The final round of pool play saw some gripping action between the teams as CPUT, Maties, NWU, UP-Tuks, UJ, Madibaz, Kovsies and UWC all qualified for the Varsity 7s Cup quarterfinals on Day 2 of action at the Pirates Club in Johannesburg.
UWC v WSU
The men from the Western Cape put on a try scoring bonanza in the first half against WSU as they crossed the chalk on five occasions including a hat-trick to Kurt-Lee Arendse which handed them a healthy 38-0 lead at the break.
WSU did well to restrict UWC to only three second half tries while they did cross for a try of their own but it was not enough in preventing UWC from claiming a 50-5 win in Pool A action.
CPUT v Madibaz
There is little doubt that CPUT has enjoyed their first run at the Varsity 7s as they qualified for the Cup quarterfinals after beating the Madibaz 24-17.
CPUT scored two tries in the first half courtesy of Lucan Kirchner and Asisipho Malotana while the Madibaz mimicked their efforts with two tries via Nathan Kemp and Luvo Claassen but a missed conversion saw them trail CPUT 14-12 at the break.
Siphumelele Msutwana was on hand to score a vital try for the Madibaz who lead momentarily but Kirchner broke their hearts with seconds left on the clock as he scored a try off the back of a power play to hand CPUT an important win.
UJ v Wits
The Johannesburg derby was a sight to behold as both teams went hammer and tong against each other to secure bragging rights.
Zachery Webb was the man to open the scoring for UJ as he blitzed his way to the tryline and although they threw everything in attack they had to settle for a 7-0 lead at the break.
Wits drew level after the match resumed but their efforts were nullified by UJ who scored their second converted try and could have scored their third if Ronald Brown had not stepped on the dead ball line.
UJ lost the services of Brown moments later due to cynical play and Wits made full use of their one man advantage with DJ Bodenstein cross for a powerplay try that handed them a hard fought 17-14 win in Pool B.
UP-Tuks v UCT
UP-Tuks had their work cut out for them against UCT as they had their result against UJ in the first round of matches reversed because they failed to adhere to the tournament rules regarding the number of players of colour on the field.
Dewald Naudé broke through on the right-hand touchline and bolted his way to the tryline to open the scoring for UP-Tuks before UCT pulled back a try of their own. Naudé showed why he is a former FNB Varsity Cup champion as he spun out of several tackles to break the deadlock before half time (14-7).
The half time talk did wonders for UP-Tuks as they scored two quick tries through Lorenzo Cloete (powerplay) and Hanco Sipsma to stretch their lead to 33-7.
The men from Pretoria proved to be too strong for UCT as they scored another powerplay try to record a 45-7 win in Pool B.
NWU v UKZN
NWU have dominated proceedings in Pool C and it did not take them long to score their first converted try through Caleb Louw before adding their second moments later.
A deft lineout move by NWU allowed Wessel Kuhn to run in untouched to score as his efforts saw their lead inflate to 17-0 at the break.
UKZN came out firing in the second half and their intentions paid off as Thamsanqa Shabangu and Tonderai Ndudzo scored tries but Hein Kritzinger ensured NWU finished on top as his converted try gave them a 24-10 win which saw them finish on top of Pool C.
Maties v Kovsies
Maties opened the scoring and raced into an early 12-0 lead which Kovsies responded to with two tries to draw level before the Maroon Machine dotted down during a powerplay to bloat their lead to 22-12.
Kovsies brought the curtain down on the first half with a try of their own but it was not enough as they trailed Maties 22-17 at the break despite outscoring their opponents three tries to two.
Carlisle Nel made Kovsies pay almost immediately after the restart as he crossed the chalk before Frederick van Zyl bagged the bonus point try.
The Maties added another two tries before Kovsies were awarded the tournament’s first penalty try but it wasn’t enough to prevent Maties from walking away with a 46-24 win although they did enough to make the cut for the Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, 6 October.
By Dan Lombard