Maties finished the league stage of the Varsity Cup with a stylish 84-26 thrashing of UWC in Stellenbosch on Monday. DYLAN JACK reports.
The Maroon Machine sent a message to semi-final opponents Shimlas with another dominant performance at the Danie Craven Stadium, which condemned UWC to a wooden-spoon finish in their first Varsity Cup season.
There were plenty of good individual performances on show, but Jordan Chait underlined his status as one of the up-and-coming flyhalf talents with a hat-trick to go with his five conversions.
UWC can take some pride from the game as they put the home side under breakaway pressure and scored four tries of their own through hooker Jacques van Zyl and replacement prop Alexander Mbete. as well a brace – including a brilliant interception – from wing André Manuel.
The home side started strongly, enforcing an early scrum and winning a penalty. They then went for a maul, from which hooker Dan Jooste forced his way over.
In turn, UWC started to apply some pressure of their own, but the visitors did let Maties off the hook with their malfunctioning lineout costing them good opportunities.
The defending champs extended their lead when they caught UWC napping with a quick-tap penalty being spread to Mike Mavovana, who went over in the corner.
Maties upped their pressure after the short strategy break and Jooste got his second from another unstoppable driving maul.
Some incredible continuity between Maties’ backs and forwards saw Chait burst through a gap and finish off a fine try in the corner, while also nailing the touchline conversion and scoring another from a 5m scrum to take them to a 33-5 half-time lead.
Maties continued where they left off in the second half as they won a penalty and kicked for the corner, going close before Chait was first to a dink over the defence from Chris Smit to seal his hat-trick.
Mavovana then showed his pace to grab his brace with a converted nine-point try, before tries from lock Ben-Jason Dixon, hooker Schalk Erasmus, replacement flyhalf Adriaan van der Bank, scrumhalf Remu Malan and loosehead prop Ricky Nwagbara sealed a fine victory.
Maties – Tries: Dan Jooste (2), Mike Mavovana (2), Jordan Chait (3), Ben-Jason Dixon, Schalk Erasmus, Adriaan van der Bank, Remu Malan, Ricky Nwagbara. Conversion: Chait (5), Van der Bank (6).
UWC – Tries: Jacques van Zyl, André Manuel (2), Hendrik Carstens. Conversion: Keagan Fortune (2).
Maties – 15 Edwill van der Merwe , 14 Munier Hartzenberg, 13 David Brits, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Mike Mavovana, 10 Jordan Chait, 9 Remu Malan, 8 Stephan Streicher, 7 Chris Massyn, 6 Johann van Niekerk, 5 Ben-Jason Dixon, 4 Johan Momsen (c) , 3 Piet Strauss, 2 Daniel Jooste, 1 Wayrin Losper.
Subs: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Ricky Nwagbara, 18 Leon Lyons , 19 Jesse Johnson, 20 Jordan-Sesink Lee, 21 Logan Boonzaaier, 22 Adriaan van der Bank, 23 Anton du Toit.
UWC – 15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Rohaan Adams, 13 Lubelo Scott, 12 Darren Jaftha, 11 Andre Manuel, 10 Keagan Fortune, 9 Clayton Daniels, 8 Adrian Paarwater (c), 7 Reece Boks, 6 Bronlee Mouries, 5 Curtly Thomas, 4 Matthew le Roux, 3 Justin Theys, 2 Jacques van Zyl, 1 Luvo Bazi.
Subs: 16 Luan du Randt, 17 Hendrik Calitz, 18 Alexander Mbete, 19 Ralph Jansen, 21 Moegamat Kannemeyer, 23 Hendrik Carastens, 24 Luke Cyster.