Shimlas and the UCT Ikeys will host the Varsity Cup semi-finals, while UWC was relegated to the Shield after a dramatic final round of fixtures on Monday night.
In the decisive ninth and final round of the 2022 Varsity Cup, Shimlas, UCT, Maties, NWU and Tuks all came away with wins. While there were no surprise final results or upsets, the games were far from straightforward.
Maties rebounded after a poor start to edge UWC 40-31 and finish third on the log. Paul Treu’s side and the Madibaz finished ninth and 10th, respectively, on the combined 2021-22 log and will be relegated to the Varsity Shield as a result.
UP-Tuks secured the fourth playoff berth after claiming a bonus-point win over UJ. While the NWU Eagles picked up five log points from their fixture against Wits, they finished one behind UP-Tuks in the final standings.
The result of the match at the University of Johannesburg all but dashed the NWU Eagles’ hopes of qualifying for the playoffs. Andre Pretorius’ men beat Wits 31-3, but that performance and result were to no avail.
In Cape Town, the UCT Ikeys secured a home semi-final with a hard-fought 34-22 win over the CUT Ixias. The teams were locked at 5-5 at half time, but the hosts dominated the second half to score another five tries. CUT did well to dot down four times in the match, with captain Luvuyo Ndevu’s try in the last minute earning them a deserved bonus point.
In Gqeberha, UFS Shimlas secured top spot on the log with a 72-24 thrashing of the Madibaz. The Free State students scored 10 tries, of which four were seven-pointers. Right wing Zane Bester finished off two of them, while flyhalf George Lourens slotted seven conversions. The Madibaz scored four tries, but the final scoreline showed why they will be playing in the Varsity Shield next season.
In the semi-finals, UCT will host rivals Maties in a repeat of the Varsity Cup’s 100th game earlier this season, which the Ikey Tigers won 44-27 thanks to two late point-of-origin tries.
In the second semi-final, Shimlas will take on defending champions Tuks in Bloemfontein. The fixture between the two in round eight at Shimla Park ended in favour of the home side, who came away with a 26-15 victory.
Varsity Cup semi-finals (18 April):
- UCT Ikeys vs Maties (5pm, UCT Rugby Fields, SuperSport channel 211)
- UFS Shimlas vs UP-Tuks (7:15pm, Shimla Park, SuperSport channel 211)
Varsity Cup Round 9 results and scorers:
UJ 19 (7) – Tries: Darnell Osuagwu (2), Nkosikhona Masuku. Conversions: Jonathan Viljoen (2).
UP-Tuks 36 (15) – Tries: Zander Reynders, Bernard van der Linde, Stephan Smit, Francois Klopper, Mihali Stamper. Conversions: Stefan Coetzee (4). Penalty: Coetzee.
Player That Rocks: Bernard van der Linde (UP-Tuks)
NWU Eagles 31 (19) – Tries: Sampie Swiegers (2), Theunis Pretorius, Tino Swanepoel (1×7), Pienaar van Niekerk. Conversions: Martin Venter (2).
Wits 3 (3) – Penalty: Chris Humphries.
Player That Rocks: Sampie Swiegers (NWU Eagles)
Maties 40 (26) – Tries: Sean Swart (2), Taigh Schoor, Jurie Matthee, Juan Beukes, Chris Rossouw. Conversions: Nevaldo Fleurs (5).
UWC 31 (14) – Tries: Godfrey Muzanargwo, Jaen-Louis de Lange, Conwill Conradie (1×7), Aydon Topley. Conversions: Lyle Hendricks (3). Penalty: Hendricks.
Player That Rocks: Nevaldo Fleurs (Maties)
FNB Madibaz 24 (5) – Tries: Kyle Cyster, Arnouw Nel, Warwick Griffin, Brandt Fields. Conversions: Jade Stoffels (2).
FNB UFS Shimlas 72 (42) – Tries: Melusi Mthabela, Wihan Marais (2), Kwezi Dlamini (1×7), Zane Bester (2×7), Ruwald van der Merwe (1×7), Thabo Ndimande, Luthando Buthelezi, Hlomla Payi. Conversions: George Lourens (7).
Player That Rocks: Jooste Nel (UFS Shimlas)
UCT Ikeys 34 (5) – Tries: Taariq Kruger (2), Athi Gazi, Imad Khan (2), Suleiman Hartzenberg. Conversions: Khan (2).
CUT Ixias 22 (5) – Tries: Jan Kotze, Matthew Sekele, Septimus Derkese, Luvuyo Ndevu. Conversion: Floris Brand.
Player That Rocks: Sipho Dyonase (UCT Ikeys)
Photo: ASEM ENGAGE/Varsity Cup