Club champs builds to crescendo brings you the results of the second round of the National Club Championships held in Stellenbosch.

Wins by Pukke, College Rovers, Welkom Rovers and Shimlas sees them booking a place in Thursday’s Cup semi-finals. Maties, Brakpan, Nelson Mandela Metro University and Hartswater all recorded victories to qualify for the Plate semi-finals.

Shimlas (29) 36 vs Cambridge (9) 27

Shimlas enjoyed a great first half scoring four tries, which included a phenomenal hat-trick by winger Marthinus Zwiegelaar. But the second 40 minutes saw them losing their rhythm and allowing a brave fightback by Caimbridge. With eight minutes remaining in the game, Zwieglaar came into play again and rounded off a rare surge into the Caimbridge 22. This proved to be the decisive score, as some stoical defence Shimlas ensured they held out for a hard-fought win.

Scorers: Shimlas: Tries: Martinus Zwiegelaar (4), Dandre Gerber. Conversions: Jacques Claasens (4), Penalties: Claasens.
Cambridge: Tries: Derek Loots, Vuyolwethu Zongqa. Conversions: Alec Stander. Penalties: Alec Stander (5).

Welkom Rovers (31) 31 vs Progress (15) 23

Progress’s dream of playing in the knockout stages was denied by an obstinate Rovers defensive effort. Welkom opened the scoring but Progress, responded with two opportunistic tries to hold a 12-5 lead after 12 minutes Welkom varied their game, first keeping it tight amongst the forwards, picking and driving, and then cleverly turning Progress around and pressuring them into mistakes. Progress threw everything into attack in the second half, adding a penalty to reduce the deficit to 13 points with 18 minutes to play. After a try close to fulltime, they could not make any further inroads into the Welkom score.

Scorers: Welkom Rovers: Tries: Clinton Prinsloo, Desmond Mouton, Jan Bezuidenhout, Japie Nel, Nicolaas Pretorius. Conversions: Mouton (3).
Progress: Tries: Aluzant Munnik and Christo Memanie (2). Conversion: Deon Booysen. Penalties: Munnik (2).

College Rovers (7) 22 vs Pretoria Police (13) 20

Pretoria Police were eliminated by a determined College Rovers side whose kick and chase tactics in the final quarter proved decisive against a heavier pack. Rovers staged a spirited comeback after trailing at the break and appeared to have the game won when they scored their third try to lead 19 -13 with four minutes to play. Police, however, would not lie down and conjured up what looked to be the match-winning score when they won a lineout on the Rovers 22 and scored through centre Johan Rademeyer in under the posts. The conversion by flyhalf Pierre van Wyk gave Police a slender one point lead with less than two minutes remaining. From the restart Police were guilty of joining a ruck from the side, gifting Rovers a penalty 40 meters out. Flyhalf Guy Ranger held his nerve and kicked it straight and true to take Rovers to the Cup semi-finals.

Scorers: College Rovers: Tries: Alistair Schwikkard, Chris Jordaan and Devin Galtrey. Conversions: Dayle Short and Guy Ranger. Penalty: Ranger.
Pretoria Police: Tries: Ian Kidson and Johan Rademeyer. Conversions: Pierre van Wyk (2). Penalties: van Wyk (2).

Hartswater (8) 24 vs Roses Utd (3) 10

Championship newcomers Hartswater bounced back from their first round defeat to Shimlas to record a surprise win over Boland champs Roses United. It was an ill-tempered affair that saw four yellow and two red cards, which saw Hartswater ending the match with 13 players. Ironically it was both try scorers – centre Brendell Brandt and flank Cilliers Coetzee – who were dismissed. Hartswater didn’t allow Roses to play their customary running game, stifling them at the breakdown and slowing the ball down effectively. They held a slender lead at the break after scoring a try and a penalty to a penalty by Roses. Hartswater made good use of their pack to extende their lead after the break and despite losing two players held on to book their place in the Plate semis.

Scorers: Hartswater: Tries: Brendell Brandt and Cilliers Coetzee. Conversion: Johan van Niekerk. Penalties: van Niekerk (3), Brandt. Drop goal: van Niekerk.
Roses Utd: Try: Franzel September. Conversion: Earl Manie. Penalty: Manie.

Nelson Mandela Metro University (24) 58 vs Bridgeton (6) 11

Nelson Mandela Metropole University ran in ten tries in a one-sided romp over Championship first-timers Bridgeton. The win, and the manner in which it was achieved, is confirmation of the Eastern Cape side’s quality and brings into contrast the fact that they almost upset one of the favourites, Pukke, on the opening day. NMMU were full or running and their superior fitness coupled with great individual skills left Bridgeton will little answer to what NMMU threw at them. What makes the win that more remarkable is that there were 10 different try scorers in the game with five apiece for forwards and backs. NMMU will meet Hartswater in the Plate semi-finals on Thursday.

Scorers: NMMU: Tries: Michael Killian, Ryan le Roux, Joe Pringle, Sean Sampson, Andrew Martin, RW Kember, Luke Beling, Wesley Kew, Michael van Huysteen, and Shaun Slabbert. Conversions: Andrew Martin (3) and Wesley Dunlop.
Bridgeton: Try: Jan Simmers. Penalties: Brian Jonathan (2).

Brakpan (24) 64 vs Nelspruit (5) 12

Brakpan made up for the disappointment of their narrow defeat on the opening day to record a one-sided win over Nelspruit. With their stronger forwards laying a solid foundation, Brakpan ran in 10 tries to two and completely dominated. They assumed total control in the second half when they registered 40 points after changing sides 24-5 ahead. Fullback De Wet Nortje and the peculiarly-named centre Disney Evans each scored a brace of tries with Evans kicking seven conversions for a personal tally of 24 points. The win puts Brakpan in the Plate semi-finals where they will meet hosts Maties.

Scorers: Brakpan: Tries: De Wet Nortje (2), Jacques Booysen, Disney Evans (2), Tobie Strydom, Shone vd Walt, Francois Uys, Stefan Killian, Christo Roos. Conversions: Disney Evans (7).
Nelspruit: Tries: Tertius Koekemoer and Johan Lotter. Conversion: Grant Vos.

Maties (15) 27 vs Jaguars (6) 18

2005 National champions Stellenbosch University again played below their abilities in beating KZN’s Jaguars, another of the invited teams at the event. After the disappointment of their opening round defeat at the hands of Progress, Maties were expected to come out firing but they could never find their rhythm against a gritty Jaguars outfit. Maties led 15 – 6 at the break and were never in danger of losing the tie but they lacked the spark that had taken them to the WP Club title. Despite making heavy going of it, Maties finished with a try tally of 4 to 2 and kept themselves on course for the Plate final. They meet Brakpan in the semis on Thursday.

Scorers: Maties: Tries: Pieter-Jan van Lill, DD Potgieter (2) and Charl McLeod. Conversions: Henoe Stoffberg (2). Penalty: Stoffberg.
Jaguars: Tries: Theo Rhodes and Lohane Kiewiet. Conversion: Brain Mkhaza. Penalties: Makhaza (2).

Pukke (3) 11 vs University of JHB (0) 0

Pukke made the most of their limited chances in a tight encounter with the University of JHB to win through to the Cup semi-finals. The two sides were very evenly matched and each had an even share of the possession, which made for an entertaining encounter. Play swept from one side of the field to the other as the two sides took the ball up aggressively and looked to breach their opponents defence. With both sides tackling gutsily and a ferocious contest at the breakdown it was clear early on that the side which made less errors would probably triumph. And so it proved in the end as Pukke kicked a penalty on each side of halftime and then sealed the win with 15 minutes to play when scrumhalf Freddie van Zyl broke from the base to score.

Scorers: Pukke: Try: Freddie van Zyl. Penalties: Riaan Smit (2).


11:30 Maties vs Brakpan
14:30 NMM University vs Hartswater

16:00 Pukke vs Shimlas
17:30 Welkom Rovers vs College Rovers

11:30 Jaguars vs Nelspruit, Bridgeton vs Roses Utd
14:30 Progress vs Pretoria Police, University of Johannesburg vs Cambridge