In the first article of a new series, DYLAN JACK looks back at the inaugural Varsity Cup final and finds out what happened to the players involved with each team.
The very first Varsity Cup final was a Cape derby contested between UCT and Maties at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellebosch. UCT – then coached by John Dobson – came into the match as favourites, having topped the table and losing just one game all season. Maties had finished second, trailing the Ikey Tigers by six points.
In a tightly-contested final UCT went ahead through tries from Marcello Sampson and Matthew Turner, but Maties stayed in the contest as wing Heno Stoffberg added two penalties, before Western Province flyhalf Ricardo Croy knocked over a drop goal to make it 10-9. There would be late heartbreak for UCT as Morne Jooste dotted down after the full-time hooter to steal a famous win for Maties, who would go on to defend their crown over the next two seasons in 2009 and 2010.
15 Joe Pietersen
A player who needs no introduction. Pietersen played for Western Province and the Stormers until 2013. Stints with Biarittz in France and the Cheetahs followed before he joined the Sharks in 2015. After moving to Japan and playing for the Kamaishi Seawaves in 2016, Pietersen then moved to the USA with Major League side San Diego Legion. He continued as captain of the Legion this year. Pietersen is also passionate about rhino conservation and has a non-profit organisation called Nkombe Rhino, which seeks to support the anti-poaching teams at various reserves.
14 Morne Jooste
Maties’ hero in the final, Jooste is currently employed at one of the Impala Mines in Rustenburg as a systems administrator. He played for the Rustenberg Impala and holds the South African club rugby record for scoring the most consecutive hat-tricks (five).
13 Juan de Jongh
Another well-known name, De Jongh spent nine years with Western Province and the Stormers before moving to Wasps in 2017, where he is currently based. The midfielder has won 19 Test caps for the Springboks.
12 Sarel Potgieter
Potgieter played for the Blitzboks in 2006 and in the Currie Cup for Western Province in 2006 and 2007. He moved to Canada in 2016 and is currently an investment advisor at RBC Dominion Securities.
11 Henoe Stoffberg
*Despite our investigation, Stoffberg has fallen completely off the rugby radar. Reach out to us in the comments section if you know what he is up to now.
10 Ricardo Croy
Croy played in the Vodacom Cup for Western Province but failed to make their Currie Cup side. He then moved to the SWD Eagles and helped them finish second in the Currie Cup First Division. A stint with the Pumas and Boland Cavaliers followed.
9 Wilhelm Koch
The scrumhalf played for the Leopards and SWD Eagles before calling time on his career. He currently works as a private banker at Investec.
8 Bennie Booysen
*Despite our investigation, Booysen has fallen completely off the rugby radar. Reach out to us in the comments section if you know what he is up to now.
7 Jonathan Adendorf
Adendorf played for Maties until 2010 and joined the Pumas in 2011. After a year in Mpumalanga, he moved to the Northern Cape with Griquas, who he last played for in 2017.
6 Zandre Jordaan
Jordaan played for Western Province in the Vodacom Cup in 2009 and against the British & Irish Lions during their last tour to South Africa. In the latter stages of 2009, he joined the Boland Cavaliers and spent five-and-a-half years with the team. He then moved to SWD before rejoining Boland until 2019, when he joined Griquas.
5 Jaco Nepgen
Nepgen initially played most of his career for Griquas, making over 80 first-class appearances. However, he retired in July 2016 on medical advice. He has since gone into coaching, having served as U16A coach and strength and conditioning coach of Hoërskool Diamantveld. He founded a personal training company called Conquerfitness and is currently deputy principal of sports development at Nico Malan High School.
4 Erich Laubscher
Laubscher completed his postgraduate degree in accounting. He is currently the financial director at Aarbei.
3 Jacobie Adriaanse
Adriaanse, the older brother of former Sharks prop Lourens, enjoyed a successful 11-year professional career. He played for Boland, Griquas, the Lions, Scarlets, Montpellier, the Kings and Vodacom Bulls before returning to the Lions in 2018. He retired at the end of 2019, having played over 150 first-class games.
2 Lisle Clark
After completing his BAcc at Stellenbosch University, Clark did not continue his rugby career. He is currently the CEO of Twizza, a South African soft drinks company.
1 Johan Roets
*Despite our investigation, Roets has fallen completely off the rugby radar. Reach out to us in the comments section if you know what he is up to now.
16 Matthew Dobson
Dobson played for Griquas between 2011 and 2014. In 2014, he moved to England to further his rugby career, joining the London Irish.
17 Andrew Crausaz
After Maties’ third straight Varsity Cup win in 2010, Crausaz moved back up to his family farm in KwaZulu-Natal. Currently, he is involved in the construction industry, working as a production manager for Afrimat Ltd in Gauteng.
18 Michael Steenkamp
*Despite our investigation, Steenkamp has fallen completely off the rugby radar. Reach out to us in the comments section if you know what he is up to now.
19 Albert Fullard
Fullard did not continue his rugby career beyond university. He is currently head of sport at Eikestad Primary School.
20 Coenie van Wyk
Van Wyk is currently playing for Toshiba Brave Lupus in the Japanese Top League, having moved in 2016. Before this he played for the Griffons, Cheetahs, Lions and Pumas.
21 Therlow Pietersen
Playing for both Maties and UCT, Pietersen won four successive titles between 2008 and 2011. He has gone into coaching and worked at Bellville THS and with the Western Province Craven Week and Grant Khomo teams.
22 Jean Stemmet
Stemmet was the starting centre throughout Maties’ 2008 campaign, but was moved to the bench to accommodate Juan de Jongh, who was a controversial late inclusion in the starting lineup. Stemmet played for the Sharks in the Vodacom Cup and them joined Griquas, for whom he played both Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup. After retiring, he became head of rugby at Diamantveld and coached their 1st XV. Currently, he is involved in the marketing department at Paarl Gim, where he is continuing to coach.
Photo: Anton Jordaan / Gallo Images