Maties eliminated UCT from the Varsity Cup title race with a 45-5 drubbing, while Shimlas, Pukke and Tuks picked up wins in round six on Monday night.
Maties showed who’s boss in Stellenbosch as they ran riot against the defending champions Ikeys, killing off the latter’s play-off hopes in the process. It was the hosts’ sixth win over their southern-suburb rivals UCT in seven fixtures. Maties scored six tries for the convincing victory, with fullback André Smith and No 8 Grant Hattingh grabbing a brace each.
Chean Roux’s charges are now almost certain of a home semi-final – they will have to lose heavily against UJ in Johannesburg next week to fall out of the top two in the standings.
In Potchefstroom, Pukke survived a late comeback fight from UJ to scrape through for a crucial 34-32 win. After trailing 24-8 at the break, the visitors drew level late in the match with a strong second-half performance. However, a last-minute penalty from Pukke fullback Gerhard Nortier sealed the triumph and his team’s place in the top four.
In Pretoria, NMMU delivered a respectable performance against Tuks, but still lost 42-31 to last year’s losing finalists. The Madibaz needed a win to keep their surprise semi-final hopes alive, but Tuks proved to be too strong for the students from PE.
In Bloemfontein, Shimlas eased to a 56-36 win over hapless TUT. Eleven tries were scored between the two teams, with seven going the hosts’ way.
Maties 45 (29) – Tries: André Smith (2), Grant Hattingh (2), Helmut Lehmann, Wessel Coetzee. Conversions: Smith (2), Andre Kemp (3).
UCT 5 (5) – Try: Rayn Smid.
Pukke 34 (24) – Tries: John Roy Jenkinson, Juan Pretorius (2), Tiaan Dorfling. Conversions: Gerhard Nortier (3), Dorfling. Penalty: Nortier.
UJ 32 (8) – Tries: Chrysander Botha, Francois du Toit (2), Jacques Pretorius. Conversions: Guy Cronje (4).
Tuks 42 (24) – Tries: Clayton Stewart, Dabeon Draghoender, Hayden Groepes, Juan Schoeman, Okkie Kruger, Tobie Verwey. Conversions: Willie du Plessis (4).
NMMU 31 (10) – Tries: André Goosen, Howard Mnisi, Martin Ferreira, Mayibuye Ndwandwa. Conversions: Ozard du Toit (2).
Shimlas 56 (32) – Tries: Armandt Koster, Divandre Strydom, Jamba Ulengo, Raymond Rhule, Stephan van der Merwe (2), Willie Britz. Conversions: Nico Scheepers (7).
TUT 36 (18) – Tries: Gavin Engelbrecht, Hagen Mumba, Rikus de Beer, Wikus Botes. Conversions: Ruan van Loo (4). Penalties: Van Loo (2).
By Gareth Duncan