#TuksFootball: A win against Wits will seal a Varsity Football semi-final spot for Tuks

Posted on August 26, 2022

Nelson Mandela once said, "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

These words will stand for the TuksFootball team in good stead next week when they face Wits in Round 7, the last round of the prelim phase. Tuks find themselves with their back against the wall after losing 2-1 at home to UKZN on Thursday, 25 November. The three-time champions will have to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat to stand any chance of playing in the Varsity Football semi-finals.

Only Kovsies and UJ, who both have 13 points after six games, are guaranteed to contest the playoffs. TUT with 11 points and Tuks and NWU, both 9 points, will have to battle it out for the remaining two spots. 

TUT plays Kovsies next Thursday. It would be foolish to try and predict who is going to win. Kovsies has consistently kept themselves going, losing only once. TUT is, however, one of the most unpredictable teams in the competition. On a good day, they are capable of beating any team. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. If TUT wins, they will play in the semi-finals. 

A TUT victory will near end the hopes of Tuks progressing to the semis. On the other hand, Tuks ought to beat Wits. Unfortunately, a mere victory will not cut it for Tuks, especially if NWU wins against VUT. It will leave both teams on 12 points.

Everything is then going to boil down to the goal difference. That will sink Tuks as they have conceded two more goals than they have scored. In theory, Tuks then have to beat Wits 5-0 and hope that NWU only wins by one goal. 

So the best scenario for Tuks is that Kovsies beat TUT, and Tuks must be victorious against Wits. Kovsies and likely UJ will top the log with both teams on 16 points. Tuks will be on 12, with Northwest possible also on 12. If Northwest loses, TUT will be the fourth team in the playoffs with 11 points. 

Tuks have only themselves to blame for the predicament they find themselves in. For most of their Round 6 match, they played better. But to win means, you have to make the most of every scoring opportunity. Tuks did not, UKZN did. That is why they won. 

The Tuks head coach, Nicholas Stothard, had no excuses after his team's defeat. 

"We did what we did last week against TUT, but the result was the opposite. It is a lesson for the 'boys'. Hopefully, they have learned from this.

"We now need to beat Wits, but there are no guarantees as there are no easy games in Varsity Football. We made things difficult for ourselves."

Tuks will play against Wits away in Round 7 on Thursday, 8 September. The kick-off time is at 6:30pm. Tickets are available on www.howler.co.za

- Author Wilhelm De Swardt

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