Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TUT Vikings Outclass TUKS Proving They Are Not Varsity Cup Whipping Boys - Supporters Also Held Their Own

TUT mascot, Alex, keeps the crowds
Photo: http://www.varsitycup.co.za/
After visiting the University of Pretoria for the Varsity Cup match between the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the University of Pretoria (TUKS) I realised that there is still a lot of segregation at TUKS. Most of those watching the rugby match on Monday night were white and many black students were not interested in this important event as they were playing basketball in the courts behind the rugby stadium.

TUT supporters showed that the university has probably done more to work towards transformation as most of them were black and singing on the sidelines. Those showing their spirit through song were told not to sit on the stands, but stand outside a barricade. This didn’t deter the supports for the TUT Vikings as they continued to sing, shout and dance where they were.

The match was brilliant as the Vikings outclassed the University of Pretoria when they returned from 19-0 down to wining the match 46-34. This historic win by TUT saw many TUKS supporters leave even before the match had ended.

The first seven points of TUT came from a Johan Pieterse try with a conversion carefully slotted in by Flyhalf, Ruan Boshoff. This took the score to 27-7 with only about 10 minutes before the end of the first half and catching up seemed an impossible task for the visitors, but TUT had a great comeback as a few minutes later, at halftime, the margin had been reduced to 27-24.

The second half was the complete opposite of the first half when the Vikings came back with all guns blazing, completely outclassing their rivals.

They still made a few mistakes with much of the game being played on the TUKS half, but it was the minor decisions they took that eventually made all the difference. When TUT gained the lead for the first time it was when Andisa Nqobo scored a try. TUT continued on this high and took the final score to 46-34 and showed that they are no longer the whipping boys of the Varsity Cup. Now they just need to continue showing the courage they showed on Monday.

TUT's support base is showing transformation which most of the country is struggling with. TUT supporters at the stadium are often predominantly black and sing as they normally would in football matches. They would often irritate a few rugby supporters who would shake their heads in disapproval. My belief is that it does not matter whether the supporters sing, dance or just shout as soon as a player breaks loose and runs in alone to score a try. What matters is that the supporters are there at the matches and they are bringing a flavour only unique to Africa.

I believe there will always be people who wouldn't want tranformation like the many supporters who keep quiet when the Nguni and Sotho parts of the national anthems are being sung and only sing the Afrikaans and English parts. That happened at TUKS too. It took me back to a Blue Bulls match I watched with my black friends last year when we were told that football would only play the following day. Transformation should start at university level, but I realise that we still have a long way to go.

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