The Tuks Young Guns defeated defending champions the University of Free State Shimlas (UFS Shimlas) in the Young Guns final. They finished with a comfortable score line of 26-13 on 6 April. The Tuks Young Guns are UP’s u/20 side that competed in the u/20 Varsity Cup Rugby tournament.
Tuks overcame favourites UFS Shimlas in a repeat of the 2014 final with a dominant display away from home. Tuks finished second on the overall log behind Shimlas, who had defeated them in their group stage fixture earlier in the season. On the day, though, UP were the better side as nerves seemed to hound the UFS team with unforced errors plaguing their efforts.
Tuks got off to a flying start as eighth man Jeandre Swanepoel touched down from a driving maul in the opening minutes of the game. From that moment on Shimlas could not get back into the game as Tuks kept them pinned down in their own half. UFS scored after the strategic time out but missed the conversion attempt which would have levelled the game. Tuks fly-half Tinus de Beer missed a penalty which turned out to be a tense end to the half, but the scoreboards remained unchanged as the sides went into the break with the score at 8-5.
As in the first half, Tuks came flying out of the blocks and in the space of seven minutes flanker Johannes Meintjies and wing Keagan van Wyk both scored tries to give UP a commanding 24-5 lead.
Handling errors interrupted UFS’s attempts at coming back into the game and Tuks’ discipline cost them as they received two yellow cards in the last 20 minutes. This did not affect Tuks game much as they furthered their lead with a penalty to secure the win. UFS Shimlas scored a consolation try in the last minute of the game, but that was ultimately not enough and Tuks got revenge on UFS to win their third Varsity Cup Young Guns title.