Sevens: Maties sprint to title
VARSITY SEVENS FINALS WRAP: Maties' Sevens team made up for their 15-man counterparts by claiming the Varsity Sevens title with a 19-5 victory over UWC at Villagers on Monday.
The Stellenbosch students were made to work hard in the Final but a dominant second half performance saw them score two unanswered tries to claim the match and the title.
Earlier in the day, NWU-Pukke clinched third place with a 17-0 victory over UP-Tuks while defending champions UFS-Kovsies had to settle for the Plate trophy as they overcame UJ 29-26.
UCT got themselves some silverware with a 24-19 victory over NMMU-Madibaz to bag the Bowl trophy while the Shield title went the way of Fort Hare when they defeated Walter Sisulu 12-5.
We look at all the Varsity Sevens action!
Cup Final: UWC 5-19 Maties
It took just two minutes for the deadlock to be broken when Maties launched a massive counter-attack from close to their try line. Three passes later and a 60 metre sprint saw them grab the opening try to take a 5-0 lead.
UWC had some close calls to get themselves on the board but strong Maties defence kept the Bellville students at bay. Much of the half was played inside UWC's half but, with seconds remaining, UWC got hold of the ball and raced up-field to grab the try. The conversion hit the post as the teams went into the break level at 5-5.
The tense nature of the match continued in the second half with neither side giving an inch. Maties held much of the possession in the opening five minutes of the half and found reward with a try under the posts. The successful conversion handed them a 12-5 lead with five minutes remaining in the match.
Things got worse for UWC with three minutes remaining when they were reduced to six players and Maties took full advantage of the extra man with a crucial try to close out the match 19-5.
Third/Fourth play-off: NWU-Pukke 17-0 UP-Tuks
Both sides were evenly matched in the opening exchanges with much of the game being played between the 22s. Pukke began seeing more of the ball in the closing stages of the half and a late converted try handed them a 7-0 lead at the break.
Pukke extended their lead to 12-0 with their second try two minutes into the second half. There was no stopping Pukke as they strangled Tuks and found further reward with three minutes remaining to extend their lead to 17-0.
Tuks looked to grab a consolation score but it was not to be as Pukke held on to claim the Bronze medal.
Plate Final: UFS-Kovsies 29-26 UJ
UJ made early in-roads in the match and grabbed the opening try and the conversion ensured a 7-0 lead. The Johannesburg students doubled their lead after five minutes when, after sustained pressure, they broke through Kovsies' defence.
Kovsies finished the half strongly though and got a crucial try in the final seconds of the half to reduce the deficit to 5-14 at half-time.
The Free State students grabbed two tries in quick succession to grab a 17-14 lead with three minutes remaining in the contest. UJ regained the lead a minute later when they grabbed a try in the powerplay to take a 26-19 lead.
Kovsies were not going to be outdone though as they scored a powerplay try of their own in the final seconds of the match to claim the Plate trophy.
Bowl Final: UCT-Ikeys 24-19 NMMU-Madibaz
UCT struck in the opening seconds of the match and the conversion ensured an early 7-0 lead. They were back at it a few minutes later to score in the corner and extend their lead to 12-0 with three minutes remaining in the half.
The Madibaz finished the half strong as they grabbed two tries. With just one successful conversion, they went into the half-time break level at 12-12.
The Port Elizabeth students got the first try of the second half and the conversion took them to a 19-12 lead. UCT got themselves back on level terms with three minutes remaining in the match when they scored under the posts.
The side's could not be separated at the final hooter and the match had to be settled by sudden death. It would UCT who grabbed the crucial try to clinch the Bowl title by 24-19.
Shield Final: Walter Sisulu 5-12 Fort Hare
Forth Hare drew first blood after the opening two minutes of the match, however, that lead was negated soon after when a high tackle on the try line led to Walter Sisulu being awarded a penalty try. The conversion was good as they took a 7-5 lead.
It was all Fort Hare in the second half as they dominated the possession. Walter Sisulu stood firm in defence but all the constant pressure proved too much as they conceded a converted try late in the half. That score proved crucial as Fort Hare claimed a 12-5 victory to claim ninth place to leave Walter Sisulu in 10th.