Varsity Cup: Shimlas stun Maties
ROUND TWO WRAP: UFS Shimlas produced an attacking masterclass to thrash Maties 50-28 in Bloemfontein and end a seven-game drought against the Cape-based side.
Last week, Shimlas scored eight tries and 56 points against UWC in Bellville. On this occasion, they put seven tries and 50 points past one of the tournament’s traditional powerhouses to announce themselves as the favourites for the 2022 Varsity Cup title.
It’s worth noting that Shimlas lost 24-81 to Maties in the corresponding fixture last year. Clearly a new coaching staff – which includes former Springbok attacking guru Swys de Bruin – and approach has made all the difference. The forwards laid the platform for this important victory. Openside flank Thabo Ndimande set the tone when he powered through the defence for the first of his two tries.
Shimlas turned down several kicks at goal in the period that followed, and earned the desired reward when they scored four tries from close range. By half-time, the hosts had powered their way into a commanding lead. They had also secured the four-try bonus point. They weren’t done yet, though.
Lock Marco van Rhyn was shown a yellow card after Maties were given a team warning for cynical play on their own tryline. himlas didn’t hesitate to kick the resultant penalty to touch. They reset their formidable maul, and scored. Ndimande emerged from the pile of bodies and was credited with his third try of the evening.
The flank had an outstanding match at the set pieces and at the breakdowns, but was particularly potent with ball in hand. The Free State students lost their way in the third quarter, and conceded two yellow cards due to infringements on their own tryline. Maties narrowed the deficit to 10 points – and may have reduced the gap further if not for their wayward goal-kicking.
Against the run of play, however, the 13-man Shimlas struck a telling blow. The result marks Shimlas’ third win against Maties in the history of the tournament – as well as their first victory against the men from Stellenbosch since 2015.
In Potchefstroom, the NWU Eagles claimed a convincing 40-19 bonus-point win over a plucky UWC outfit
You have to admire the adventure and intent of UWC. They were largely outplayed by the NWU Eagles at the scrums and line-outs over the course of the contest on Monday. The speed and quality of their passing game, however, stretched the NWU Eagles’ defence and created opportunities for lethal finishers such as Peter Williams on the outside.
The FNB wing touched down in the eighth minute to give his side an unexpected lead. Thanks to the gargantuan presence of men like André Fouche at the breakdown, the NWU Eagles managed to stall the visitors’ momentum. They then proceeded to put their much-vaunted scrum and rolling maul into action.
With his team marching forward, flyhalf Nivan Petersen chipped the ball over the defence for his teammates to chase. Fullback Heinrich Botha claimed possession, and then threw a speculative offload to scrumhalf Riaan Genis. A third try and conversion stretched the NWU Eagles’ lead to 21-7. UWC hit back before half-time, though, by producing an enterprising surge to set Williams up for his second try.
This point-of-origin score as well as the accurate goal-kicking of Lyle Hendricks ensured that the visitors trailed by just two points at the break. The NWU Eagles lost Keano Windvogel to the sin bin in the 44th minute after the wing took Williams out in the air. UWC failed to capitalise on the one-man advantage, however, and the hosts escaped the period of sanction without conceding points.
By contrast, the NWU Eagles were quick to punish UWC when the visitors lost a player to the bin later in the contest. When the ball bounced free from a lineout, Eagles prop Ruben du Plessis pounced on it to claim the bonus-point try. From there, the NWU Eagles finished with a flourish to secure the first win of their 2022 campaign.
In Cape Town, the UCT Ikeys claimed a comeback win for the second successive week when they overturned a 24-5 half-time deficit to beat UJ 26-24.
Hooker Alex Castle scored two tries for the hosts, with No.8 Jason MacLeod Smith’s 75th-minute bonus-point try from a line-out driving maul converted by fullback Duran Koevort. UJ flyhalf Jonathan Viljoen had a chance to snatch victory in the last minute but his 45m attempt missed the mark. Hooker Hloni Mphuthi scored two tries for the visitors. In Gqeberha, flank Dian Schoonees crossed the line twice as UP-Tuks recorded a 22-6 win against the Madibaz. The visitors led 10-0 at half-time, with flyhalf Chadwyn November scoring Madibaz’s only points early in the second half.
In Johannesburg, wing Azi Afrika’s 75th-minute converted try and a late penalty from flyhalf Chris Humphries gave Wits a thrilling 20-18 win against the CUT Ixias.
The visitors were reduced to 14 men for 20 minutes when flank Jan Kotze received a fourth-minute red card but were still able to lead 13-10 at the break. They extended that to eight points when lock Kevin Strydom scored early in the second half but Wits would finish the match with a flourish.
Varsity Cup Round Two results and scorers:
NWU Eagles 40-19 UWC
For NWU Eagles:
Tries: Heinz Bertram, Riaan Genis, Vernon Paulo, Ruben du Plessis, Pienaar van Niekerk
Cons: Nivan Petersen 3, Martin Venter
Tries: Peter Williams 2
Cons: Lyle Hendricks 2
Player That Rocks: André Fouche (NWU Eagles)
UFS Shimlas 50-28 Maties
For UFS Shimlas:
Tries: Thabo Ndimande 3, Thabang Mahlasi, Nathan Jordan, George Lourens, Jandre Nel
Cons: Litha Nkula 4
Tries: Chris Rossouw, Sean Swart, De Wet Marais, Gift Dlamini
Con: Jurie Matthee
Pens: Matthee 2
Player That Rocks: Thabo Ndimande (UFS Shimlas)
UCT Ikeys 26-24 UJ
For UCT Ikeys
Tries: Alexander Castle 2, Ntokozo Makhaza, Jason MacLeod Smith
Cons: Duran Koevort 3
Tries: Hloni Mphuthi 2, Likhaya Tengimfene
Cons: Jonathan Viljoen 3
Player That Rocks: Luthando Woji (UCT Ikeys)
Madibaz 6-22 UP-Tuks
Pens: Chadwyn November 2
Tries: Dian Schoonees 2, Louis Meiring, Francois Klopper
Con: Jandré Burger
Player That Rocks: Dian Coetzee (UP-Tuks)
Wits 20-18 CUT Ixias
Tries: Setshaba Mokoena, Azi Afrika
Cons: Chris Humphries 2
Pens: Humphries 2
For CUT Ixias:
Tries: Jacquin van Wyk, Tiaan Drotske, Kevin Strydom
Pen: Floris Brand
Player That Rocks: Chris Humphries (Wits)
Photo credit: ASEM Engage/Hannes Naude