Maties travel to Pretoria for a north-south Varsity Cup clash with Tuks on Monday, while NWU face UCT, Wits take on Shimlas and CUT go up against UJ.
Maties and Tuks have both won their opening two matches, but Monday evening will present a chance for one of them to take an early lead on top of the log.
Games between the sides are usually tight, with the last three Varsity Cup meetings being decided by no more than eight points.
By thrashing UCT 66-5 last week, the defending champions have already sent out a warning to their rivals that they are just as good, if not better, than they were last year.
Meanwhile, Tuks have quietly gone about their business, grinding out a win against the plucky CUT before impressing by beating UJ 40-19 in Johannesburg.
Tuks captain Marius Verwey rued their errors against CUT, but was confident playing on home territory could give them an advantage to pull off what would be an upset.
‘We made a lot of unnecessary mistakes, but we could already see improvement against CUT,’ Verwey said. ‘When we stuck to the plan, we were rewarded – either by a penalty kick or a try.
‘Maties are a very good team, physically and tactically. But we are confident that we will beat them because we have our entire home team behind us.’
Maties skipper Johan Momsen explained how they used the wind to their advantage in their demolition of UCT, but expects a stern test of their credentials against their northern rivals.
‘We knew there was going to be a very strong wind [against UCT]. In the first half, we went against the wind and we just kept possession, so we could keep the game in their half. And the second half, with the wind we just kicked the ball downfield and defended and forced them to make the errors and scored the tries.
‘Tuks are a young side, so we don’t really know what to expect, but they are always strong, big boys. So, that is what we are going to expect, a physical game.’
Meanwhile, NWU are back in action after a bye in round two when they face the ambitious UWC in front of their home crowd in Potchefstroom.
While they have only played one match this season, NWU were ruthless in their 23-8 win against UJ in a match that only lasted 60 minutes due to inclement weather.
Newcomers UWC have shown plenty of ambition in their opening two losses, but have also shown their limitations as they have often let themselves down with a lack of discipline at key moments.
NWU captain Louis Van Der Westhuizen says his team is feeling refreshed and ready for its first home clash of the season.
‘The guys are super excited. It’s a first home game for the boys from the North-West, and for some even a first Varsity Cup game at Fanie du Toit Stadium too. So, the guys are really excited. We can’t wait for Monday and to produce some fire.’
Earlier in the day, CUT and UJ will be on the hunt for their first win of the season when they meet in Bloemfontein, while Shimlas will look to build on their opening win over UWC when they face Wits in Johannesburg.
CUT vs UJ
CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 4:45pm (SuperSport 1)
CUT – 15 Cohen Jasper, 14 Jason Raubenheimer, 13 Ruan Wasserman, 12 Heinrich Bitzi, 11 Erasmus Breedt, 10 Marc Morrison, 9 Johannes Hattingh, 8 Hardus Nel, 7 Luvuyo Ndevu, 6 Ruan Smit, 5 Rayno Nel (c), 4 Stefanus Wessels, 3 Tebogo Masemola, 2 Anrich Alberts, 1 Edward Davids.
Subs: 16 Ruben Cross, 17 Quintin Vorster, 18 Hendrik Smit, 19 Sylvester Makakole, 20 Songezo Ngozi, 21 Estiaan van Rensburg, 22 Andre Hanekom, 23 Karabo Maqeba.
UJ – 15 Odwa Nkunjana, 14 Tatendaishe Mujawo, 13 Siphesihle Radebe, 12 Cyprian Nkomo, 11 Shaun Williams, 10 Jeanluc Cilliers, 9 Jack Hart, 8 Dian Schoonees, 7 Siyabonga Luwaca, 6 Edwin Jansen, 5 Adriaan Bester (c), 4 Malembe Mpofu, 3 Stephen Bhasera, 2 Willem du Plessis, 1 Kayden Kiewiet.
Subs: 16 Hloni Mphuthi, 17 Pierre Rabie, 18 Coenraad Vrey, 19 Tyler Brown, 20 Siyabonga Masuku, 21 Johan Esterhuizen, 22 Johan Esterhuizen, 23 Mashudu Raphunga.
NWU vs UWC
Fanie du Toit stadium, Potchefstroom
Kick-off: 6:30pm (Not televised)
NWU – 15 Shane van Rooyen, 14 Andries van Niekerk, 13 Evardi Boshof, 12 AK Nela, 11 Lungelo Gosa, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Wian Conradie, 7 Muziwandile Mazibuko, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Jan du Plooy, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Robert Hunter, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen (c), 1 Tshegofatso Moloto.
Subs: 16 Marius Stander, 17 Douglas Bruce-Smith, 18 Matimu Manganyi, 19 Reuben du Plooy, 20 Edward Haas, 21 Eugene Hare, 22 BF van Staden, 23 Nkululeko Mcuma.
UWC – 15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Juanre de Klerk, 13 Lubelo Scott, 12 Lyle Hendricks, 11 Andre Manuel, 10 Keagan Fortune, 9 Clayton Daniels, 8 Adrian Paarwater (c), 7 Tyler Gessler, 6 Joel Paarwater, 5 Curtley Thomas, 4 Matthew le Roux, 3 Justin Theys, 2 Jacques van Zyl, 1 Luvo Bazi.
Subs: 16 Luan du Randt, 17 Alexander Mbete, 18 Reece Boks, 19 Jean-Louis de Lange, 20 Moegamat Labib Kannemeyer, 21 Aidynn Cupido, 22 Luke Cyster, 23 Hendrick Calitz.
WITS vs SHIMLAS
Wits Stadium, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 6:30pm (Not televised)
Wits – 15 Christian Humphries, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Yanga Hlalu, 12 Adriaan van Blerk, 11 Sicelo Champion, 10 Kurt Webster, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Phillip Krause, 7 Cal Smid, 6 Constant Beckerling (c), 5 Conor-Terrah Brocksmidt, 4 Kevin du Randt, 3 Reynard Cronje, 2 Justin Brandon, 1 Bhekisa Shongwe.
Subs: 16 Craig Hume, 17 Luyolo Qinela, 18 Ebot Buma, 19 Pascal Snyman, 20 Sipho Siboza, 21 Ruan Cloete, 22 Daniel Kasende Kapepula, 23 Neil Nyemba.
Shimlas – 15 Sechaba Matsoele, 14 Charl Pretorius, 13 Kurt Eybers, 12 William Eybers, 11 Marnus Boshoff, 10 Lubabalo Dobela, 9 Izak Burger, 8 Mihlali Peter, 7 Jan Rossouw, 6 Janco Cloete, 5 Henk Pretorius (c), 4 Sibabalo Qoma, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Hanno Snyman, 1 Bhekinkosi Qaba.
Subs: 16 Bandile Lekhuleni, 17 John Fincham, 18 Thembinkosi Mangwana, 19 Mervyn Roos, 20 Olehile Losaba, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 Ruan Henning, 23 Christiaan Schutte.
TUKS vs MATIES
Tuks Stadium, Pretoria
Kick-off: 7pm (SuperSport 1)
Tuks – 15 Vaughen Isaacs, 14 Dewald Naude, 13 Lourens Pretorius, 12 Erich Cronje, 11 Ciaran Dayaran, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Theo Maree, 8 Denzel Hill, 7 Ewart Potgieter, 6 Stephan Smit, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Marius Verwey (c), 3 Jean-Pierre Smith, 2 Werner Fourie, 1 Etienne Janeke.
Subs: 16 Llewellyn Classen, 17 Jacobus Eloff, 18 Bart le Roux, 19 Brian Leitch, 20 Raegan Oranje, 21 Damian Bonaparte, 22 Irvin Ali, 23 Hanru Sirgel.
Maties – 15 Edwill van der Merwe, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Cornel Smit, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Munier Hartzenberg, 10 Jordan Chait, 9 Logan Boonzaaier, 8 Stephan Streicher, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Johann van Niekerk, 5 Johan Momsen (c), 4 Sesink-Clee Jordan, 3 Piet Strauss, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Ricky Nwagbara.
Subs: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Wayrin Losper, 18 Leon Lyons, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Mitchell Carstens, 21 Brendon Nell, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 Adrian Seerane.
Photo: Kevin Sawyer/Varsity Cup