Varsity Cup 2023 Wrap: Round 4







Maties snatched a critical 56-54 triumph over FNB Wits in Johannesburg after a nerve-wracking match that saw flyhalf Jurie Matthee deliver the match-winning penalty in the dying moments of the game.
Despite the ongoing protests on the Wits University campus, the game proceeded, with a meager audience as supporters were prohibited from entering the stadium. In the first half, Wits registered the initial score with a try from flanker Mark Snyman. However, Maties managed to take a 10-7 lead with a penalty and a try from Matthew van Schalkwyk. After that, the visitors dominated the game, racing to a comfortable 40-19 lead at halftime.
Although Wits attempted to mount a comeback in the second half, a lack of discipline resulted in unnecessary penalties at critical points, preventing them from gaining an advantage. Despite this, Matthee’s outstanding performance at flyhalf kept Maties in the fight, even when it seemed like Wits might clinch a remarkable win.
While the visitors only managed one try in the second half, Wits scored four, indicating a significant shift in momentum. Regrettably, Wits’ hard work was undone by a last-minute penalty, resulting in a narrow loss.



UP-Tuks have fallen to their fourth consecutive defeat this season, as log leaders FNB NWU Eagles beat the defending champions 26-22 in Pretoria. The halftime score was 21-15.The home side started strongly, with hooker Allitser Williams scoring from a driving maul within the first 10 minutes. Although Walter Visser missed the conversion, he redeemed himself by scoring a penalty to make it 8-0 after 13 minutes.
Tries by Tino Swanepoel and Keano Windvogel allowed the Eagles to edge past Tuks and take the lead at 14-8. The visitors continued their onslaught, with Theuns Pretorius bulldozing through Tuks’ defence for a try. Captain Lincoln Daniels scored Tuks’ second try of the evening to bring the score to 21-15 at halftime.Swanepoel completed his double just two minutes into the second half, while Ethan Burger reduced the deficit for Tuks by tapping the ball and crossing over the NWU try line.In the last 20 minutes of the match, Tuks looked rejuvenated and desperate for a much-needed win to stay in contention. However, their efforts were in vain as they failed to answer the Eagles’ dominance.



FNB CUT turned up the heat in the second half for a dominant 54-12 victory over FNB UJ in Johannesburg, after a competitive first half.
UJ drew first blood with a try from Peter Polhmann, set up by his teammates, and a successful conversion by Jonathan Viljoen, taking an early 7-0 lead. However, CUT fought back strongly and scored three tries before halftime, with Zachary Bester shining with two brilliant long-range tries, and Ricoman Titus adding to the scoreboard with a team effort, giving the visitors a 30-12 lead.
CUT continued to dominate in the second half, extending their lead with a penalty before raining in more tries, with Matthew Sekele, Jacobus Cloete, and Titus completing his hat trick. The result was disappointing for UJ, who need to regroup and work on their defence ahead of their next game, while CUT delivered an excellent performance and secured a valuable win on the road.



In Cape Town, UCT redeemed themselves with a 29-12 victory over FNB UFS Shimlas after suffering a defeat in their previous game against FNB UJ.
Rethabile Louw broke the ice for the home team by scoring the opening try of the match within the first seven minutes, and Ntokozo Makhaza successfully converted it, putting UCT in the lead with 7-0. Shortly after, prop Brian le Roux scored their second try, and Kyle Lamb added another just before halftime, leaving the score at 24-0.
As expected, the visitors came back stronger in the second half, taking advantage of the strong wind at the Green Mile Stadium. They scored two tries through Kwezi Dlamini and Frank de Reis after UCT scrumhalf Asad Moos received a yellow card, but their late surge was not enough to catch up with the Ikey Tigers.

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