Varsity Cup wrap: Round 3
The table-topping Maties continued their unbeaten start to the 2013 Varsity Cup with a tense 13-8 victory over a determined NMMU Madibaz side in Stellenbosch on Monday.
The team from Port Elizabeth showed great fighting spirit and pushed the three-time champions all the way before a late try from lock Reniel Hugo secured the victory for the home side at the Danie Craven Stadium.
It was NMMU's first defeat of the season after their draw with UCT, and their victory over Wits last week, leaving the men from Stellenbosch as the only unbeaten team in the competition after three rounds of action thus far.
Earlier, defending champions UP-Tuks scored three tries on their way to a 23-12 victory over UFS-Shimlas in Bloemfontein.
In Johannesburg, NWU-Pukke ran in five tries on either side of half-time to dismantle Wits 71-25.
Full-back Hoffman Maritz scored a hat-trick of tries, while SJ Niemand and Luther Obi scored a brace each. The heavy defeat will be a demoralising one for Varsity Cup newcomers Wits who showed plenty of heart to run the NMMU Madibaz close in Port Elizabeth last week.
UJ recorded a valuable win on the road, coming back from 13-18 down at half-time to claim a 42-26 win over UCT in Cape Town
The two sides, both of whom played their part in this exciting tussle, were locked at 26-26 as they went into the final strategy break but a try double by UJ captain Justin Wheeler saw the Men in Orange come away with their second win of 2013.
The Ikeys, however, are still winless - after losing away to defending champions, UP-Tuks, last weekend and drawing 5-5 with the Madibaz in Round One.
Meanwhile, CUT continued their unbeaten start to the season in Varsity Shield action, with a 24-16 victory over former Varsity Cup outfit TUT Vikings in Pretoria.
The CUT Ixias built up a commanding 24-0 lead before TUT hit back with two tries of their own, but the Vikings could not escape their fourth consecutive defeat and are still looking for their first Varsity Shield victory.
In Alice, Fort Hare fought back to score 12 unanswered points in the second half and clinch a dramatic 24-23 victory over former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers's UWC.
In the opening round of the Varsity Young Guns competition, the UCT Trojans made a fast start with a seven-try 44-15 victory over NMMU, whilst defending champions UP-Tuks were forced to hold on for a gritty 18-16 win over UFS-Shimlas.
Finally, in the Koshuirugby Championship, defending champions Vishuis gave Wits side Commerce a tough initiation with a resounding 111-8 victory in Johannesburg, and, in Stellenbosch, Medies cruised to a convincing 23-5 victory over NMMU outfit Northernz.