Champion Maties bounce back
Pretoria - The FNB TUT Vikings must resent Shimlas for they felt the full wrath of the FNB Maties as they came roaring back from last Monday's defeat in Bloemfontein to outplay TUT everywhere and record a massive 44-12 victory in the heat of Pretoria.
The three times champions were much better than TUT in every way possible in rugby. They handled better, tackled much better, scrummed TUT into submission, were faster and better in position, they won the turnover count, and that all added up to scoring 32 points more than TUT.
There has not ever been a more dominant scrumming performance in the Varsity Cup than that of the Maties on Monday.
They shoved the TUT back at will, destroying their pack and winning two tightheads, that rare gem of modern rugby. It was strange that they, so much the dominant scrum, were penalised three times at the scrum.
There was another penalty anomaly. In the first half TUT were penalised eight times in succession at tackles. On the eighth occasion they received a 'final warning' which had no carry-on effect.
In the second half, when Maties were penalised for a third time in the match for tackle offences, they received a 'final warning' which had no effect on the next two penalties against them at tackles.
Poor TUT. To have to play the Men in Maroon in such a mood, is asking too much.
The Vikings were at their best when they played with the ball in hand at close quarters but they got far too little ball and eventually relied on penalty-generated mauls to get them anywhere - and the tactic got them two good tries.
They showed right from the start a willingness to run with the ball but they found positional play amongst the backs awkward.
Maties also ran from the start and it was their outstanding fullback Ruan Combrinck who jinked past several defenders and carried on doing it to the end. Every time he ran with the ball he beat at least two defenders. He was the most effective back in the match.
TUT were unfortunate to lose lock Emile Verster early on. In that early part of the match the Maties were dominant but it took them 21 minutes to opening the scoring and then it was a penalty goal by scrumhalf Donald Stevens.
A spate of penalties against them made life hard for TUT and a Maties try was the result as the visitors ran hither and thither till strong centre Berton Klaasen took on two defenders and then got the ball to right wing Ryan Nell who had a short, unencumbered run to the line. 8-0 after 30 minutes.
When TUT overthrew a line-out Maties attacked again, and again Klaasen was in the van. This produced a five-metre scrum which Maties walked ahead till eighthman Tertius Daniller scored. That made it 15-0 after 35 minutes.
But suddenly TUT came alive. Flyhalf Ruan Boshoff broke, No.8 Wessel Cronjé burst clean through with power and then a long pass by fullback Justin van Staden found lock JJ Breet who beat Nell on the outside and scored. That made the half-time score 15-7. It seemed that TUT were back in the game - an idle speculation,
Maties scored 29 points in the second half. Stevens goaled a penalty and then Maties made rapid headway with pick-'n-drive till captain and hooker Callie Visagie was almost there.
The ball came back to Stevens who threw a rudimentary dummy and forced his way between two defenders to score. 25-7 after 50 minutes.
A minute later Maties scored again. TUT got in a tangle and dropped the ball. Louis Jordaan footed through and was winning the race for the ball in in-goal when Thom Seabela shoved him the back, resulting in a penalty try and a yellow card for the left wing. 32-7.
TUT had some opportunities to maul on attack but the Matie riposte was strong and effective.
From a scrum Combrinck came into the line, broke and then got an underarm pass to replacement Jarryd Buys who immediately gave to Tythan Adams who raced away to score a splendid try. Stevens was off and flyhalf André Kemp converted from far out. That made it 39-7 with 17 minutes to play.
TUT got their second try. Maties defeated their maul and then they went wide to the left when centre Hansie Greeff went over far out - 39-12 with 13 minutes to play.
The Vikings had the ball deep in Matie territory. They had the ball protected at a tackle but big Chris van Zyl shoved them off and replacement prop Suan Havenga gave the ball to his backs. Looking like the best centre on the field, flank Grant Hattingh sold a dummy and then sent Adams racing for a try at the posts. Having converted from far out, Kemp, surprisingly, missed this one.
It was a complete performance by the Maties, beaten last week, and a dispiriting performance by TUT, victorious over neighbours Tuks last week.
For the FNB TUT Vikings:
For the FNB Maties:
Tries: Nell, Daniller, Stevens,
Penalty Try, Adams 2
Cons: Stevens 3,
Pens: Stevens 2
TUT: 15 Justin van Staden, 14 Andisa Gqobo, 13 Hansie
Graaff, 12 Lutho Nyeka, 11 Thom Seabela, 10 Ruan Boshoff, 9 Manny Raposo, 8
Wessel Cronjé, 7 Wikus Botes (captain), 6 Vince Gwavu, 5 JJ Breet, 4 Emile
Verster, 3 Juan-Phillip Pike, 2 Johan Pieterse, 1 Jacques van
Replacements: 16 Mbonambi Bongi, 17 Anton Krynauw,
18 Mare Ewald, 19 Julian Erasmus, 20 Ettienne Greeff, 21 Simphiwe Mtimkulu, 22
Ruan van Loo, 23 Jan Scheepers.
Maties: 15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Ryan Nell, 13 Berton Klaasen,
12 Louis Jordaan, 11 Tythan Adams, 10 André Kemp, 9 Donald Stevens, 8 Tertius
Daniller, 7 Meyer Swanepoel, 6 Helmut Lehman, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Chris van Zyl,
3 Buhle Mxunyelwa, 2 Callie Visagie (captain), 1 Os
Replacements: 16 Gareth Light, 17 Suan Havenga, 18
Grant Hattingh, 19 Reuben Johannes, 20 James Alexander, 21 Jody Rose, 22 Jarryd
Buys, 23 Alistair Vermaak.
Referee: Archie Sehlako