Ikeys beat Maties in historic match
VARSITY CUP WRAP: The Player That Rocks Suleiman Hartzenberg scored two late tries as the UCT Ikeys claimed a thrilling 44-27 victory over arch-rivals Maties in the 500th Varsity Cup match.
The big Cape derby – as well the historic occasion – certainly lived up to the hype.
In spite of cold and windy conditions on the Green Mile, both sides played the game at a lively tempo and dotted down for a point-of-origin try within the first 10 minutes. From there, the Maties forwards began to impose themselves at the gainline.
The hosts battled to cope with the physicality of the Maroon Machine and conceded penalty after penalty. Scrumhalf William Rose was shown a yellow card for poor discipline in the 13th minute.
Tighthead prop Vernon Matongo showed terrific skill and determination to finish a try shortly before half-time. A conversion and a subsequent penalty by fullback Nevaldo Fleurs ensured that the visitors went to the break with a 17-10 lead.
True to form, the Ikey Tigers came out firing in the second stanza. Tries by replacements Imad Khan and Mika Schubert kept them in the contest, as did the boot of fullback Duran Koervort.
Just when it appeared as if Maties might regain control, Hartzenberg received the ball in space and raced more than 50m to score a point-of-origin try. Koevort’s conversion propelled the hosts into an eight-point lead with eight minutes remaining.
Maties struggled to control possession in the dying stages and when UCT received one final opportunity, however, Hartzenberg accelerated past the exhausted defenders to score his second try and seal the result.
*Earlier in the day, UWC scored a 44-38 bonus-point win in Cape Town but allowed the CUT Ixias to claim two valuable log points from the fixture.
UWC came into this match needing a victory to avoid certain relegation to the Varsity Shield.
From the outset, they adopted a more pragmatic approach, relying on their powerful pack and the accurate kicking of captain Lyle Hendricks to create pressure and opportunities.
The Ixias battled to cope at the set pieces and collisions. Lock Ulrich Stander was shown a yellow card in the 30th minute after his team committed one transgression too many.
Prop Haniel du Toit then crashed over for his second try – and UWC’s fourth. At that stage, the hosts looked to be on course for a comfortable win.
The Ixias punished UWC’s poor management thereafter and proceeded to score two tries before the break.
At half-time, UWC held a 28-14 lead.
The visitors continued to fight back in the second stanza. When lock Matthew Sekele powered over for his second try of the game, the Ixias were suddenly in a position to claim valuable log points from the fixture.
Somewhat inevitably, CUT dotted down for a bonus-point try in the 57th minute. Floris Brand slotted a late penalty to ensure that the visitors picked up a second bonus point for losing by seven points or less.
With this result, UWC have boosted their tally to 31 points on the combined 2021-22 log. While they trail CUT Ixias by five log points in the combined standings, they are still alive with two rounds to play.
In Pretoria, defending champions UP-Tuks had to work hard for their 39-24 bonus-point win against a plucky Wits team that scored three tries.
Two late penalties by fullback Clyde Lewis, who scored a point-of-origin try in the first half, eventually put the result beyond doubt.
*In Potchefstroom, the NWU Eagles ran in eight tries to hammer the already-relegated Madibaz 61-26 and keep their slim semi-final hopes alive. Two of them were scored by flank Chris Vermaak but it was right wing Pienaar van Niekerk who earned the Player That Rocks award. To their credit, the Madibaz did score four tries to earn a bonus point.
*While in Johannesburg, the UFS Shimlas finished strongly to record a 37-26 bonus-point victory against UJ.
The Orange Army led 23-16 at half-time and 26-23 on the hour mark but ran out of steam in the final quarter as replacement Kwezi Dlamini and centre Jooste Nel both crossed the line for the visitors.
Round Seven scores and scorers:
UWC 44-38 CUT Ixias
Tries: Aydon Topley, Haniel du Toit 2, Romuald Ntumba ((one seven-point try ), Mauritz Swart ((one seven-point try ), Nicholas Chipanje.
Cons: Lyle Hendricks 5
For CUT Ixias
Tries: Matthew Sekele (one seven-point try and one five-point try). Jacquin van Wyk (one seven-point try), Septimus Derkesen, Albertus Venter.
Cons: Floris Brand 3.
Player That Rocks: Nicholas Chipanje (UWC)
UCT Ikeys 44 – 27 Maties
For UCT Ikeys
Tries: Rihaz Fredericks (one seven-point try), Imad Khan (one seven-point try), Mika Schubert, Suleiman Hartzenberg (two seven-point tries).
Cons: Duran Koevort 4
Tries: Adriaan van der Bank (one seven-point try), Vernon Matongo, Simon Miller. Cons: Nevaldo Fleurs 2
Pens: Fleurs 2
Player That Rocks: Suleiman Hartzenberg (UCT Ikeys)
UP-Tuks 39 – 24 Wits
Tries: Bernard van der Linde (one seven-point try), Clyde Lewis (one seven-point try), Kabelo Mokoena, Orateng Koikanyang.
Cons: Walter Visser 3.
Pens: Visser, Lewis 2.
Tries: Dameon Venter, Setshaba Mokoena, Wian de Lange.
Cons: Chris Humphries 2, Keagan Lailvaux.
Player That Rocks: Clyde Lewis (UP-Tuks)
NWU Eagles 61-26 Madibaz
For NWU Eagles
Tries: Vernon Paulo, Pienaar van Niekerk (one seven-point try), Gustav Erlank (one seven-point try), Theunis Pretorius, Chris Vermaak 2, André Fouché, Tino Swanepoel (one seven-point try).
Cons: Martin Venter 5, Nivan Petersen.
Tries: Kyle Cyster (one seven-point try), Kholiwe Khonza, Jade Stoffels (one seven-point try), Wayne Moss.
Player That Rocks: Pienaar van Niekerk (NWU Eagles)
UJ 26 – 37 UFS Shimlas
Tries: Mpho Kubheka, Darnell Osuagwu, Musawenkosi Tshabalala (one seven-point try).
Cons: Jonathan Viljoen 3.
For UFS Shimlas
Tries: Zane Bester (two seven-point tries), Blaine Golden, Kwezi Dlamini, Jooste Nel.
Cons: Litha Nkula 4
Player That Rocks: George Lourens (UFS Shimlas)