There was a close call for Maties in a 110-point thriller on Monday, while earlier in the day the CUT Ixias continued their dream run in the Varsity Cup.
WITS 54 MATIES 56
It went down to the wire, but in the end, Maties secured an important 56-54 victory over Wits in Johannesburg with flyhalf Jurie Matthee kicking the match-winning penalty in the final seconds.
The game was played in front of a small crowd as supporters were restricted from coming to the stadium due to ongoing protests on the Wits University campus.
The first half saw Wits registering the first score through flanker Mark Snyman before Maties took a 10-7 lead courtesy of a penalty and a try from Matthew van Schalkwyk. Then the visitors ran Wits ragged to race to a 40-19 lead at the break.
In the second half, it looked as if the Witsies would launch a comeback and find their way back into the game. But a lack of discipline let them down with unnecessary penalties during crucial parts of the game.
Matthee was in fine form, making sure Maties remained in the fight in moments when it looked like Wits would claim a famous victory.
Wits scored four tries in the second half, while the visitors only managed one. A last-gasp penalty was unfortunately the undoing of the Witsies’ hard work.
Wits 54 (19) – Tries: Mark Snyman, Azi Afrika (2), Lindo Mcusane, Wernich Aucamp (2). Conversions: Gerswin Mouton (1). Penalties: Mouton (1).
Maties 56 (40) – Tries: Matthew van Schalkwyk, Grant de Jager, Waqar Solaan, Siyabonga Ngubelanga (2), Maselino Pooe. Conversions: Jurie Matthee. Penalties: Matthee (4).
Player That Rocks: Grant de Jager (Maties).
UJ 12 CUT 54
After a competitive first half, CUT kicked into higher gear for a comprehensive 54-12 victory over UJ in Johannesburg.
It was the Orange Army who scored the first try of the game through Peter Polhmann, who was set up brilliantly by his teammates. Jonathan Viljoen made no mistake with the conversion, giving UJ an early 7-0 lead.
CUT however fought back strongly and managed to score three tries before the end of the first half. Zachary Bester was the star of the show for the visitors, scoring two brilliant tries from long range. Ricoman Titus also got on the scoresheet with a team effort, giving the visitors a 30-12 lead at halftime.
The second half started similarly, with CUT extending their lead through a penalty. And then the tries started raining, first Matthew Sekele, followed by Jacobus Cloete and Titus who dotted down for his hat trick.
It was a disappointing result for UJ, who will need to regroup and work on their defence ahead of their next game. For CUT, it was an excellent performance and a valuable win on the road.
UJ: 12 (12) – Tries: Peter Polhmann, Prince Nkabinde. Conversions: Jonathan Viljoen (1).
CUT: 54 (30) – Tries: Zachary Bester (2), Ricoman Titus (3), Jacobus Cloete, Matthew Sekele. Conversions: Tyler Sefoor (6). Penalties: Sefoor (1).
Player That Rocks: Jacobus Johannes Cloete (CUT)
UCT 29 UFS SHIMLAS 12
UCT restored their dignity with a 29-12 win over FNB UFS Shimlas in Cape Town. Having lost their away match last week against FNB UJ, the Ikey Tigers were hoping to fix what went wrong.
The home side broke the deadlock in the early stages of the game through winger Rethabile Louw with Ntokozo Makhaza adding the extras making it 7-0 after seven minutes. It wasn’t long before Tom Dawson-Squibb’s side scored their second try through prop Brian le Roux. Kyle Lamb went over for UCT’s third just before halftime, taking the score to 24-0.
As expected because of the heavy wind at the Green Mile Stadium, the visitors showed up at the start of the second half putting more pressure on the Ikey Tigers. Shimlas used UCT scrumhalf Asad Moos’ yellow card to their advantage when8th man Kwezi Dlamini dotted down. Frank de Reis added another, but it was a case of too little too late for the visitors.
UCT 29 (24) – Tries: Rethabile Louw, Brian le Roux, Kyle Lamb, Lezane Davis. Conversations: Ntokozo Makhaza (3). Penalties: Makhaza (1).
UFS Shimlas 12 (0) – Tries: Kwezi Dlamini, Frank de Reis. Conversations: Ethan Wentzel (1).
Player That Rocks: Kyle Lamb (UCT)
Photo: Dom Barnardt / Varsity Sports