Hard luck for the FNB Ikeys again, as they went down by 29-26 and return home only two log points from their thrilling arm wrestle with FNB NWU Puk in Potchefstroom in which both teams scored four tries.
In the end, just one conversion separated the two sides; with NWU-Pukke flyhalf Gerhard Nortier converting three of their four tries and Ikeys kicker Ross Jones-Davies managing two from four.
Hooker JC Oberholzer collected a brace of tries for the home side, with replacement hooker Marius Fourie's second-half try eventually – along with Nortier's conversion, of course – proving to be the difference.
The Ikeys opened the scoring through hard-working lock James Kilroe but NWU-Pukke were soon on the scoreboard when scrumhalf Jaco Grobler crossed the whitewash.
The hosts led 21-13 at half-time, but UCT soon equalised through No.8 Josh Katzen – making it 21-21 before the second strategy break.
UCT had another say before that strategy break, as replacement prop Sti Sithole crashed over but Jones-Davies' missed conversion left the score at 26-21 in UCT's favour.
Fourie's try, converted by Nortier, put the NWU-Pukke ahead by 29-26 with 12 minutes remaining on the stadium clock and both teams threw the proverbial kitchen sink at each other in search of the 'W' – with big hits the order of the day in a heart-stopping final 10 minutes of action.
In the end, Pukke's resolute defence held out and they were able to come away with the handy bonus-point victory, whilst UCT – ahead of their return trip to Cape Town – have to console themselves with a losing bonus point and an additional point for scoring four tries.
A win, however, continues to elude the 2011 champions who will host the unbeaten FNB Maties at the Green Mile next Monday.
For FNB NWU-Pukke:
Tries: Grobler, Oberholzer 2, Fourie
Cons: Nortier 3
For FNB UCT:
Tries: Kilroe, Leyds, Katzen, Sithole
Cons: Jones-Davies 2
NWU-Pukke: 15 Hoffman Maritz, 14 SW Oosthuizen, 13 Sylvian Mahuza, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Gerhard Nortier, 9 Jaco Grobler, 8 SJ Niemand, 7 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 6 Phillip de Wet, 5 Victor Kruger (captain), 4 Danie Jordaan, 3 Herman Basson, 2 JC Oberholzer, 1 Martin Dreyer.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Arno Ebersohn, 18 Molotsi Bouwer, 19 HP Swart, 20 Tiaan Dorfling, 21 Rowayne Beukman, 22 Justin Botha, 23 Mashudu Mafela.
UCT: 15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Nicholas Loizides, 12 David Ambunya, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dillyn Leyds, 9 Liam Slatem (captain), 8 Joshua Katzen, 7 Ntsolo Setlaba, 6 Kyle Kriel, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Shaun McDonald, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Derek Asbun, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Bradley Bosman, 19 Jason Klaasen, 20 Rick Schroeder, 21 Paul Cohen, 22 Justin Coles, 23 Digby Webb.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen