The Maties were looking for their forth Varsity Cup win last night but it was not to be.
From the onset the Stellenbosch team made their intent clear. They wanted a win, dominating possession and territory in the opening 20 min.
Both teams looked to run the ball but their defence was equally up to the task, restricting scoring opportunities.
Maties had an early setback when star flyhalf Ernst Stapelberg had to withdraw due to a hamstring injury during warm up and was replaced by Chrish Smith. This however did not not influence the attacking prowess of Maties, or so it would seem.
The home team had the opportunity to stretch the lead on two ocassions after Pukke had been penalised, but failed to do so, and this is where the accuracy of Stapelberg was missed.
There were crucial moments in the game where basic handling errors prevented Maties from scoring tries. Early in the the second half Craig Barry failed to collect a ball 20 meters away from the tryline, had he been able to control the ball he would have been in for all money.
This however was not be the case as NWU -Pukke snatched the game away from Maties in the dying moments by scoring the only try of the match after sustained pressure from the visiting team.
During these pressured moments Maties was penalised a number of times for infringing at scrum time and and for being offside, two players were yellow carded because of these infringements.
The team from Potch had to endure an energetic crowd and a spirited Maties side to end up eventual winners of this coverted cup.
For Maties substitute flyhalf, Chris Smith succeeded with two penalty goals.
For Pukke Manro Redelinghuys scored at the death and Ryno Smith converted to hand Pukke their maiden Varsity Cup victory.
Penalties: Chris Smith (2)
Try: Marno Redelinghuys
Conversion: Ryno Smith
Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Paul Streicher, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Remu Malan, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Janco Venter, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 JE van der Merwe, 2 Freddie Kirsten, 1 Niel Oelofse
Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Robey Labuschagne, 19 Saud Abrahams, 20 Bjorn Bernardo, 21 Kyle Steyn, 22 Brandon Asher-Wood, 23 Boeta Kleinhans
Pukke: 15 Ryno Smith, 14 Lucian Cupido, 13 Johan Deysel, 12 Henko Marais, 11 Sylvian Mahuza, 10 Barend Janse van Rensburg, 9 Malherbe Swart, 8 Jeandre Rudolph, 7 Marno Redelinghuys, 6 Jaco Jordaan, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Neil Morrison, 3 Bart le Roux, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Cornelius Mafela
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Joe Smith, 18 Ruan Venter, 19, Tiaan Liebenberg, 20 Percy Williams, 21 Lonwabo Nela, 22 Dean Stokes, 23 Lawrence Mabokela