CAPE TOWN – The University of Stellenbosch (Maties) were made to sweat for their 24-13 victory as the University of Johannesburg (UJ) pushed them all the way in their Varsity Cup encounter on Monday night at the Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch.
With their victory Maties increased their lead on the log table to 28 points, four more than the University of Pretoria (Tuks).
It also meant that Maties are the only team to have won all six games in the Varsity Cup so far this year.
Flyhalf Jordan Chait and lanky No 8 Jesse Johnson were two of the stars for Maties with the metronomic boot of flyhalf Chait taking the game away from UJ and sealing a vital victory ahead of a well-deserved bye-week.
After the break, the Maties travel to Bloemfontein to battle the University of Free State (Shimlas) before finishing their campaign with a match against the University of Western Cape (UWC).
At the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds in Potchefstroom, the hosts North West University (Pukke) turned the tables on the University of Cape Town (Ikeys) when they beat them 32-17 in a Varsity Cup match.
Playing in their fifth match of this tournament, Pukke now have four victories and find themselves in third place on the Varsity Cup table, behind Maties and Tuks, with 18 points.
Pukke were always on the front foot and dominated for the majority of the match though they had some anxious moments when their discipline let them down.
Eugene Hare was awarded the first yellow card of the game, and matters only got worse when Gideon van der Merwe received a red card on the cusp of halftime. Despite having the odds against them, NWU led 22-10 going into the break.
But in the second half, Brandon Salomo got Ikeys' first yellow card of the game, allowing NWU to take advantage of playing against only 14 men.
The man from the Cape also received a second yellow card late in the game but by that time Pukke were well in control.
At a wet and cold Shimla Park in Bloemfontein, the University of Pretoria (Tuks) defeated the University of Free State (Shimlas) 27-14 in the sixth round of the FNB Varsity Cup on Monday evening.
Tuks' victory took them to 24 points on the log table with only the Maties (University of Cape Town) ahead of them in first place on 28 points.
From the onset, the game was not easy, as both teams made it clear that territory and ball-in-hand would play a huge role in the outcome of the game.
Tuks controlled the ball possession better and although they dominated play for large parts of the clash the Shimlas’ defence was mainly rock solid, except when a few gaps inevitably started opening up in the second half.
There was little doubt Tuks were the better team on the night but credit must go to Shimlas, who showed character and never gave up.
At Bellville, the visiting Central University of Technology (CUT) pack of forwards saw them out-muscle the University of the Western Cape (UWC) 38-21 on Monday evening at the UWC Sport Stadium.
The visitors scored three converted tries in the first half en route to securing their second Varsity Cup win for 2019.
The victory moved CUT up to sixth place on the table but UWC remain pointless and sit at the bottom the log.
This was the 'Bushies' final home game in their first-ever Varsity Cup competition and not one coach Chester Williams will want to remember.