Winning starts for Maties, Ikeys

Maties started their title defence with a 32-6 thrashing of Pukke while UCT beat Shimlas 26-10 in the first round of the Varsity Cup on Monday.

Maties were held 6-6 by Pukke at half time in Stellenbosch, but the defending champions rallied to victory in the second stanza as they scored four tries for an impressive bonus-point win.

Flanker Helmut Lehmann, lock Hugo Kloppers, replacement prop Stephan Hamman and replacement centre Tshotsho Mbovane all scored after the break for the home team.

In Bloemfontein, UCT and Shimlas had srappy starts to their opening fixture, with poor handling and ball retention a problem for both teams.

Outside centre Marcel Brache eventually sparked some momentum midway through the first half as his break and offload put flanker Don Armand through for the first try of the match. Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis added the extras. Shimlas pivot Francois du Toit slotted a penalty to make it 7-3 at the break.

Catrakilis put Ikeys 13 points ahead moments after the restart with three penalties before replacement back Sabelo Siyakatshana’s 68th-minute try sealed the win for the visitors. At the death, flanker Hanno Pieterse scored a consolation try for Shimlas.

In Johannesburg, UJ scored two late tries to beat TUT 33-23 in Pretoria.

The home team were 20-6 ahead early in the second half but they relinquished their lead as UJ finished the match with a strong performance, which saw replacement fullback Earl Lewis and lock Jaco Swanepoel cross the chalk.

NMMU continued their ‘whipping boys’ reputation with a 37-8 defeat to Tuks in Port Elizabeth.

Tuks, who have Bulls boss Heyneke Meyer on board as a consultant, scored five tries through wing Hayden Groepes, No 8 Jono Ross, flyhalf Wesely Dunlop, centre Jean du Plessis and fullback Jurgen Visser for the win. Dunlop also impressed with boot, slotting three conversions and two penalties.

Flanker Theunis Derksen scored a consolation try for the Madibas.

Round one results:

Maties 32(6) – Tries: Helmut Lehmann, Hugo Kloppers, Stephan Hamman, Tshotsho Mbovane. Conversions: Donald Stevens (2), Andre Kemp. Penalties: Stevens (2)
Pukke 6(6) – Drop goals: Niell Jacobs

Shimlas 10(3) – Tries: Hanno Pieterse, Conversions: Whitehead, Penalties: Francois du Toit.
UCT 26(7) – Tries: Don Armand, Sabelo Siyakatshana, Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (2), Penalties: Catrakilis (4).

TUT 23(13) – Tries: Andisa Gqobo, Lubabalo Vincent Gwavu. Conversions: Ruan Boshoff (2) Penalties: Boshoff (3)
UJ 33(6) – Tries: Justin Wheeler, Luan Steenkamp, Earl Lewis, Jaco Swanepoel. Conversions: Theuns Kotze (2). Penalties: Kotze (3).

NMMU 8(3) – Tries: Theunis Derksen. Penalties: Marius Muller.
Tuks 37(20) – Tries: Hayden Groepes, Jono Ross, Wesely Dunlop, Jean du Plessis, Jurgen Visser. Conversion: Dunlop (3). Penalties: Dunlop (2).

By Gareth Duncan

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