Ikeys put Maties to the sword
UCT handed Cape rivals Maties their second consecutive Varsity Cup defeat in a gripping match in Stellenbosch.
The 30-14 result was just UCT's second-ever Varsity Cup win against Maties, and their first in Stellenbosch, leaving the three-time champions winless after two rounds following their defeat against the NMMU Madibaz last week.
The UCT forward pack made a big early statement with a powerful scrum which had the home team back-pedalling, but it was Maties who scored first when a swift counter-attack resulted in centre Johnny Kôtze diving over for the try.
Both teams were intent on playing the game in opposition territory, with the two flyhalf's trading a series of tactical kicks, although there were some basic mistakes from both sides which robbed them of continuity.
Maties were struck a blow just after the first strategy break when flank Beyers de Villiers was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle and UCT took advantage immediately as Jason Klaasen crashed over for a try from a line-out drive.
Former Maties flyhalf Dean Grant slotted the tough conversion and they followed that up with another try soon afterwards as some slick handling saw wing Lihleli Xoli dive over in the corner to give the Ikeys a 13-8 lead.
With De Villiers' time in the sin bin yielding two tries for UCT, Maties set about looking for a response before half-time, but it was the visitors who would add to their total with a late Grant penalty giving them a 15-8 advantage at half-time.
Things got even worse for Maties when Klaasen got over for his second try which had to be confirmed by the TMO after the ball had been ripped from Xoli's grip by Maties fullback Craig Barry.
The touchline conversion from Grant put UCT firmly in control with a 23-8 lead, and it looked a long way back for the home side.
With their tails up, the Ikeys looked to pile the pressure on their hosts who found themselves defending their tryline once again before long, with Klaasen denied a hat-trick by the TMO who ruled that there had been a double movement.
A great break from Grant should have resulted in a try, but captain Liam Slatem took the chance to kick for goal to extend their lead to a commanding 25-8 at the second strategy break.
That left them two converted tries ahead, and the desperate Maties threw everything at them as they looked for a response, which came from flyhalf Robert du Preez who floated through a gap to score.
That left the home side needing to score twice in the last five minutes to take a dramatic comeback victory, but it was UCT skipper Liam Slatem who had the final say as he scrambled over for a try after a great break from centre Huw Jones.
Try: Kôtze, Du Preez
Cons: Du Preez 2
Tries: Klaasen 2, Xoli, Slatem
Cons: Grant 3
Pens: Grant 2
Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Clearance Khumalo, 13 Mark Hodgskiss, 12 Johnny Kôtze, 11 Caleb Smith, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Nel, 8 Tertius Daniller (captain), 7 Lungelo Chonco, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Brendon Pitzer, 2 Freddie Kirsten, 1 Niel Oelofse.
Replacements: 16 Charl de Villiers, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Ian Groenewald, 19 Justin Benn, 20 Jean Nel, 21 Chris Smith, 22 Louis Jordaan, 23 Liam Hendricks.
UCT: 15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Guy Schwikkard, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Liam Slatem (captain), 8 Vince Jobo, 7 Shaun McDonald, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Jan Uys, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 David Maasch, 18 Guy Alexander, 19 Zakeyo Tinetenda, 20 James Alexander, 21 Martin Sauls, 22 David Strachan, 23 Robin Murray.
Yellow card: Beyers de Villiers (Dangerous tackle)
Referees: Daniel Fortuin, Francois Pretorius
TMO: Shaun Veldsman