Maties dominate NWU to win 2018 Varsity Cup title

Stellenbosch ran riot in the second half to defeat North West University and pick up the 2018 Varsity Cup title.

Stellenbosch University players celebrate their Varsity Cup title win. Picture: @varsitycup/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Monday evening saw the final match of the 2018 Varsity Cup season when Stellenbosch University hosted the North West University – both fondly known as Maties and Pukke respectively - at the Danie Craven Stadium.

Both teams headed into the final off strong semi-final performances scoring more than 60 points against UJ and Wits.

In what was a game that many expected to be a tight affair – as with many competition finals – the second half performance from the men in maroon proved otherwise.

It took almost a third of an hour for the first points to be scored when Maties were awarded a penalty-try. Eleven minutes later Christopher Smith – who has been immaculate this season with his boot – slotted a drop goal to put his team ten points ahead inside thirty minutes.

On the stroke of half-time, NWU got themselves back into the game courtesy of a Tiaan Bezuidenhout try, which was successfully converted by Schalk Hugo.

That was all the points NWU were going to get for the remainder of the game as Maties came out of the break extremely strong, scoring an intercept seven-pointer in the first minute of the second half, which was successfully converted.

Lock Johan Momsen barged across the whitewash for Maties, which was arguably the cue for the host’s names to be engraved onto the trophy.

Once again, as he has been throughout the season, Christopher Smith calmly slotting the conversion.

Six minutes from time, Munier Haartzenberg dotted down, followed by a Nicky Nwagbara try to put the cherry on top for Maties as a mammoth attacking and, equally effective, defensive display allowed the boys from Stellenbosch to claim a 40-7 victory over NWU.