FNB MATIES CLOSE TO GRASPING TITLE
Stellenbosch University’s Rugby team FNB Maties has one hand on the Western Province title after league victory.
Maties faced their fierce rivals FNB UCT in a clash that had massive implications for the seasons of both teams. UCT still had a mathematical chance if they beat the Maties by a bonus point and prevented the Maties from either scoring four tries or ending the match within a margin of seven points.
Maties needed to record a victory to keep up the pace and maintain the gap they had over Hamiltons.
The first half was a tightly contested affair with lock Ian Groenewald opening the scoring after forcing his way over the tryline. Flyhalf Dean Grant kicked the conversion but UCT struck back immediately with a try and conversion to level matters.
The Maties led 28-15 with less than 10 minutes left in the match and went looking for a vital fourth try. The visitors had other plans and scored a converted try after Maties were reduced to 14 players after a yellow card to reserve-hooker Neethling Gericke.
With six minutes left it was the Maties who had to defend with gusto and UCT managed to score on the stroke of fulltime. With the chance to win the match it fell to the UCT flyhalf to kick a touchline conversion, but luckily for the home team he couldn’t hold his nerve and the kick went wide. The final score of 28-27 was enough to see the Maties maintain their top spot on the standings and still maintain control over their own destiny. -varsitycup.co.za