Ixias rock Tuks in the Varsity Cup

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Jandré de Beer - Hannes Naudé

The Central University of Technology Ixias recorded a second consecutive upset in the 2023 Varsity Cup on Monday with a hard-fought win over the defending champions, Tuks, in Bloemfontein.

On Monday the Ixias stunned Tuks with a 41-39 win at CUT Park to shoot up to third in the standings after three rounds.

Tuks winger Zander Reynders opened the scoring in Bloemfontein, but the home team responded two minutes later with a try by the Player that Rocked and captain Jandré de Beer. The Ixias briefly led after another try by flank Ulrich Stander, but the champions responded with tries by Ethan Burger and Zenzile Ambesa to lead 23-16 at the break.

The Tuks replacement Daimon O’Connell scored first in the second half, before Ixias’ 8th-man Francois Bester scored the first of his two tries. Following that, Daniel Venter scored for the home team to tie the game.

Tuks briefly regained following a try by Clyde Lewis the lead before Bester completed his brace of point of origin tries. This resulted in the Ixias taking a slim 41-39 lead which they managed to hold on to despite a determined effort by the visitors in the last 10 minutes.

The Ixias coach, Melusi Mthethwa, told OFM Sport that they want to be more than just successful.

“It’s massive!”, said Mthethwa.

“It’s massive for the boys and it’s massive for the university. You are here and you can see what is happening here.

“My big thing when I joined up with the team was one of being significant. Rather than just being successful.

“When you are successful it’s something that you are doing alone. When you are being significant it’s a group effort. The chat I had with the boys before the game was all about that.

“If we are going to be vested in CUT, then we are going to have to leave it in a better place.“

Next week the Ixias will be on the road again when they travel to Johannesburg to face the Orange Army of UJ.

CUT: Tries – Jandré de Beer, Ulrich Stander, Francois Bester 2, Daniel Venter Conv. – Tylor Sefoor 5

Tuks: Tries – Zander Reynders, Ethan Burger, Zenzile Ambesa, Daimon O’Connell Conv. – Walter Visser 4

Morgan Piek