Pukke beat College Rovers 33-21 in the National Club Championships final on Saturday to secure their second title in three years.
The 2004 champs were deserved winners after enjoying the better possession and territory throughout and playing to their strengths. After a bright start by College Rovers that saw them score an early try for a 10-3 lead, Pukke took control, securing a plethora of possession and using their loose forwards to take the ball up and breach the advantage line.
Number eight Willem van de Wal was a thorn in the Rovers flesh as he took the ball up time and again to set up another phase of attack. Such was his impact that the was named Man of the Match despite leaving the field with a knee injury with 20 minutes to play.
The Pukke centres Walter Venter and Robey Visser were prominent as the students totally dominated the midfield exchanges to help their side to two first half tries and a deserved halftime lead.
Pukke kept up the pressure in the second half to run in a further two tries and despite a short period late in the game when Rovers grabbed an intercept try, Pukkeâ€™s victory was seldom in doubt.
Pukke: Tries: Willem vd Wal (2), Paul Bosch, Nelis Nel. Conversion:
Jean Tiedt (2). Penalty: Tiedt, Riaan Smit, Errol Tobias.
College Rovers: Tries: Guy Ranger, Guthrie Hall, Wesley Bodmer. Conversion: Guy Ranger (2), Dayle Short.
Hosts Maties took control of the match in the second half to score a convincing 40-15 win over a gallant Nelson Mandela Metro University side. Winger Gus Theron scored a hat-trick as Maties ran in seven tries to NMMUâ€™s two.
Maties held a slender three-point lead at the break after a thrilling first half that produced five tries, three to Maties and two to NMMU. NMMU made a solid start, scoring an early try and having the better part of possession and territory in the first 40 minutes. Maties turned things around after halftime, starving their opponents of the ball and forcing them to defend for lengthy spells.
At one stage, NMMU were camped inside their own 22 for more than 20 minutes as Maties launched attack upon attack. The floodgates opened in the final quarter as a leg- weary NMMU conceded three late tries that finally crushed their resistance.
Maties were deserved Plate winners, with their forwards and backs combining well
Maties - Try: Dwayne Brown, Bennie Booysen (2), Gus Theron (3), Pieter Stoffberg. Conversion:
Elgar Watts. Penalty: Henoe Stoffberg.
NMMU - Tries: Michael van Huysteen (2), Conversion: Andrew Martin: Penalty: Martin.