Maties edge Tuks

Maties picked up a 23-22 win over Tuks in the top-of-the-table clash during the fourth round of the Varsity Cup.

As expected, it was a closely contested match between the two in-form universities in Stellenbosch. The sides were level at 10-10 at half-time, with Maties and Tuks grabbing a try via wing Ryan Nell and tighthead prop Grant Kemp respectively.

The visitors were reduced to 14 men when wing Deon Helberg was sin binned for a high tackle in the 49th minute, but Maties failed to capitalised on their one-man advantage as they didn’t score any points during that period. Instead, Tuks took a 14-10 lead with two penalties kicked by flyhalf Wesley Dunlop.

Maties then enjoyed a strong start to the final quarter, scoring two tries via lock Grant Hattingh and replacement front rower Hendrik van der Merwe for a nine-point advantage. Fullback Clayton Blommetjies dotted down for a late score for Tuks, but the hosts held on for a tight win.

In Port Elizabeth, the Madibaz recorded a surprise 23-21 win over UCT.

A late try from fullback Dillyn Leyds drew UCT level at the death as the scoreboard read 21-21, but the defending champions slumped to their third defeat of the season when NMMU replacement fullback Bradley Kretzmann slotted a last-minute penalty.

In Bloemfontein, UJ thrashed Shimlas 50-18.

The students from Johannesburg ran riot as they crossed the chalk on seven occasions, with wing JR Esterhuizen grabbing a brace. Shimlas have now suffered three consecutive defeats following their opening round win over UCT in Cape Town.

In Potchefstroom, Pukke also picked up a big win as they thumped TUT 52-8.

The North West University have now ended a two-match losing streak as they ran in eight tries against the struggling Tshwane outfit. The Vikings remain winless and have already conceded 210 points after four matches.

Maties 23 (10) - Tries: Ryan Nell, Grant Hattingh, Hendrik van der Merwe. Conversions: Donald Stevens, Andre Kemp. Penalty: Stevens.
Tuks 22 (10) - Try: Grant Kemp, Clayton Blommetjies. Conversions: Wesley Dunlop (2). Penalties: Dunlop (3).

NMMU 23 (13) – Tries: Jaco Swanepoel, Jaco Otto, Quinton Crocker. Conversions: Gerhard Smith, Bradley Kretzmann. Penalty: Kretzmann.
UCT 21 (13) - Tries: Dillyn Leyds (2), Tiger Bax. Conversion: Nick Holton (2).

Shimlas 18 (10) - Tries: Franna du Toit, Joubert Horn. Conversions: Nico Scheepers (2). Penalty: Scheepers.
UJ 50 (21) - Tries: JR Esterhuizen (2), Chrysander Botha, Francois du Toit, Johan van Deventer, Ruan Dreyer, Jaco Kriel. Conversions: Guy Cronje (5).

Pukke 52 (31) – Tries: Joubert Engelbrecht (2), Andrew van Wyk, Johannes Uys, Philip de Wet, Tiaan Dorfling. Conversions: Gerhard Notier (3).
TUT 8 (8) – Try: Hansie Graaf. Conversion: Luan van Loo.