It was tough, but Maties survived a massive fight from Tuks to win their Round-Three Varsity Cup clash in
While the defending champions had to defend for most of the second half, their loose forwards called all of the shots in the first half to guarantee a solid platform.
Tuks managed to disrupt Maties’ lineout a number of times, but Maties were able to score four tries to Tuks’ three to secure the top spot on the log.
The hosts scored first through Etienne Janeke, but the visitors were quick to respond after two line-breaks through Edwill van der Merwe and Chris Smit, which saw wing Munier Hartzenberg go over out wide for a seven-point try.
Maties then took the lead when a maul saw hooker HJ Luus visit Tuks’ in-goal area, but it was short-lived, as Werner Fourie gave the hosts a two-point half-time lead.
Maties piled on the pressure right from the start in the second half, and after a five-metre scrum, flyhalf Jordan Chait threw a dummy and sprinted through a gap for another try.
Tuks responded with a penalty, which cut down Maties’ lead to just two points, and after a series of infringements, Matie centre Cornel Smit was shown a yellow card for an intentional knockdown.
Tuks missed the three-point opportunity, and Maties then hit them with a try through hooker Daniel Jooste.
Another yellow to the Stellenbosch side followed by yet another missed kick at goal with three minutes to go made sure that the fixture maintained all its drama.
And while Maties survived the close encounter, Tuks won a turnover from a scrum, and followed it up with prop Bart le Roux going over for a try after the hooter.
In other Varsity Cup results on Monday, NWU beat UWC 37-21, Shimlas got the better of Wits 33-26 and CUT triumphed 27-26 over UJ.
Tuks 24 – Tries: Etienne Janeke, Werner Fourie, Bart le Roux. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (3). Penalty: De Beer (1).
Maties 26 – Tries: Munier Hartzenberg (7-point try), HJ Luus, Jordan Chait, Daniel Jooste. Conversion: Chait (2).@WynonaLouw