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Varsity Cup: Pitch invasion mars Madibaz clash; Wits beaten in Joburg derby

Maties secured a home semi-final after a 19-0 win over Madibaz at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The result, and subsequent home-semi advantage, was overshadowed by a field invasion by students from NMMU.

The Varsity Cup match between NMU and Stellenbosch University on 12 March 2018 which was abandoned. Picture: @varsitycup/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Round 7 of Varsity Cup action continued on Monday evening with action on the field being marred by violence off the field.

Maties secured a home semi-final after a 19-0 win over Madibaz at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The result, and subsequent home-semi advantage, was overshadowed by a field invasion by NMU students.

Students from NMMU’s South African Students Congress (Sasco) branch invaded the pitch and attempted to enter a VIP booth in the stands after calling for its removal. The students were also calling for transformation at the university.

The disruptions occurred inside the first ten minutes of the second half with the score 19-0 in favor of the visitors – who remain unbeaten. Johan Momsen, Logan Boonzaaier and Munier Hartzenberg crossed the whitewash before the game was abandoned.

Over in Johannesburg, Wits went into their game against UJ as favourites, with the boys in blue going into the game in second place having only lost one game so far this season. A tense affair saw UJ go into the break 21-10 ahead after two quick tries from winger Odwa Nkunjana and flanker James Venter.

The hosts scored after the break, making it a four-point game. UJ held on, adding another eight points to the board and – in the process – handing them bragging rights in Johannesburg. The final score was 29-17.

Pretoria outfit, Tuks got their first win of the season when they beat CUT 54-26 in Bloemfontein. It was a performance similar to the one that won them the title last season; with three players scoring a brace of tries. Tyler Fisher, Eduan Lubbe & Ruan Nortje all crossed the whitewash twice. Joseph Karabo and Ruan Smit were the try-scorers for CUT.

In the final game, Shimlas was annihilated 58-21 by NWU at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds. Tries from Dean Gordon, Evardi Boshoff & Tiaan Bezuidenhout helped take NWU into the break 30-7 ahead. NWU added 28 points in the second half to Shimlas’ 14 points to round off a miserable night for the visitors with Albertus de Bod sin-binned for foul play in the second half.

The results from Monday evening’s results sees NWU move up to second after their win over Shimlas and thanks to UJ’s win over Wits – who drop to third. UJ are in fourth, just two points behind rivals Wits and six points from fifth-placed Ikeys – who had a bye. Tuks move up to 7th, followed by CUT. Madibaz prop up the table with just three points.

Next week’s game could determine the next home semi-finalist. With the Madibaz on the road until the semi-finals, the chances of violence breaking out at another game is slim.

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