Maties send UJ a warning
VARSITY CUP REPORT: Maties gave UJ a warning with a 65-19 bonus point victory in Stellenbosch, as the teams will go head-to-head once again in the semi-finals of the competition on April 3.
Maties ran in four first half tries and a further five tries in the final 40 minutes to secure second spot on the log and a home semi-final. UJ needed a bonus point victory to secure a home semi-final but it was not to be and they will now return to the Danie Craven for the playoff encounter.
Maties could have stolen top spot from Tuks if they had won the match by a mammoth 69 points.
Divan Nel opened the scoring with a well-taken penalty to hand UJ a 3-0 lead after just two minutes of play and the visitors kept the pressure on Maties from that point but the home side held firm in defence.
Maties then went on the attack and found reward in the 11th minute when Kyle Steyn was put into a gap. The wing shrugged off three would-be tacklers to wriggle his way over the line. Theo Stapelberg converted to hand the home side a 7-3 lead.
The home side had their second try a few minutes later as Edwill van der Merwe rounded off a move that started in Maties' half. Stapelberg added the extras to ensure a 16-3 lead after 17 minutes.
UJ pushed hard for a try of their own but Maties' defence stood firm to keep the visitors at bay. Maties turned defence into attack as UJ fumbled the ball and van der Merwe was on hand to scoop it up and race away for a 52-metre runaway try.
Stapelberg failed with the conversion but the home side held a healthy 23-3 lead after 31 minutes. But UJ's persistent attacks paid off three minutes later when wing Peter Walters crashed over from close range. Nel converted to reduce the deficit to 10-23.
Maties had the final say of the half though as captain Craig Barry was put into a hole in UJ's defence to race away for the bonus point try. Stapelberg's conversion ensured a 30-10 lead the break.
There was no stopping the home side as they stretched their lead to 37-10 in the 47th minute when Johan Momsen crashed over after sustained pressure on UJ's defence and Stapelberg converted. The match went into a bit of a lull from that point before Chris Smith got the crowd cheering in the 62nd minute.
The replacement broke through a gap and sped away to dot down his side's sixth try of the match to ensure a 42-10 lead.
UJ got their second try in the 69th minute when Jaco Fourie rounded off a long-range effort to score a seven-pointer. Nel converted and the deficit was 19-42.
Maties had the final say of the match though when Steyn grabbed his second try - another seven-point try - and Duncan Saal ran over in the final minute. Smith added the extras. There was enough time for Steyn to grab a hat-trick and Smith to add his third conversion to hand Maties a massive psychological advantage ahead of the semi-final.
Tries: Steyn 3, van der Merwe 2, Barry, Momsen, Smith, Saal
Cons: Stapelberg 4, Smith 3
Tries: Walters, Fourie
Cons: Nel 2
Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Michal Haznar, 12 Barend Smit, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Theo Stapelberg, 9 Brendon Nell, 8 Devon Nash, 7 Stephan Streicher, 6 Mitchell Carstens, 5 Johan Momsen, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 Jacobus van der Merwe, 2 Craig Corbett, 1 Niel Oelofse.
Replacements: 16 Hendrik Luus, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Wikus Groenewald, 19 Ruben de Villiers, 20 Saud Abrahams, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Duncan Saal.
UJ: 15 Ronald Brown, 14 Peter Walters, 13 Aphiwe Dyanti, 12 Jaco Fourie, 11 Godfrey Ramaboea, 10 Divan Nel, 9 Johan Esterhuizen, 8 Jo-Hanko de Villiers, 7 Leon Massyn, 6 Gavin Delport, 5 Reinhardt Nothnagel, 4 Kevin du Randt, 3 Nico du Plessis, 2 Jannes Snyman (captain), 1 Dillon Bakos.
Replacements: 16 Le Roux Baard, 17 Kyle Kruger, 18 Chergin Fillies, 19 Kyle van Dalen, 20 Devon Mare, 21 Ewan Adams, 22 Carlisle Jordaan, 23 Adrian Bester.
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referee: Local
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans