The doctor is in the house. After a hiccup against Stellenbosch University (Maties) a week ago, the NWU Eagles are back in rude health after beating the University of Pretoria (Tuks) 26-22 during round 4 of the Varsity Cup clash in Pretoria.
The victorious visitors scored four tries through Tino Swanepoel (two), Keano Windvogel and Theuns Pretorius. Zinedine Robinson slotted two conversions.
The Eagles had a number of obstacles to overcome. In addition to conceding a red card, they also had to ward off wave after wave of Tuks’ attack, buoyed by their passionate home support.
Fullback Tino Swanepoel was just splendid. His all-round play ticked all the boxes, but it was his remarkable and magical solo try that will be remembered long after the tournament is done. He stepped, ducked, darted and then dived like it was nobody’s business. Wow.
The win sees the NWU Eagles solidify their spot at the top of the Varsity Cup log and, with four rounds left, they are sitting pretty in the run-up to the playoffs. They lead the pack with 17 points, thanks to three wins from four outings. Just below them is the Central University of Technology (Ixias) on 15 points.
Incidentally, this is also the next side that the Eagles will face on Monday, 20 March in Potchefstroom. Ixias has proven to be the surprise package of the tournament and are venerable giant slayers. In years past, the Eagles would have backed themselves to win by a stretch and a bit, but this is 2023 and Ixias is in a different league from the sides of the past.
Don’t miss it - kick-off is at 19:00 on 20 March at the Fanie du Toit sports ground.