Tough second round for Bloem Varsity Cup teams

The exciting University of the Free State centre, Saida Xamlashe, celebrates one of his two tries during a losing cause against the well-oiled University of Stellenbosch Maties. PHOTO: THYS LOMBARD

Round two of the Varsity Cup proved to be a night to forget for the Bloemfontein teams, as neither the University of the Free State Shimlas not the Central University of Technology Ixias managed to earn a win on Monday evening.

The young and experienced Shimlas entered the match against the University of Stellenbosch Maties at Coetzenburg with renewed confidence after beating the University of Pretoria Tuks in the capital city the previous week. It’s become somewhat of a cliché in sport, but once again it proved that bucket loads of talent cannot beat experience, and this was exactly what happened in Stellenbosch.

The well-oiled Maties ran riot in front of over 15 000 home supporters for a comprehensive 56-21 victory over their Free State counterparts.

Duncan Saal ran in for a hat-trick of tries, while Marno Redelinghuys, Edwill van der Merwe, Chippie Oelofse and Chris Smith all crossed the whitewash as well. Smith, in his turn, slotted five conversions and a penalty as well, while Reinhardt Fortuin landed a single conversion.

The Shimlas’ points came via a brace of tries by Saida Xamlashe, and Athi Halom dotted down once. Last week’s Player that Rocks, Lubabalo Dobela, converted one try, with Charl Naude hitting the target twice.

Despite the defeat in Stellenbosch, the Shimlas will still feel confident heading into their first home game next week when they will be hosting the unbeaten Wits at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein. This game in the City of Roses kicks off at 18:00.

The Ixias, in their turn, took the fight to the University of Johannesburg this week, and despite the loss, can hold their heads up after bouncing back to a large extent from last week’s heavy 70-7 defeat to the North West University Pukke in Potchefstroom.

The Ixias were leading the game in Johannesburg at once stage on Monday evening, however, it was ultimately the hosts who managed to secure a 48-21 win for their first victory of the campaign.

Johannes Snyman, Mpofu Malembe, Ruan Brown, Thian Bradley, Jaco Fourie and Kiewit Cohen also crossed the tryline for UJ, while Jean-Luc Cilliers chased six conversions and a penalty through the uprights. Dean Rossouw and Ruben Heymans crossed the line for the visitors, while Heinrich Bitzi landed one conversion and three penalties.

The Ixias will also be playing in their first home game of the campaign next week when they will entertain the Madibaz at CUT Park, with this game kicking off at 16:45.

Round two results: Madibaz 17 vs. Ikeys 27; Maties 56 vs. Shimlas 21; UJ 48 vs. Ixias 21; Wits 25 vs. Tuks 19. – MORGAN PIEK