The University of Pretoria won the Cup final in dramatic fashion as they scored a late power play try to beat UJ 19-14 while Wits (Shield), UCT (Bowl) and Maties (Plate) all lifted silverware on Day Two at the 2018 Varsity 7s at Pirates Club in Johannesburg.
Wits v UKZN (Shield Final)
Wits were dead set on securing some form of silverware as they blitzed their way into an early 12-0 lead as the high flying Kwanele Ngema crossed the whitewash twice in the opening exchanges of the Shield final.
The men from Johannesburg had enough in their tank to score another just for the break but missed the conversion for a 17-0 lead.
The Wits show continued early into the second half as Lwazi Monakali scored from close range as UKZN had no answer for their persistence on attack.
UKZN finally got themselves on the scoreboard with a powerplay try but Ngema ensured it came to naught as he bagged his hat-trick for Wits.
The men in blue knocked in the final nail in the coffin as they scored another try to inflate their lead to 32-12 but UKZN did pull back a try to cut the full time deficit to 32-17.
WSU v UCT (Bowl Final)
UCT’s Darian Hock was almost embarrassed by some tenacious defence by WSU as he had to dot down in a flash after a sneaky tackle from behind caught him off guard.
It would be a tough ask to determine if UCT’s tries come close to their incredible celebrations as Sebastian Roodt ran in from 40m out to score their second converted try which was followed up by Justin Heunis received the final pass to score their third try in the first half.
WSU may have been down but they certainly were not out as Luvo Matiwane pulled back a try on the stroke of half time to cut the deficit to 19-5.
The men in pink and blue ran a few good lines before Darian Hock crossed the chalk during a powerplay to score a ten point try as UCT continued to apply pressure on their Eastern Cape opponents.
Matiwane was the man to bring an end to proceedings as he collected his double but it was not enough to prevent UCT from claiming a 31-10 win.
CPUT v NWU (Position 7/8)
NWU saw the wrong side of the referee as they lost two players to red cards which CPUT capitalized on to score two tries to hold a 10-0 lead at the break.
The men from Potchefstroom may have had their hands tied behind their backs but they did well to score a power play try which was converted to take the lead before Lucan Kirchner blitzed down the right-hand touchline to cross the chalk.
NWU ensured that they finished on top as Dean Gordon shot through the defence to score a power play try to register a 24-22 win over CPUT.
Kovsies v Maties (Plate Final)
The men from Bloemfontein started well as they crossed for an unconverted try to open the scoring but Maties were on the prowl and keen to get their hands on a trophy, scored through Lynn-Jay Hendricks before Carlisle Nel recovered from an ankle tap to roll over the tryline and get their second try.
The Maroon Machine put their foot down on the accelerator as Frederick van Zyl found himself in a bit of space to round the defence and score a try to bump up the half time score to 21-5.
Maties exploded in the second half as they scored three tries on the trot including a try during a power play with Kovsies grabbing a try courtesy of Nicholas Naude but it was Lynn-Jay Hendricks who scored the last try with Maties producing a sensational performance to lock down an emphatic 57-10 win over Kovsies.
Madibaz v UWC (Position 3/4)
The teams threw everything and the kitchen sink at each other with Ethan Setera breaking loose to open the scoring which saw an additional three tries (two to Madibaz) in the first half as they had to settle for a 12-12 deadlock at the break.
Udubs pushed hard with the hopes of finishing third at the 2018 Varsity 7s tournament and they did well to score just after the restart and defended when needed including the chasing down of a runaway Madibaz effort to prevent a certain try.
The men from Port Elizabeth did score shortly after to draw level and force the match into sudden death with Ivan-John du Preez showing great strength to score the match winner and ensure that the Madibaz won 24-19.
UJ v UP-Tuks (Cup Final)
The defending champions started the Cup final in the best way possible as Ronald Brown dove over the chalk to score an converted try before Lourens Pretorius broke through to level the scores.
Brown showed exactly why he is a newly signed BlitzBok as he outstripped the UP-Tuks defence to score a 50m try as UJ went into the break with a 14-7 lead.
UP-Tuks did the unthinkable after trailing the entire match to score a converted try during a power play courtesy to a grubber and chase by Lorenzo Cloete who dotted down to score and hand the trophy to his charges as the men from Pretoria clinched a well fought 19-14 win.
By Dan Lombard