Schoeman.
Referee: Tiaan Jonker