Maties send ominous warning
André Kemp (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former Varsity Cup champions, Maties, made their 2012 intentions clear with a superb 52-2 opening-round win over the TUT Vikings in Stellenbosch on Monday evening.
The Men in Maroon - winners of the Varsity Cup between 2008 and 2010, before surrendering their title last year - scored seven tries to nil after racking up a 26-2 half-time lead.
One would always expect a wing, or perhaps a centre, to come away with a brace of tries in a big win like this, but it was giant lock Grant Hattingh who was smiling more than most after collecting a hat-trick of tries.
And, not far behind an elated Hattingh was giant prop - and the aptly nicknamed - Os Hamman who, excuse the pun, weighed in with a brace of tries.
The Vikings arrived at the Danie Craven Stadium with a point to prove, after a dismal 2011 Varsity Cup campaign, and they took an early 2-0 lead after a series of Maties errors handed flyhalf Hansie Graaff a shot at goal. (Remember, of course, the change in scoring this year - two points for a penalty or a drop-goal and three points for a conversion.)
That, however, was to be the visitors' only points on the night as Chean Roux's charges took things up a level - firstly through centre Wessel Coetzee (the eventual Man of the Match) who ran a brilliant line off his inside centre Louis Jordaan to register the hosts' first points.
Hattingh's first try soon afterwards made it 16-2 and when Hamman crashed over - to make it 24-2 - it was basically game, set and match already.
Flyhalf André Kemp had added all three first-half conversions and his first penalty of the night made it 26-2, before missing two conversions in the second half as the two H's, Hattingh and Hamman, scored again to make it 36-2.
Hattingh's hat-trick score, converted this time, made it 44-2 and the rest of the match was a bit disappointing as the Maties butchered a number of try-scoring opportunities.
However, the game did end on a high for the men in Maroon as replacement flyhalf André Smith - a new recruit in Matie-land - crossed for their seventh try before full-time, with replacement scrumhalf Donald Stevens converting.Scorers:Maties:
Tries: Coetzee, Hattingh 3, Hamman 2, Smith
Cons: Kemp 4, Stevens
Pens: KempTUT Vikings:
15 Ryan Nell, 14 Dean Hammond, 13 Wessel Coetzee, 12 Louis Jordaan, 11 Tythan Adams, 10 André Kemp, 9 Boela Abrahams, 8 Tertius Daniller, 7 Helmut Lehmann (captain), 6 Sam Mabombo, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Grant Hattingh, 3 Os Hamman, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Substitutes: 16 Alfred Ries, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Reniel Hugo, 19 JP Swanepoel, 20 Donald Stevens, 21 André Smith, 22 Clearance Khumalo, 23 Hein van der Merwe.
15 Brahm du Preez, 14 Craig Pheiffer, 13 Rikus de Beer, 12 Hagen Munba, 11 Ruan van Loo, 10 Hansie Graaff, 9 Nico Smuts, 8 Wikus Botes, 7 Yves Basiya, 6 Ryno Coetzee, 5 Steph Nel, 4 Ewald Mare, 3 Dandre van der Westhuyzen, 2 Johan Pieterse (captain), 1 Coert van Gerve.
Substitutes: 16 Zandre Grobler, 17 Nico van den Heever, 18 Gavin Engelbrecht, 19 Ryno Lopes, 20 Rhuwanne Pienaar, 21 Melcolm Griffiths, 22 Craig van Rooi, 23 Nathi Sethusse.
Referee: Ben Crouse
Assistant referees: Daniel Fortuin, Hein Gericke