A few minutes after the first whistle, a penalty was awarded to Tuks which gave fly-half Tian Schoeman the chance to drive the ball five metres into Maties territory. With the help of a powerful driving maul, Tuks tighthead prop Basil Short scored the first try which Schoeman converted to an 8-0 lead.

Tuks’ second try came minutes before the strategy break. Tuks were awarded a penalty due to handling errors by Maties. Schoeman set the ball to Maties territory lining up scrum-half Carlo Engelbrecht with a good pass to right-wing Duncan Matthews, who easily penetrated through the Maties defence line to score Tuks’ second try and the last point of the first half. Tuks led the first half 16-0.

Both teams came back stronger after the first strategy break but Tuks felt no pressure when Maties made attempts to score a try before half time. Tuks’ defence was given a rest when Maties were reduced to 14 men after outside-centre Mark Hodgkiss was given a yellow card for tripping Tuks full-back Warrick Gelant when he was chasing the ball.

In the second half, Maties fly-half Robert du Preez scored and converted their first try, changing the score to 16-8.Maties full-back Craig Barry was the next to score when he stretched over the try line to equalise the score to 16-16.The next try was awarded to Maties left-wing Caleb Smith through a TMO after placing the ball in the corner of the field and Maties in the lead for the rest of the match with 16-24.

Before Tuks could gain momentum, Maties were awarded a penalty which Du Preez successfully slotted, increasing their lead to 16-26.

After the second strategy break and the pink ball in play, Tuks replacement prop Andrew Beerwinkel’s charge-down try was awarded through a TMO that brought the match to a 24-26 score after a successful conversion by Schoeman.

With just a few minutes left, Smith secured Maties’ chance of a semi-final with a converted try earning them a bonus point and a 24-34 score.

Maties took advantage of Tuks’ tired defence in the last minute as left-wing Chris Smith dashed past the try line to end the game at 24-41 and Tuks’ dream of the first Varsity Cup hat-trick victory.

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