2017 finalists Stellenbosch University and University of Western Cape stamp their dominance on the competition with bonus-point wins.
Maties 28-5 UKZN
The game got off to a stuttering start with both teams shaking off the rust. After a UKZN scrum, the Durban-based side kicked it over Maties’ heads for the chase. Stellenbosch then conducted an expertly conducted counter attack, straight from the training paddock, and James Murphy scored the five-pointer with John Lourens adding the extras.
Shortly afterwards Murphy scored his second, the big number one dotted down again after Maties utilised a quick backline play making the score 14-0 to the Cape visitors with Lourens’s radar in fine form.
Lourens then added to his points tally with a try of his own after Maties were given a penalty right in front of the posts. Lourens added the conversion making his tally an impressive 11 points at the end of the first half.
UKZN got onto the score board in the second half after the Durban side made a break down the left wing before being chased down. UKZN then made a cross kick over width of the field for Michael Sibiya to gather and score in the corner.
The game ended 28-5 with the former champions getting their tournament off to an ideal start.
NWU 19-12 Tuks
Tuks kicked off and after some sustained pressure, NWU turned over the ball and sent it wide. After an intense chase down from the Pretoria side, NWU’s Dewet Terblanche scored in the corner.
It was a hard fought affair with both teams showing expert defensive structures. Tuks got onto the board after a scrum on NWU’s 22 metre line and spread it wide for PJ Uys to dive over the whitewash.
Tuks then compounded their lead after a brilliant individual effort from Raegan Oranje who received the ball mid-field, side stepped the first defender and ghosted straight through the defensive line to score under the posts. Tuks subsequently added the extras.
NWU replied perfectly though when they used the restart well and Terblanche scored moments later. NWU added to their lead after big number two Wessel Kuhn charged through the Tuks defence to dot down in the corner.
After some industrious play from Tuks, the Pretoria-based side spread the ball wide and Mervano da Silva gathered the ball on the run and crossed but it wasn’t enough to save his side from defeat.
Madibaz 17-7 Kovsies
Madibaz looked like the team in charge for most of the first half with the Eastern Cape side showing some expert moves but the Kovsies defence remained resolute and managed to win the ball over and ran the ball down field. Kovsies showed glimpses of dangerous play but were also thwarted by a strong defence.
Madibaz finally got over the line after some sustained pressure up the left wing before a quick dart from Luvo Claassen to break the deadlock.
UFS finally got onto the scoreboard after Madibaz made a chip behind the UFS line but the defending side picked up the ball countered all the way to score an 80 metre through number eight Willem Barnard.
Madibaz hit back again when Ettiene Cilliers crashed over the line after some strong backline play from the Eastern Cape side. Claassen scored again and Madibaz stamped their authority on the game.
UCT 7-26 UWC
After a slow start to the clash, UWC kicked into action when Rohaan Adams showed an incredible turn of pace down the wing, and left the UCT defenders in his wake to score in the corner. UWC nearly got the kick over but the ball bounced off the posts.
The 2017 finalists added to the score line when big number two Verno Treu bashed through the UCT defence, cantered towards the tryline and dotted down under the posts with UWC adding the extra two points.
UWC’s Andre Manuel showed why the Belville side is a favourite for the tournament after he was given an expertly conducted switch and ran 50 metres to the line.
UCT finally got some points on the board when number three Tristan Mouton managed to crash through the UWC defence around the 22 metre line with the following conversion being added.
UWC superstar Ruan Mostert scored in the corner after a searing backline surge from his side. Making the final score 26-7 to the 2017 finalists.
UJ 17-0 CUT
UJ scored a fantastic try in the corner after Vuyo Shongwe broke down the left wing and almost placed the ball but was tackled centimetres before the line and handed the ball off to James Campbell to score.
The Jozi side scored again shortly afterwards after spreading the CUT defence with strong forward moves midfield before sending it to number one George Raftopoulos in the corner.
CUT almost scored directly afterwards after some deftly stepping from the winger but made the wrong move and instead of passing inside, chipped ahead which was overcooked and went dead.
Campbell scored his second of the game just after half-time after breaking the line around the 22 metre line. The game ending UJ 17-0 CUT.