Log-leaders FNB NWU-Pukke were the only home side to secure victory in an exciting second round of action in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
The team from Potchefstroom kept their spot at the top of the standings with another bonus-point win against old rivals FNB UFS-Shimlas, on a night which saw the other three home teams all go down.
FNB NMMU Madibaz followed up their big win against FNB Maties last week with a dramatic victory over FNB UJ in Johannesburg, with last week’s five-try hero Chris Cloete sealing victory with a try in the last minute from a driving maul.
Defending champions FNB UP-Tuks cruised to a comfortable 53-8 victory over FNB Wits which saw them outscore their hosts by seven tries to one, and in the early game FNB UCT handed three-time champions Maties their second consecutive defeat.
After two bonus-point wins it is NWU-Pukke that set the pace after two rounds, with five tries in the second half seeing them romp to victory over a UFS-Shimlas side that will have to be content with a single bonus point for scoring four tries of their own.
Coach Robert du Preez’s team based their win on set-piece dominance in what was always going to be a highly physical encounter between two old foes.
The Madibaz left it to the last possible second to snatch victory over UJ, with Cloete crashing over just seconds before the full-time siren sounded to break UJ hearts in Johannesburg.
The defeat leaves UJ winless after the first two rounds, following their draw with UP-Tuks last week, whilst the win on the road underlines NMMU’s title credentials after they started the competition in style with a big win over Maties in Port Elizabeth.
Maties will have to do some serious soul-searching after slumping to their second consecutive defeat which was UCT’s second ever win against them in the Varsity Cup and their first in Stellenbosch.
The Ikeys bounced back superbly from their opening defeat to NWU-Pukke, scoring four tries in a dominant display that leaves Maties at an unfamiliar end of the standings.
The woes continued for Wits, who are still yet to win their first game in the competition in their second season, as UP-Tuks steamrolled them with a seven-try performance in Johannesburg.
The visitors took an early lead, but they would not get any more points as UP-Tuks delivered a clinical performance to get their campaign up and running after their stutter against UJ last week.
In the Varsity Shield defending champions FNB CUT defeated Peter de Villiers’ FNB UWC 30-8 in a tidy performance in Bloemfontein whilst TUT made it two wins from two games with a 42-34 victory over the FNB Fort Hare Blues in Pretoria.
The Varsity young Guns competition also kicked off on Monday night, with defending champions UP-Tuks showing why they have yet to lose a game in two years of the Under-20 competition with a resounding 137-2 win over an outclassed Wits side.
In the other Young Guns games Steinhoff Maties Juniors swept aside their counterparts from UCT 42-0 and UJ beat NMMU 40-16 in Johannesburg.