In a scintillating encounter, Maties came from behind to trump UP-Tuks 41-24, subsequently knocking the reigning champions out of the FNB Varsity Cup, and ensuring a semi-final berth. Tuks prop Basil Short was first to cross over the line after a great drive. The visitors scored again courtesy of wing Duncan Matthews when he received a perfectly timed pass from team-mate Carlo Engelbrecht. At 16-0 it was looking ominous for the University of Stellenbosch.
It seemed like things would only get worse for Maties and at this point, the hope of turning the tie around was starting to look unlikely as Maties centre Mark Hodgkiss was shown the yellow for his unnecessary challenge on Tuks fullback Warrick Gelant just before half time. It was still 16-0 at the break in favour of the University of Pretoria.
The break seemed to have injected more life into the Maties side as flyhalf Robert Du Preez scored his side’s first try to reduce the deficit to 16 – 8. Soon enough through, Du Preez found Craig Barry to score the try that would level matters and put the hosts right back in the thick of things. Caleb Smith was the man who would put his team in the lead for the first time in this match when he crossed the line in the corner.
Much to the home crowds pleasure, Du Preez delivered a penalty to extend the Maties lead to 26 – 16. Andrew Beerwinkel then scored a try for his side, narrowing the gap to 26 – 24. Maties’s Barry was able to secure the bonus point for his side when he capitalised on a gap in the Tuks defence. The last try for the hosts came from a great run from star man Du Preez who supplied Chris Smith to cross over the line and leave the home fans ecstatic.