UJ fullback Earl Lewis scored another hat-trick of tries as the South African Universities recorded a 59-3 win over the Collegiate All-American team in a Tri-Nations curtain raiser at Newlands on Saturday afternoon. Ikeys Therlow Pietersen, Tim Whitehead and Martin Muller also added their names to the scoresheet.
It was the South Africans’ second victory in less than a week over their All-American counterparts, after they romped to a 72-14 victory at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Wednesday evening.
The Newlands result was the All-Americans’ second straight defeat on their three-match South African tour after they beat the Markötters of the University of Stellenbosch 36-24 in their opening match.
Lewis scored his second hat-trick this week, while Therlow Pietersen, Tim Whitehead, Ziniko Dumaphi, Donald Stevens, Jaco Nepgen, Martin Muller and BG Uys all crossed the tryline for the hosts. The All-Americans could manage only a single penalty through flyhalf Keegan Engelbrecht.
UCT back Pietersen opened the scoring after two minutes as he burst though the Americans’ defence to score in the corner – just as he had done in the previous match..
The Americans replied with a string of promising passages of play and was rewarded with a penalty after the South Africans were penalised at the breakdown.
Engelbrecht was on target and reduced the deficit to just two points after eight minutes. However, the South Africans hit back with a Lewis penalty shortly after to extend their lead to five points.
The South Africans then started to find their rhythm as Lewis sparked a 70-metre attack, which saw another Ikey Tigers ace, Whitehead, cross the whitewash. Lewis added the extras to make it 15-3 heading into the second quarter of the first half.
Lewis was in the action again shortly after as he jinked his way past a few would-be All-American tacklers to set up a fine try for Fort Hare speedster Ziniko Dumaphi to make it 20-3.
The UJ ace then had the final say in the first half as he put his name on the try-scorers’ sheet to give the home side a commanding 25-3 lead at the break.
The SA Universities continued where they left off in the first half with lock Jaco Nepgen dotting down after a well-worked rolling maul by the forwards. Shortly after, Lewis crossed for his second try of the match to make it 35-3.
Replacement scrumhalf Stevens, lock Muller and prop Uys added three more tries, with Stevens – the 2009 Varsity Cup Player of the Tournament – converting two of them to take the hosts past 50 points.
Lewis then capped another superb display with his third try just before the final whistle to hand the South African Universities an emphatic 59-3 victory.
“I think this was a great opportunity for the guys to see what it’s like to play at international level and a lot of them can easily play at Super 14 level in the next year or two,” said SA Universities coach Chean Roux afterwards. “Some of them might even make it to the Springboks one day.”
Speaking about hat-trick hero Earl Lewis, Roux added: “Earl proved to be a revelation – he was one of our big stars this week. If he is properly looked after, he can make it all the way to the top.”
For SA Universities:
Tries: Pietersen, Whitehead, Dumaphi, Lewis 3, Jaco Nepgen, Stevens, Muller, Uys
Cons: Lewis, Stevens 2
For Collegiate All-Americans:
SA Universities: 15 Earl Lewis (UJ), 14 Morné Jooste (Maties), 13 Therlow Pietersen (UCT), 12 Tim Whitehead (UCT), 11 Ziniko Dumaphi (Fort Hare), 10 Matthew Rosslee (UCT), 9 Marlin Ruiters (Shimlas), 8 Willem van der Wal (Pukke) (captain), 7 Cameron Peverett (Maties), 6 Wesley Wilkins (Maties), 5 Martin Muller (UCT), 4 Jaco Nepgen (Maties), 3 Lourens Adriaanse (Maties), 2 Stoffel Duvenhage (Pukke), 1 BG Uys (Pukke).
Replacements: 16 Edgar Maruthule (UJ), 17 Jaco Koch (Pukke), 18 Rob Andrew (UJ), 19 Jonathan Adendorf (Maties), 20 Donald Stevens (Maties), 21 Paul Bosch (Maties), 22 Jean Stemmet (Maties).
Collegiate All-Americans: 15 Colin Hawley (California – captain), 14 Blaine Scully (California), 13 Duncan Kelm (San Diego State University),12 LelandHunter, 11 Dustin Muhn (California), 10 Keegan Engelbrecht (California), 9 Benny Matealonia (Life University), 8 Steve St Pierre (Brigham Young University), 7 Richard Hibert (Cal-Poly), 6 Paul Bester (Life University), 5 Cameron Dolan (Life University), 4 Chris Parker (Texas), 3 Ross Silverman (University of California-Santa Barbara), 2 Eric Barret, 1 Mike Shephard (Indiana University).
Replacements: 16 Nardus Wessels (Arkansas State University), 17 Mike Su’a (Brigham Young University), ,18 Casey Rock (Metro State) 19 Tommy Pasque (Colorado), 20. Alex Ross (San Diego), 21 Dylan Lubbe (Brigham Young), 22 Aaron McMasters (Life University).
Referee: Francois Veldsman