It was a fierce third round as the defending champions were edged by Kovsies, while Tuks, NWU, UWC and CUT all won their fixtures.
Maties 12-14 Kovsies
Maties took an early lead through Willem Smal with beautiful interplay just 28 seconds in. But that was soon negated by Kovsies as they scored through Iver Aanhuizen. It was converted and the lead swung the way of the Free State side, 7-5.
Early in the second half Kotzenberg scored after the ball was popped up to him and he sidestepped the final Maties defender to extend the lead to 14-5.
There was late drama as Armand Pretorius intercepted in the Power Play, only to cross the line a second after the Power Play ended. Missing the bonus five points by a matter or milliseconds. The match ended 14-12 n favour of Kovsies.
Tuks 19-14 UCT
Tuks’s Varsity Cup star, Dewald Naude scored within 30 seconds tohand his team an early lead against a UCT team that have constantly improved over the course of day one .
Hanco Sipsma equalised for the Cape side and celebrated with a cricket slip celebration that Jacques Kallis would have been proud of. Gerhard Coetzee slipped through a gap and scored on the halftime hooter to make it 14-7 and return Tuks’s lead.
The second half was all Tuks as they pushed for the equalising score. Naude scored his second when Tuks found an overlap on the left wing. Sebastian Roodt pulled it back for UCT when he crashed over moments later. But Tuks held on for a 19-14 win.
CUT 47-7 UKZN
Olwethu Ndakisa stretched over to dot down on the whitewash moments into the opening half and give CUT a 5-0 lead after the conversion attempt failed.
Ndakisa’s beautiful pop pass out the back of the hand set up Johannes Heymans whose clever tactical play in releasing and regathering the ball put his side 10-0 up after 4 minutes. Charl Cuttings crashed over the line after a great break by UKZN and it was 10-7 with 30 seconds remaining in the first half.
Tisetso Madonsela scored for CUT taking it to 22-7 early in the second half as Heymans offloaded to set up Madonsela for the try. Mokuena’s pace was too much for UKZN as he scored in the Power Play, carving his way through the UKZN backline to earn double points and snatch a bonus point try long before the half was over. Moments later Heymans was at it again, as he stepped inside twice to score another and take CUT to 39-7. Ruan Smit raced down the line to extend that to 44-7 with 2 minutes to play. Full time 44-7 to CUT.
NWU 22-0 UJ
It was all NWU in the penultimate match of the third round as JW Durr opened the scoring running through a hapless UJ defence. Bizarrely the conversion was missed right in front of the posts.
Not long after that he darted through the middle to score another for NWU, taking the score to 12-0. Two more unanswered tries sealed the match for NWU in an encounter UJ will soon hope to forget.
Madibaz 7-14 UWC
In the final match of round two UWC were up against Madibaz. An early error by Madibaz in the lineout handed the ball to Bevan Botha who gladly dotted down between the sticks and Shane Petersen duly converted. UWC took an early 7-0 lead.
Madibaz were slow to start but worked their way back into the match. In the second quarter UWC struggled to get their hands on the ball as Madibaz retained possession well. The Madibaz players showed silky skills with their hands but fell agonisingly short of a try.
but they were finally rewarded on the stroke of halftime as Siphumelele Msutwana finished off a move started by Simon Bolze. A perfect conversion meant that it was 7-7 at the break. The second half was a cagey affair and in the end a Rohan Adams blitz down the left wing was the difference as the UWC star scored their second and final try. UWC winning 14-7.