Maties flyhalf Chris Smith kicked a 78th-minute penalty to ensure a 24-16 win against Tuks, while there were also wins for CUT, UCT and Shimlas in round three of the Varsity Cup.
The game in Stellenbosch was evenly matched, with both sides looking to play expansively as the wind played havoc with the kicking game.
Tuks drew first blood through a couple of penalties from flyhalf Tinus de Beer. Maties responded with a try from lock Johan Momsen, who drove over after a knock-on from De Beer handed Maties a scrum in the Tuks 22m area.
Tuks regained the lead after De Beer knocked over another penalty to make it 9-7 by the half-hour mark.
Tuks received a blow soon afterwards as scrumhalf Theo Maree was forced off with an injury and replaced by Divan Rossouw. Maties then took the lead after earning a penalty try from a powerful scrum on the Tuks 5m line.
Tuks, however, had the final say of the first half with fullback Willem Strydom powering through after receiving an offload from Erich Cronjé, to give Tuks a 16-14 lead at half-time.
Both sides came out flying in the second half, as they gave the ball plenty of air, while also displaying an iron defence to ensure the scoreboard was not changed by the 55th minute.
Maties scored the first points of the second half when flank Chris Massyn crossed from a powerful rolling maul to put the hosts back into the lead.
Tuks dominated the game from then on, but some strong defending from the home side ensured that Tuks did not make their dominance of possession count.
Maties sealed the win after Tuks lock Marco van Staden received a yellow card for a dangerous cleanout in the 78th minute, with Smith knocking over the penalty.
The victory ensures Maties are unbeaten after three rounds, while Tuks are still looking for their first win of the season.
Earlier in the day, CUT earned only their second Varsity Cup win as scrumhalf Ruben Heymans scored a try in the 73rd minute to ensure a tight 38-37 victory over NMU. CUT’s hooker Tiaan Erasmus was named Man of the Match as he scored a brace of tries.
Elsewhere, Shimlas brought Wits back down to earth with a 44-24 win in the Free State. Shimlas flyhalf Nicholaas Naude dictated the game as he picked up a brace while also kicking four conversions.
UCT beat Pukke 18-15 in Cape Town, thanks to a last-minute penalty from replacement flyhalf Lohan Lubbe.
Varsity Cup results (Round 3):
CUT (38) – Tries: Tiaan Erasmus (2), Stefan van Schalkwyk, Rayno Nel, LP Heymans. Conversions: Heinrich Bitzi (4). Penalty: Bitzi.
NMU (37) – Tries: Gerrit Huisamen (2), Henry Brown, Wynand Grassmann, Jordan Koekemoer. Conversions: Simon Bolze (2). Penalties: Bolze (2).
Shimlas (44) – Tries: Nicolaas Naude (2) Janco Cloete, Sango Xamleshe, Henk Pretorius, Menzi Nhlabathi. Conversions: Naude (4).
Wits (24) – Tries: Cecil Conradie, Kasende Kapepula (2), Conor Brockschmidt. Conversions: Christiaan Humpries (2).
Maties (24) – Tries: Johan Momsen, Chris Massyn. Conversions: Chris Smith(2). Penalty: Smith.
Tuks (16) – Tries: Willem Strydom. Conversions: Tinus de Beer. Penalties: De Beer (3).
By Dylan Jack
Photo: Luke Thorrold/Varsity Cup