Photo: Thys Lombard
Maties, Pukke and Kovsies remain the only undefeated teams, as the three pull ahead at the top of the log in Round Three of Varsity 7s.
UJ vs Kovsies
It was the biggest clash of Varsity 7s Day One, as the defending champions took on UJ, who have looked deadly in the first two rounds.
Kovsies’ Neil Stannard scored a 10-pointer after his coach called the Power Play. A clever lineout set up Stannard, who scored beneath the posts – a maximum 12 points for the score.
Benjamin Janse van Vuuren capitalised on some sloppy Maties defence to go through and take his team to 19-0 at half time.
Devon Mare pulled it back at the restart after a breakaway try and a brilliant Ronald Brown conversion took it to 7-19.
UJ’s star, Ronald Brown pulled another one back, but a try by the Kovsies captain took it away from the men in orange, final score 26-12.
The defending champions still undefeated after three matches.
Tuks vs Pukke
Pukke started strongly with Elof Scheepers picking up a loose ball to run around the left flank and score the opener between the posts for his side.
The scores remained that way going into the second half. The two teams were as well-matched as seen in Day One, as neither could assert dominance over the other. At half time the teams shared possession 50-50.
Then, with tired bodies with just minutes on the clock, the drama arrived. Tuks’ WJ Strydom scored in the Power Play after brilliant work by the captain.
They led 12-7 momentarily. But off the restart, Pukke’s Eugene Hare scored in the corner after the hooter to level it up at 12-12. Ryno Wepener had a conversion drop goal attempt on the touchline to seal the victory and he held it brilliantly! Pukke won 14-12.
UCT vs Madibaz
UCT finally began a match strongly, scoring early through Raynoe Mapoe, with a good conversion, putting them 7-0 up.
Madibaz’s Mihlali Gqibitole hit back straight away after a sleek offload put him through for the try. It was back level at 7-7. In the second half Mapoe got his team’s second try, as UCT led again, 14-7. The team joined in on an inventive basketball-style celebration.
Mabibaz scored to bring it back to 14-14 after fine work by Bryce Rennie, with three minutes to play. Only moments later Creswin Josephs collected a UCT kick and stepped the last UCT defender to score and take his side to a 21-14 lead.
The game was split wide open as UCT’s Paul Hendry scored and the scores were level again at 21-21. That’s how it ended after a fumble by UCT after the hooter inside the Madibaz 22.
Maties vs WSU
Maties’ Francois Myburgh was on the end of a try that began deep from within Maties’ own half and they were up 5-0 as early as the first minute.
Only moments later and Maties spread the ball wide, keeping possession, eventually finding the overlap as Tanner Lightfoot finished off the move and Maties led 12-0 at half time.
WSU defence held strong, for a fair deal of the second half, but with three minutes to play Maties turned the ball over inside WSU’s 22 and Angus van Niekerk went through to finish it off.
A clever chip and chase by Carlisle Nel, and a lucky bounce, handed a Power Play try to the Maties. Francois Myburgh scored another try, to round off a clinical performance and it ended 31-0 to Maties.
UWC vs UFH
It was an even match up as two teams who have surprised spectators were up against each other in the final Round Three match.
Rohan Adams of UWC was yellow carded after four minutes for throwing the ball away.
UFH’s Athiphila Mlotywa scored a try and levelled scores at 5-5 after some brilliant wide passing and a well-timed offload.
UFH were at it again on the stroke of half time, scoring to go 10-0 up, with a few classy celebrations to add.
Rohaan Adams got his team back in the game, finishing off a well-worked UWC move to take the scores to 10-10 in the Power Play. Another try just seconds later by Ruan Mostert put UWC ahead 17-10.
It all opened up and UFH scored to level it up at 17-17. But it was UWC who would steal it at the death. Nieyaas Johnson with a show and go and UWC completed the comeback, to win the match 24-17.
UJ 12-26 Kovsies
Tuks 12-14 Pukke
UCT 21-21 Madibaz
Maties 31-0 WSU
UWC 24-17 UFH
Kovsies suffer defeat as Maties dominate and UWC cause upset
In the penultimate round of Day One, the champions were defeated as Maties look unstoppable and UWC promise to be the surprise package of 2016.
Pukke vs Kovsies
The defending champions suffered their first loss of the 2016 competition when they were pipped by Pukke at the death.
Kovsies were calculated and a decision to take the Power Play with a lineout five metres from Pukke’s tryline paid off, as Murray Bandesio crashed over to put them ahead 10-0.
Tiaan Liebenberg started the second half strongly, cutting through Kovsies’ defence and pulling it back to 10-5. The Potch men were fired up and a try by Pukke’s Dewet Terblanche, scored off a very cleverly-worked lineout move, took Pukke to a 12-10 lead.
They held on to defeat the defending champions 12-10.
UCT vs Tuks
In a thrilling Round Four match, the underperforming UCT took on a well-oiled Tuks machine.
It was UCT who scored first, as Gerard Pieterse crashed over to put his side 5-0 up. But that was short-lived as Tuks hit back with a try of their own through WJ Strydom to level it up at 5-5.
From there on it was all Tuks as they grabbed a foothold on the game. Tries by PJ Uys and Quaide Langerveldt secured victory despite a reply by UCT with a brilliant cut inside by Brad Janse van Rensburg to pull one back.
Not even a yellow card to Impi Visser could slow Tuks down, as it ended 27-14 to the men from Pretoria.
UJ vs UWC
It was an upset in Round Four as UJ suffered their first defeat of 2016 at the hands of UWC.
An early yellow to UJ’s Odwa Nkunjana for a high tackle had UJ down to six men and a quick tap by Ruan Mostert allowed the big man to score and put UWC 7-0 up.
It wasn’t long before UJ replied when UJ’s Carlisle Jordaan found a gap just outside his 22, ran into the opposition half and offloaded to Caswell Khosa to score in the corner and pull it back to 7-5.
But UWC were up for the fight. Rohaan Adams scored in the corner and UJ’s Caswell Khosa was yellow carded to make matters worse for his team. Jacquin Moses’ superb kicking helped UWC add the extra points as they led 14-5 at half time.
Etienne Oosthuizen pulled one back for UJ, but the score remained 14-10 in UWC’s favour as the Capetonians completed the upset.
Maties vs UFH
Maties look unstoppable in Day One of Varsity 7s. They were ruthless against UFH from the kickoff.
An early breakaway try by Kyle Steyn put them ahead and soon after that Angus van Niekerk had the overlap but dummied the pass to break the UFH defence and run through for their second.
A yellow card to Qhama Masiza for not moving away 10 metres and Josh Moon used the overlap to score for Maties. It was 19-0 at the break.
Brandon Asher-Wood got the ball inside his own half and took on UFH’s Sibongile Novuka, rounding him, too quick, and scored beneath the posts.
After a missed opportunity to score by UFH, Maties’ Stephan Streicher picked the ball up straight off a 22m drop out and ran the length of the field to score another for his side.
In the end Maties were far too strong for UFH and when Morne Taljaard stepped three defenders to score between the sticks, the score ended 45-0.
Madibaz vs WSU
Madibaz were looking to move up the table while WSU were looking for their first victory of the day.
After a cagey few opening minutes it was Madibaz who broke the deadlock. Christiaan Willemse and Etienne Cilliers combined to put their side 7-0 ahead after four minutes.
Some quick passing led to Madibaz working it down the right wing to put the PE team 14-0 up just before at half time. Etienne Cilliers crossing over for the try.
Early in the second half the ball was brilliantly held up by Riaan Esterhuizen, who offloaded to his arriving support and Ivan-John du Preez finished off the move in the corner to extend Madibaz’s lead to 21-0.
With one minute to play Bryce Rennie crashed through for Madibaz and put them 26-0 ahead.
There was consolation for WSU as Luvo Matiwane scored at the final whistle. But it ended 26-5 in favour of Madibaz.
Pukke 12-10 Kovsies
UCT 14-27 Tuks
UJ 10-14 UWC
Maties 45-0 UFH
Madibaz 26-5 WSU
Pukke finish Day One on top as UWC are the surprise package
Pukke ended Day One undefeated as UWC upset UJ and defending champions, Kovsies.
Kovsies vs UWC
It was end-to-end action in the opening minutes of the match as the defending champions looked to get their title defence back on track while UWC looked to continue their strong showing on the back of an upset against UJ.
After tight defending by both teams, it was Kovsies who were on the board first, after a try by Dian Badenhorst, who pushed and pushed and UWC couldn’t halt him from the tryline.
But extended pressure by UWC paid off when Jeremy Papier crossed over under the posts on the stroke of halftime to take the scores to 7-7 into the break.
The second half on a knife’s edge with UWC spending most of the first five minutes defending inside their half.
With just a minute to play it was all square at 7-7, but in the dying seconds of the match UWC’s Nieyaas Johnson slipped a sublime inside pass to an on running Carlisle Castle, who scored to hand UWC the win and another big scalp, winning 19-7.
Tuks vs Maties
Massive rivals in all forms of rugby, Maties and Tuks had both found momentum before they met in their final match of Day One.
It proved to be two forces countering one another in the opening exchanges until Tuks broke through for a 7-0 lead. Maties continued to fight back and Maties’ Pieter Schonraad was at the heart of all their plays, pulling the strings. But it went into half time 7-0 to Tuks.
Tuks came out all guns blazing in the second and Impi Visser scored after three minutes to extend his side’s lead. As the match went on, Maties lost steam as Tuks seemed to keep shifting u a gear.
At the final hooter, sloppy Maties play allowed to Jacques Rossouw to kick a loose ball through to score beneath the posts during the Power Play, as the score ended 24-0.
UJ vs UFH
UFH have been fighting all day and have been unlucky not to get a result.
UJ had been electric all day, but UFH were as up for a fight as ever.
In the opening minute, Aphiwe Dyanti turned on the gas for UJ, handing off his UFH defender to set up Juandre Michau who put them ahead 7-0.
Not long after that, Dyanti stepped his defender again, to set up Devon Mare for their second. But UFH fought back as Siphosethu Tsotsa scored to make it 12-7 at half time.
One minute into the second half, Siphuxolo Zaula broke through the UJ defence for a 14-12 lead. UFH were agonisingly close to wrapping it up, but a die hard cover tackle by Morne van den Berg on UFH’s 5 Zaula stopped him a metre from the tryline. The resulting counter attack moments later saw UJ’s hero, Van Den Berg cross the UFH tryline and seal victory for the men in orange, 17-14.
UCT vs WSU
It was a match-up that saw two teams who would have been disappointed with their opening day of Varsity 7s, hoping to finish on a high heading into Day Two.
UCT were the ones to open the scoring when Brad Janse van Rensburg bundled over the whitewash to put the Cape Town side up 7-0.
The rest of the first half was an exchange of unforced errors and missed opportunities until UCT ended strongly, as Liam Furnis stepped, twisted and turned to cross over and give his side a 14-0 lead at the break.
WSU started the second half strongly, early pressure forcing UCT back into their dead ball area. But once again, they couldn’t convert that into points. A turnover led to a UCT counter attack and Janse van Rensburg split the WSU defence for his second. UCT led 21-0.
But WSU had counterattacking ability of their own and pulled it back to 21-7 after their flier Luvo Matiwane found some space down the left wing.
They scored another through Sive Tshaka after the hooter as the match ended 21-17 in UCT’s favour.
Pukke vs Madibaz
Within the first 40 seconds of the match, Madibaz made their intentions known when Nathan Gogela finished off a team effort to put his side up 5-0.
Pukke were stunned again in the fifth minute as excellent interlinking play by Madibaz put Christiaan Willemse down the left wing, and a sleek offload to Riaan Esterhuizen set him through for the try.
But Pukke hit straight back after the restart with two tries of their own through Ryno Wepener and Dewet Terblanche to lead 14-10 half time.
Just 50 seconds into the second half it was Pukke who started the stronger of the two, as Timmy Prince danced and twisted to slip through three Madibaz defenders and stretch over for the try during the Power Play. They led 24-10.
The match began slipping away from Madibaz when Elof Scheepers ran through untouched to score between the sticks and put Pukke 31-10 ahead. A try in the dying minutes made it 36-10 to Pukke.
Kovsies 7-19 UWC
Tuks 24-0 Maties
UJ 17-12 UFH
UCT 21-17 WSU
Pukke 36-10 Madibaz