Flank Chris Cloete scored five tries as NMMU beat the mighty Maties 45-29 in their opening Varsity Cup match in PE.
The win was sweet revenge following the Madibaz's defeat at the hands of the three-times champions in last year's semi-finals.
Maties responded to the 21-0 scoreline at the break with a try from centre Mark Hodgskiss, who dotted down under the poles after a period of sustained pressure to get his team on the board.
The visitors then added three late tries from wing Clearance Khumalo, replacement lock Renier Ehlers and Hodgskiss, who dived over in the last minute to salvage a bonus point for his side.
NMMU – Tries: Christopher Cloete (5), Timothy Agaba. Conversions: Gavin Hauptfleisch (5).
Maties – Tries: Mark Hodgskiss (2), Clearance Khumalo, Renier Ehlers Conversions: Chris Smith, Robert Du Preez (2).
UCT 24 Pukke 47
Pukke built on their 21-16 half-time lead to run in four second-half tries. Pukke No 8 Juan Language, fullback Sylvian Mahuza, replacement Philip de Wet, lock Francois Robbertse, replacement Daniel Jordaan and SA U20 wing Luther Obi all scored tries.
Shimlas 31 Wits 15
Shimlas led 16-5 at half-time and went on to secure a full house of five points in wet conditions in Bloemfontein. The visitors scored three tries of their own, but fell short of scoring a bonus-point try. The Shimlas scorers included Neill Jordaan, Divandre Strydom, André van der Walt and Neill Claasen.
Tuks 18 UJ 18
The first half in Pretoria produced five tries (with Tuks outscoring UJ by three tries to two) and all 36 points. The 18-18 half-time score stayed that way until the final whistle. Rudolph Smith, Warrick Gelant and Rohan Janse van Rensburg scored tries for Tuks, while David Antonites and Robert de Bruyn went over for UJ.
Varsity Shield results
UWC 31 TUT 34
TUT upset UWC in Bellville, with the hosts surrendering a 16-0 lead. Both sides scored four tries. James Verity-Amm, Dale van Schalkwyk, Njabulo Ndlovu and Kenwinn Wiener scored for UWC, while TUT's try-scorers included Pieter Mathews, Hamish Herd, Jean Maritz and Mandla Mdaka.
UKZN Impi 12 UFH Blues 17
Fort Hare came back from 10-0 down to shock John Mitchell's Impi in Durban. The visitors scored two tries to one. Flyhalf Oliver Zono and winger Garth van Rayner were the try-scorers for the Blues.
Photo: Varsity Cup