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Vikings keep their Shield spot

The FNB TUT Vikings beat NWU Vaal 39-26 in a thrilling promotion/relegation play-off in Pretoria on Saturday to keep their place in the FNB Varsity Shield presented by Steinhoff International next year.

Having finished in last place this year, TUT had to earn their place in the competition next season by beating NWU Vaal who won the 'C' Section of the USSA tournament in Grahamstown this year.

It was intense from the outset as the teams tore into each other in the early stages, and there was no separating them as they went into half-time deadlocked at 21-21.

The contenders NWU Vaal took the early lead with two tries putting them 13-0 up inside the opening 20 minutes.

With their Varsity Shield place on the line, hosts TUT needed a response and scored two converted tries of their own to take a 16-13 lead.

They stretched that further when lock Claude Johannes produced a moment of individual brilliance which saw him storm over from his own half with the ball in one hand, but NWU Vaal hit back just before the break as the sides went into half-time locked up at 21-21.

Three unanswered tries in the second half saw TUT build up a comfortable 39-21 lead at the second strategy break, leaving NWU Vaal with plenty to do in order to break into the Varsity Shield.

They threw absolutely everything at the Vikings and managed to score a try, but it was too little too late as TUT held on to secure their place in the Varsity Shield next season.

The scorers:

For FNB TUT Vikings: Tries: Truter, Burger, Johannes, Herd, Olivier, Smuts Cons: Afrika 3

For NWU Vaal: Tries: Oosthuizen 3, Thompson Cons: Vian Steynen 2

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