UP Tuks have beaten the UCT Ikey Tigers 34 - 27 in the 2021 Varsity Cup Final in Pretoria, claiming their fourth title in the tightly contested tournament. The win left the Tuks captain speechless as he was visibly eager to celebrate a hard fought and well earned victory.
It was a game of two halves as the first 40 saw a dominant Tuks side power ahead to lead 24 - 10 at the break with two quick tries right before the break adding a great buffer to the score line, whilst fullback Zander Du Plessis kept the scoreboard ticking over with 3 conversions.
The second half was quite the opposite with UCT surging to the try line early which pretty accurately summed u their second half performance. The Tigers had a solid platform with their dominant scrum giving them front foot ball, and their backline making inroads. Their refusal to kick for posts on three successive occasions came back to bite them however as they left 9 points on the board.
Tuks survived a powerful surge from UCT in the second half as they were left to do most of the defending as they set about protecting their lead. Athi Gazi scored out white to break a 30 minute dry spell and when Tuks 8th man was handed a yellow card, it looked like UCT had a comeback lined up, with the head coach placing his hand over his heart and asking the side to do something special.
The UCT attack in the second half worked hard, but ultimately couldn't break down a hard tackling Tuks defensive line. UCT also struggled in the lineouts, losing numerous balls in the air and in the maul. The Tigers will have to wait another year before the challenge again for the trophy they last held in 2014.
The men from Pretoria will have plenty to celebrate, whilst it was also confirmed that player of the tournament, Curwin Jasper has signed a contract and will link up with the Free State Cheetahs.