It was a bitter end to what has been a successful season for TuksRugby as Tuks 1 lost the Carlton Cup final on 18 August in the dying minutes of the match.

Tuks secured their spot in the Carlton Cup final after beating rivals Centurion 32-17 in the semi-finals. Police had beaten Naka Bulle 38-20 in the other semi-final which meant the two teams were set to face each other in the Carlton Cup final for the fourth year in a row. Tuks had won the 2010 and 2011 finals 49-23 and 48-16 respectively. Police have not tasted Carlton Cup success since 2009 when they beat Tuks 31-28.

Having won the FNB Varsity Cup and the University Sport South Africa (USSA) championships earlier this year, Tuks was just 80 minutes away from capping off the team’s most successful season in history with a treble victory. Tuks had already secured all the other junior Carlton Cup league titles.

It was a bruising encounter with both teams determined to get the win and at half-time the two teams were tied at 10-10.

In the second half, Tuks managed to go over the try line for the second time in the match and added two penalties to the score to give the team a 23-10 lead with only six minutes remaining in the match. With only four minutes left to play, Police then pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in Carlton Cup finals history, scoring 10 points with a final onslaught that saw them get a converted try and a penalty with a 23-27 win. “The other Tuks teams in the finals all won their respective matches, leaving it to the first team to finish the day on a high, but they failed to do so,” said a disappointed Morris Gilbert, club manager of Tuks 1.

Photo: Jaco Joubert

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