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NWU secure home semi-final as Madibaz remain winless

NWU secured a home semi-final as they ran out 35-31 winners over top four rivals Wits.

Wits will host UJ at the Wits Stadium. Picture: Twitter/@varsitycup

JOHANNESBURG - The penultimate round of Varsity Cup action saw valuable wins for FNB NWU, FNB UCT and FNB Shimlas, while FNB Tuks produced the comeback of the season to draw with FNB UJ.

NWU secured a home semi-final as they ran out 35-31 winners over top-four rivals Wits.

The win takes Pukke above Wits into second spot, just one point behind Maties, who they play in the final round.

NWU were quickest out the blocks, scoring a penalty try inside the first 10 minutes and carried that momentum through the rest of the half to go into the break 26-12 ahead.

Wits came out the more determined of the two sides in the second half, scoring a seven-point try through Conor Brockschmidt.

The visitors, however, hit back with a seven-pointer of their own as David Cary crashed over the line for the second try of the night as his team managed to gain a valuable four points.

Wits, who have a bye in the next round, will be hoping that results go their way if they want to secure a last-four berth.

UCT kept their hopes of a spot in the final four alive as they ran out 30-23 winners over CUT in Bloemfontein.

The Ikey Tigers were much the better team in the first half and went into the break with a commanding 23-7 lead.

CUT hit back in the second half, running in two tries, one of which was a seven-pointer as they looked to mount a comeback.

The visitors, however, managed to hold on for a narrow seven-point victory and set up an all or nothing clash with UJ in the final round, where the winner will secure a spot in the semi-finals.

Defending champions, UP Tuks played out to an entertaining 30-30 draw against UJ at the Tuks Rugby Stadium.

The home side produced the comebacks of the season after trailing 23-7 at halftime.

Two tries from Johan Grobbelaar and a brilliant kicking display from Christo Hamman saw the spoils shared in a thrilling trans-Jukskei derby.

In the battle at the bottom end of the table, Madibaz continued to taste defeat as they went down 28-22 to Shimlas at Xerox Shimla Park and remain winless in the competition.

A try in the final 10 minutes from Shimlas centre Ayabonga Oliphant securing the victory for the home side.

Maties remain top of the table, despite not playing this week, while NWU are up to second with Johannesburg rivals Wits and UJ rounding out the top four.