Mon 24 Mar 2014 | 07:22
Ikeys packing for Potchefstroom
Mon 24 Mar 2014 | 07:22
Ikeys packing for PotchefstroomSHARE
NWU-Pukke will host UCT in their first home Varsity Cup final after both teams secured semifinal victories on Monday night.
The Potchefstroom outfit, who topped the standings after losing just one game all season, left it late to edge a valiant NMMU Madibaz side in a pulsating play-off that was in the balance until the final whistle.
They will face an impressive Ikey Tigers side that handed old rivals Maties a 20-8 defeat in wet and windy conditions on the Green Mile in Cape Town.
The Cape derby was scoreless at half-time, but the supremacy of the Ikeys pack told in the second half as they did the season double over Maties to qualify for their first final since they took the title back in 2011.
The home side were playing with the wind at their backs after half-time and they made it count as they raced out to a 20-0 lead, with Maties' late consolation try not enough to see the three-time champions through to a sixth final.
NWU-Pukke were almost denied by the valiant Madibaz who took the lead for the first time in the match with ten minutes left on the clock before NWU-Pukke replacement Rhyno Smith stepped up to slot a late penalty which sealed a tight 19-18 win and send the packed crowd into raptures.
It was NMMU's second consecutive one-point semifinal defeat, with Maties denying them by the same margin in Stellenbosch last year, and they will be left to consider what might have been after missing out on what would have been their first final.
The hosts had taken control of the game early on with two tries in the first ten minutes, but the Madibaz fought back and eventually took the lead through a Jarryd Buys drop-goal, only to have their hearts broken at the death.
This means that the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds in Potchefstroom will host its first-ever final on April 7 when the two form teams in the competition this season do battle.
In the Varsity Shield John Mitchell's UKZN Impi set up a replay with the CUT Ixias in the final next week after they handed the two-time champions a 39-21 defeat in Pietermaritzburg.
The bonus-point victory sent the KwaZulu-Natal side through to their first-ever final which means that they have a chance of qualifying for promotion to the Varsity Cup.
That result ended Fort Hare's hopes of reaching the final, as although the Eastern Cape side beat the TUT Vikings 38-36 in Alice, it was not enough to overhaul the Impi who will travel to Bloemfontein next week to face the Ixias.
Next week will also see the Varsity Young Guns final between two-time champions UP-Tuks Young Guns and UFS Young Guns who saw off the challenges of the Junior Maties and UJ Young Guns respectively.
UP-Tuks are yet to lose a single game in the three seasons that the competition has been running, so they will be favourites on home soil against a UFS side that handed UJ their first defeat of the season.
The Koshuisrugby Championships saw two home wins in the semifinals as well as UFS' Heimat and Patria from NWU maintained their unbeaten records this season.
Heimat saw off the challenge of last year's beaten finalists Medies in Bloemfontein whilst Patria proved too strong for the Purple Cobras from UCT to set up their final which will be played before the Varsity Cup final in a fortnight's time.
All the teams and scorers for Monday:
NWU-PUKKE 19 NMMU MADIBAZ 18
Tries: Welgemoed, Obi
Pens: Engelbrecht 2, Smith
For NMMU Madibaz:
Tries: Cloete, Adams
Cons: Hauptfleisch 2
NWU-Pukke: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Edmar Marais, 13 Jaap Pienaar, 12 Adriaan Engelbrecht, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9, Tiaan Dorfling (captain), 8 Juan Language, 7 Rhyk Welgemoed, 6 Philip de Wet, 5 Francois Robbertse, 4 Peet van der Walt, 3 Nhlanhla Ngcamu, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Mashudu Mafela.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Robey Labuschagne, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Rhyno Smith, 22 Lucien Cupido, John-Roy Jenkinson.
NMMU Madibaz: 15 Jarryd Buys, 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Michael Bernardt, 12 Andile Jho, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Gavin Hauptfleisch, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Marcel Groenewald, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Christopher Cloete, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Louis Fourie, 3 Dexter Fahey, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain).
Replacements: 16 Jody Reynecke, 17 Abongile Mnyaka, 18 Timothy Agaba, 19 Wade Elliot, 20 Kayle van Zyl, 21 Devon Lailvaux, 22 Sinakho Mafu, 23 Simon Kerrod.
Yellow card: Armand van der Merwe (NWU-Pukke, 28 mins – repeated infringements)
UCT 20 MATIES 8
Tries: Xoli, Botha
Cons: Grant 2
Pens: Grant 2
Con: Du Preez
Yellow cards: Richard Stewart (UCT, 29 mins – repeated infringements) Liam Slatem (UCT, 71 mins – dangerous tackle)
UCT: 15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Guy Schwikkard, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Liam Slatem (captain), 8 Michael Botha, 7 Vince Jobo, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Shaun McDonald, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Kyle Kriel, 19 Gareth Ehret, 20 James Alexander, 21 Martin Sauls, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 David Maasch.
Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Mark Hodgskiss, 13 Jacobus Loubser, 12 Louis Jordaan, 11 John Durr, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jean Nel, 8 Tertius Daniller (captain), 7 Helmut Lehmann, 6 Justin Benn, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Liam Hendricks, 2 Charl de Villiers, 1 Wesley Adonis.
Replacements: 16 Neethling Gericke, 17 Niel Oelofse, 18 Ian Groenewald, 19 Lungelo Chonco, 20 Bjorn Bernardo, 21 Chris Smith, 22 Tebongo Letlape, 23 Nicol Heyns.