There was plenty of drama in the sixth round of Varsity Cup on Monday as UJ were awarded their first win of the season against Shimlas on a review.
The two teams clashed in Bloemfontein in a game that was vital in terms of the battle against relegation from the Varsity Cup. Both were looking for their first win of the season, with UJ bottom of the table on two points.
Shimlas believed that they had survived a comeback to walk away with a narrow 26-25 victory, thanks to four tries from hooker Hanno Snyman.
However, there was contention after the game as UJ insisted the referees review a 44th-minute try by wing Siphiwe Mazibuko. The try was originally awarded as a point-of-origin, which counts for an extra two points. It was changed to a normal five-point try moments later, before UJ approached the match officials and asked that they look at video footage of the try. The decision was then made to change it back to a seven-point try, which gave UJ the win.
Shimlas have reportedly disputed the process as they claim that a change of score can only be done through the SA Rugby Referees office.
The win moved UJ above Shimlas into seventh place on the log, with UWC dropping to the bottom of the table after being handed a 47-10 defeat by the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein.
Meanwhile, further up the table, Wits gave their hopes of a top-four finish a massive boost by holding out to beat rivals UP-Tuks 16-10 in Johannesburg.
The win placed Wits in third spot and two points from Tuks with a game in hand, while they are three points away from the table-topping Maties, who they will face on 23 March in Johannesburg.
There was also late drama in Maties’ narrow 8-7 win over UCT in Stellenbosch. The visitors fought bravely to come within one point of victory and were on the attack in Maties’ half after the full-time hooter. With a penalty advantage, UCT knocked the ball on, only to find that referee Aimee Barrett-Theron had called advantage over, despite that the Ikey Tigers had not gained any territory.
Photo: Photo: Hannes Naude