There is just something different about South African University Rugby. Whether it is the American Football like Friday Night Lights feel with packed crowds of raucous student fans or simply the end-to-end rugby on display. The Varsity Cup and Shield tournaments have led a revolution of sorts for South African Rugby since their inception in 2008.
Pitched initially as “Rugby That Rocks” both competitions have continually developed their product and as such have remained a breath of fresh air for Rugby fans.
Regurly used as a trial platform for rule changes such as the point of origin try. In this instance if a side scores a try that originated in their half, they will be rewarded with a full 7 points. Throw in several other attack inducing rules and you can see why teams are so hungry to retain possession and attack from everywhere.
For the traditionalist however both competitions still offer some good old school close quarters play.
This has never been more evident than in the final round of this year’s Varsity Shield match-up between powerhouses CPUT and the Fort Hare Blues.
With the clock firmly in the red, CPUT held a narrow advantage. Six points down The Blues had a chance to snatch the victory and with it an unbeaten season, camped on the CPUT line the Blues were awarded a scrum. From here their powerful forward pack went to work and utterly bulldozed the CPUT pack back over their own line.
As the try was awarded the stadium erupted as the Eastern Cape based University celebrated a significant win over last season’s champions.