20 August 2017 – NW-Pukke won the Pirates Grand Challenge for the first time since 2009 when they beat their old adversaries and defending champions UJ in the final at Wits on Saturday.
They thereby stopped UJ from winning a fourth consecutive title.
With Saturday’s win they ensured that the two universities have won every title since 2002, with the exception of 2013 when Roodepoort broke the universities’ run.
Roodepoort were crowned champions when they headed the log. No final was played in 2013.
♦ On Saturday NW-Pukke won 27-23 after a tremendous fightback by the new champions who were trailing 3-16 at halftime.
Pukke scored three tries, of which one was by Hendrik Mulder who scored 17 of his side’s points.
♦ In the match between the second teams, UJ were comfortable winners (43-19). Pukke won the third team competition when they beat Raiders 13-7 in a closely-fought match.
♦ In the Baily Cup competition, the second tier of the GLRU’s senior clubs, Germiston Simmer (who were champions in the former Senior Grand Challenge competition in 2016) beat Alberton 52-10.
Johannesburg Police won the second and third team competitions by beating Alberton (27-22) and Harleqiuins (27-10) respectively.
Eldoronians beat Midrand Stingers in the final of the SGU competition, 26-19.
♦ The run of the two university sides in winning the PGC since 2002 is as follows:
2007 University of Johannesburg
2008-2009 NWU Pukke
2010-2012 University of Johannesburg
2013 Roodepoort (No final played)
2014-2016 University of Johannesburg
Before Roodepoort’s win in 2013, Pukke dominated with five titles between 2002-2006 before UJ took the honours in 2007, then relinquished the title again for Pukke to win in 2008-2009.
Then it was UJ’s turn for a hat-trick (2010—2012) with Roodepoort halting their stride in 2013.