The University of Stellenbosch (Maties) ran out 29-14 winners over the University of Johannesburg (UJ) their Varsity Cup fixture played at the Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch, on Monday evening.
In the process, the Maties, the defending champions, retained their unbeaten record at the expense of UJ who got off to a winning start in their first fixture last week.
SAPA reports that the Maties ran up an early 6-0 lead, courtesy of two penalties (4th and 14th minutes) by scrumhalf Donald Stevens, somewhat against the run of play after UJ impressed with strong-running sorties from inside their own half.
On the whole they did well to protect their possession at the breakdown points but their indiscretions set them back six points.
UJ centre Walter Venter might have made good his team’s early impressive display with an opportunist try after he charged down a kick but the ball bounced awkwardly for him and he failed to gather behind the Maties’ defence.
Flyhalf Andr Smit reduced the deficit for UJ with a 21st minute penalty but that gain was offset two minutes when Stevens goaled his third penalty.
Still UJ kept plugging away, mostly keeping the ball close to their forwards but when they attempted to play wide, they looked threatening.
However, the Maties went further ahead when their flyhalf Coenie van Wyk placed a neat chip over the opposition defence to set-up a try-scoring opportunity, which materialised in ensuing play when centre Jean Stemmet burst through for a converted try (16-3).
UJ finally cracked the Maties defence out wide when their rightwing Edrich van Tonder streaked through at the corner flag for an unconverted try to seal the first-half scoring in the match (16-8).
After an early Smit second-half penalty which reduced the deficit for UJ , the Maties started imposing their themselves on the match.
In the 45th minute they held up just short of the visitors’ tryline but two minutes later replacement hooker Matthew Dobson bulldozed his way over for his team’s second try, which Stevens converted (23-11).
A passage of sloppy play followed with UJ running hard at the Maties defence but handling errors at crucial times cost them dearly.
However, just on the hour, Stevens (2) and replacement flyhalf Arno Coetzee (Johannesburg) goaled penalties in quick succession (29-14).
Maties: Tries: Jean Stemmet, Matthew Dobson. Conversions: Donald Stevens (2). Penalties: Stevens (5).
UJ: Try: Edrich van Tonder. Penalties: Andr Smit (2) and Arno Coetzee.Tweet