JOHANNESBURG - Maties and Wits were again the big winners in round four of the Varsity Cup as they cemented their place at the top of the standings and have set up a mouth-watering clash between themselves in Johannesburg next week.
As much as Maties remain unbeaten so far this season, it was Wits that got their campaign back on track with a pulsating 32-29 win against the Madibaz in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
But Maties will go into next week’s game with their confidence sky high after putting CUT to the sword as they ran in nine tries to earn a well-deserved 75-12 come-from-behind win at home.
It was the men from Bloemfontein who got off to a sparkling start in Stellenbosch as they ran in two quick tries from Dimitrio Tieties in the fifth minute which was followed by Masego Toolo’s try in the 12th minute.
However, the home side were not going to be upstaged at their fortress stadium and responded with a four try blitzkrieg in 22 minutes to take a 23-12 lead at the half-time interval.
The second half belonged to Maties and more so flank Marno Redelinghuys who scored a hat-trick of tries as the hosts completed yet another rout and underlined their title aspirations.
Wits are another side that have their sights firmly set on the trophy and they, too, produced a heart stopping come-from-behind win against a valiant Madibaz side.
Led by the inspirational flank Constant Beckerling who scored their first try after the home side had taken a 10-0 lead within the first quarter of the game, Wits stayed within touching distance of the Madibaz even though they were trailing 20-18 at half-time.
Wits stole the game in the third quarter with tries from CJ Conradie and replacement wing Lwazi Monakali which was enough to keep them three points ahead even after the Madibaz threatened to stage a late comeback after Wynand Grassmann’s 70th minute try.
Meanwhile Shimlas earned a hard fought 32-27 win against UCT Ikeys in another game that saw the victors have to claw themselves from behind.
Ikeys scored first with a try from Nyasha Tarusenga and a penalty from Karl Martin but Shimlas struck back with two tries in eight minutes from Xamlashe Sangi and Athi Athenkosi.
But Ikeys went into the half-time interval with a slender lead after Cuan Hablutzel’s converted try and even threatened to consolidate the victory early in the second half with a try from Duncan Saffy.
Shimlas though scored two more tries with their last coming at the hour mark to seal a win that has catapulted them to third spot on the log.
In the mid-table clash in Potchefstroom, Pukke emerged victorious by three points in another enthralling encounter which UJ almost won at the death.
Pukke did much of the hard graft in the first half where they scored all of their 18 points and just managed to hold on at the end after UJ ran in two tries by Johannes Snyman and Adriaan Bester but finished stuck with 15 points. Pukke won 18-15.