Maties secured their third consecutive Varsity Cup title as they beat Ikeys 17-14 in the 2010 final on Monday.
It wasn’t the prettiest of Cape derbies but the game never lacked intensity. Both teams were physical in the closely contested game and gave it their all in the low-scoring match-up. But in the end, Maties’ finishing saw them triumph.
Before the match, the odds pointed towards a convincing Maties win and rightfully so. The defending champions were undefeated eight games in the 2010 campaign and they had the backing of a 20 000 capacity home crowd.
However, southern suburb rivals Ikeys did well to keep within reach until the final minute, despite scoring no tries. They could have done better with a more tactical approach.
Ikeys enjoyed a good amount of possession but they persisted to run the ball from their own half. This never troubled Maties’ defence and allowed them to restrict UCT too easily.
However, in a rare visit to Maties’ half, Ikeys pivot Douglas Mallet gave his team the early lead as he converted a penalty. But it wasn’t too long until the defending champions found themselves ahead.
In typical Maties fashion, they stole the lead with a two-try blitz moments later. Wing Tythan Adams ran in at the corner for the first score after Maties surged into the Ikeys’ 22 and found space out wide. Pivot Andre Kemp added the extras. Then from the restart, wing Wilhelm Loock’s chip and chase saw centre Charl Weideman dive in for their second try.
Ikeys hit back with a long-range penalty from centre Marcel Brache, which kept them in the game.
Maties had several scoring opportunities to extend their lead but Therlow Pietersen did well to fend off the home team’s momentum. The UCT fullback was composed under the high ball and his last defensive efforts kept his team in the match.
Neither team managed to add to their tally as the score remained 12-6 at half-time.
Mallet had an opportunity to reduce Maties’ lead to four points early in the second stanza, but he missed his goal attempt. Maties then capitalised.
It took individual brilliance for Stellenbosch University to score as centre Danie Poolman collected his chip into space for his team’s third five-pointer.
Mallet missed another penalty, but a late try from replacement forward Sam Peter created an intense finish as they trailed by three points. But Maties held on for the win.
By Gareth Duncan