Eagles off to a flying Varsity Cup start

How’s that for laying down a marker? The North-West University (NWU) Eagles, the defending champions, showed no ring rust as they got their Varsity Cup campaign off to the best of starts by beating Maties 23-12 at the hallowed Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.

A monstrous scrum combined with the X-factor provided by players such as Naiden Jaarts and Player that Rocks Zinedine Robinson rung Maties’ bell time and again. Then there was the Eagles’ defence, which at times seemed impenetrable. There will, however, be some question marks regarding the victors’ lineouts. Things just did not fire as they should, resulting in some mouthwatering attacking opportunities going to waste. Luckily it was not detrimental to the Eagles’ cause, but it is an area the coaching team will be addressing.

Both teams scored two tries apiece, although Maties’ final five-pointer came in extra time.

Jaarts, as slippery as a jet-powered eel, scored a beauty in the 21st minute after a perfect inside pass by Robinson. Speaking of Robinson, the flyhalf has the time, spatial awareness and vision that are the envy of any playmaker. And we are not even mentioning his learned, accurate boot …

Ezekiel Ngobeni scored the Eagles’ third try with 30 minutes gone on the clock, and this was followed by two penalties by Robinson and one by Charles Williams, which further stamped down the Eagles’ authority. Robinson also contributed two conversions.

The Eagles’ first home game is against the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on Monday, 26 February at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds in Potchefstroom. Kick-off is at 19:00.


The NWU Eagles team was officially revealed on Wednesday 14 February on the Potchefstroom Campus. They beat Maties 23-12 five days later in Stellenbosch.

Submitted on Wed, 02/21/2024 - 14:32