Magnificent Maties maul Pukke
VARSITY CUP REPORT: Maties got their revenge over NWU-Pukke when they put in a complete performance to secure a 31-9 victory at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.
It was the same venue as the 2016 Varsity Cup Final where Pukke claimed a narrow 7-6 victory to lift the trophy but Maties were not going to let that happen again as the home side ran in three tries to Pukke's solitary score.
The opening quarter belonged to the home side as they tested Pukke's defence with each carry. It took them just five metres to break through as Mitchell Carstens positioned himself at the back of a powerful driving maul. Theo Stapelberg added the extras to hand Maties a 7-0 lead.
Stapelberg extended that lead to 10 points in the 13th minute when he slotted a penalty after Pukke were penalised at the breakdown. It was all going Maties' way as they grabbed a second try of the match in the 17th minute.
Maties kept the continuity and took the ball through the phases before handing the ball to Kobus van Dyk and the powerful flank bashed his way over in the 17th minute. Stapelberg failed with the conversion attempt but Maties' lead was extended to 15-0.
Pukke came out strong after strategy break but only had themselves to blame as handling errors killed any momentum they built up. Maties looked to punish them for it but Pukke stood firm in defence as they hung on.
It took a moment of magic to get Pukke on the board as flyer Jimmy Mpailane picked off an intercept just outside his 22 and raced away to score under the posts. Schalk Hugo added the extras to see Pukke trail 9-15 after 36 minutes.
Stapelberg added a further three points to the home side's total from the restart when Pukke were once again penalised at the breakdown. Maties led 18-9 and that's how it remained at the half-time interval.
Maties got the second half scoring going with a 50-metre penalty by Stapelberg in the 47th minute to take Maties' lead to 21-3. But the home side were up against it in the 50th minute when Craig Corbett was shown a yellow card for a cynical infringement at the breakdown.
Stapelberg remained on target with the boot as he took his side's lead to 15 points with another successful kick at goal in the 58th minute. Pukke found themselves reduced to 14-men soon after as Dean Stokes was sin binned for repeated infringements but Maties could not capitalise despite maintaining possession for the bulk of the time.
The home side were not going to be denied their third try though as Edwill van der Merwe displayed excellent footwork to grab a deserved try. Chris Smit stepped up to slot the conversion to stretch Maties' lead to 31-9 after 73 minutes.
Maties did all they could to secure a four-try bonus point but it was not meant to be.
Tries: Carstens, van Dyk, van der Merwe
Cons: Stapelberg, Smith
Pens: Stapelberg 4
Yellow cards: Craig Corbett (Maties, 50); Dean Stokes (NWU-Pukke, 62)
Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Kyle Steyn, 12 Braam Venter (captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Theo Stapelberg, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Devon Nash, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Mitchell Carstens, 5 Johannes Momsen, 4 John Groenewald, 3 Jacobus van der Merwe, 2 Craig Corbett, 1 Wesley Adonis.
Replacements: 16 Hendrik Luus, 17 Niel Oelofse, 18 Wikus Groenewald, 19 Saud Abrahams, 20 Stephan Streicher, 21 Logan Boonzaaier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Michal Haznar.
NWU-Pukke: 15 Lungelo Gosa, 14 Jimmy Mpailane, 13 Elden Schoeman, 12 Hendrik Marais, 11 Tapiwa Mafura, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Jeandré Rudolph (captain), 7 Jan Venter, 6 Wandile Mazibuko, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 Dewald Dekker, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Rudolph van Deventer.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Nicolaas van Tonder, 18 Morné Strydom, 19 Marno Redelinghuys, 20 Marcel Henn, 21 Dean Stokes, 22 Nkululeko Mcuma, 23 Justin Newman.
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Shaun Veldsman