One of our constant criticisms of FNB Varsity Cup rugby over the years has been the noise in the stadia that made it very difficult to stay focused on the brilliant rugby being played. It got so bad last year that we watched with the sound muted.
Thankfully, we don’t have to do that any longer and we watched the televised match on Monday without having to mute it once during the game. [The qualification is because we did mute it for the beauty queen interviews - Ed]
It was the Bloemfontein derby as University of Free State hosted neighbours Central University of Technology and it was a fantastic game with a tight first half that ended 14-19 in favour of the visitors.
But the territory-based game plan chosen by CUT paid off big time in the second half, beginning with a point of origin try that stretched the lead out by a further nine points. There was no way back for Shimlas and everything they tried in the half just went pear-shaped. Final score: 14-35.
Elsewhere, it was a top-of-the-table clash between Maties and Tuks down in Stellenbosch and although Maties came out on top of a close-fought battle (13-7) Tuks retained their position on top of the log due to Maties having had their bye early in the season.
Meanwhile, in Potchefstroom, NWU was facing UJ and they extended the Johannesburg teams winless streak by triumphing 19-6. And in Cape Town, UCT and Wits played to a 10-all draw, allowing both teams to retain their unbeaten status – for now at least.