Pukke will be looking to remind the rest of the Varsity Cup competition of their attacking potency when they host UJ on Monday, while NMU play Wits, Maties face CUT and Shimlas travel to UCT.
Pukke thumped CUT 70-7 in round one, before enjoying a bye and then losing 18-15 to UCT in Cape Town. They will look to get back on track with a win against UJ, whose only success so far has come against CUT.
Pukke coach Jonathan Mokuena says motivation was an issue against UCT, but believes his side will be far more motivated following the loss, especially given that UJ won this fixture last season.
‘There was so much hype around the first game and it was at home, so the motivation was a little bit higher. The UCT game was a little more difficult, in getting the guys motivated.
‘I think it will be different being at home with everyone’s parents, uncles and aunties cheering them on from the crowd. I think as the coaching staff, the biggest thing is focusing on the detail.
‘UJ beat us the last time we played them at Fanie du Toit Stadium. They will come here confident and believing they can beat us. I believe my team is on the right track, though, and it should be a good 80 minutes.’
UJ coach Werner Janse van Rensburg says his team is keen to get back into action.
‘A bye always presents an interesting challenge. It extends the period until the next game, which makes the guys more expectant to play. In our case, it was a good time for us to reassess where we were after round one. It’s been a long wait, so the guys are raring to go now.
‘Pukke’s performance in round one was exceptional and they’re always good at home. But there’s nothing out of the Varsity Cup history book that says if a team does well in the previous game it means they will be good on the day.’
Meanwhile, NMU will be looking for their first win of the season when they take on high-flying Wits, who sit second on the log after three rounds.
Wits coach Hugo van As says he is expecting a close encounter between the two sides.
‘NMU is a quality outfit and I know that’s not how they wanted to start their season [with two losses against UCT and CUT]. But they will be a big threat to us in Port Elizabeth on Monday night. I’m sure it will be a close contest.’
Maties will be looking to extend their unbeaten run against CUT in Stellenbosch, while UCT and Shimlas, who sit third and fourth respectively, will battle in Cape Town.
NMU vs WITS
Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 16:45 (SuperSport 1)
NMU – 15 Michael Botha, 14 Athenkosi Mayinje, 13 Siphumelele Msutwana, 12 Riaan Esterhuizen (c), 11 Lindelwe Zungu, 10 Simon Bolze, 9 Lovu Claassen, 8 Justin Hollis, 7 Wynand Grassman, 6 Henry Brown, 5 Gerrit Huisamen, 4 Luyolo Dapula, 3 Dylan Barendse, 2 Jedwyn Harty, 1 Nicolas Roebeck.
Subs: 16 JP Jamieson, 17 Tembelihle Yase, 18 Similile Qinela, 19 Robert Izaks, 20 Jayson Reinecke, 21 Sibusiso Ngcokovane, 22 Henrique Olivier, 23 Jordan Koekemoer.
Wits – 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Yanga Hlalu, 12 Adriaan van Blerk, 11 Daniel Kapepula, 10 Christian Humphries, 9 Ruan Cloete, 8 Ayabulela Mdudi, 7 Jethro de Lange, 6 Constant Beckerling (c), 5 Pascal Snyman, 4 Conor-Terrah Brockschmidt 3 CJ Greeff, 2 CJ Conradie, 1 Ameer Williams.
Subs: 16 Justin Brandon, 17 Craig Hume, 18 Sipho Siboza, 19 Lwazi Monakali, 20 Jared Fuller, 21 Manqoba Mbatha, 22 David Cary, 23 Luyolo Qinela.
MATIES vs CUT
Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch
Kick-off: 18:30 (not televised)
Maties – 15 Reinardt Fortuin, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Cornel Smit, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Christopher Smith, 9 Remu Malan, 8 Janco Venter, 7 Marno Redelinghuys, 6 Mitchell Carstens, 5 Johan Momsen, 4 Brandon Valentyn, 3 Johan Fouche, 2 Arnoldi Wilmar, 1 Chippie Oelofse (c).
Subs: 16 Hendrik Luus, 17 Ricky Nwagbara, 18 Piet Strauss, 19 Chris Massyn, 20 Stephan Streicher, 21 Logan Boonzaaier, 22 Elden Schoeman, 23 Munier Hartzenberg.
CUT – 15 Dimitrio Tieties, 14 Masego Toolo, 13 Ruan Wasserman, 12 Heinrich Bitzi, 11 Dean Jacobs, 10 Denver Kleu, 9 Ruben Heymans (c), 8 Gerhardus Nel, 7 Ruan Smit, 6 Dean Rossouw, 5 Brendon Fortuin, 4 Arne van Rensburg, 3 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 2 Tiaan Erasmus, 1 Quintin Vorster.
Subs: 16 Johannes Terblanche, 17 Raynard Esterhuizen, 18 LW Viljoen, 19 Lihan Viljoen, 20 Isiah Bila, 21 Tiisetso Madonsela, 22 Mazithulele Nkosi, 23 Karabo Maqeba.
UCT vs SHIMLAS
UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town
Kick-off: 18:30 (not televised)
UCT – 15 Khanyo Ngcukana, 14 Karl Martin, 13 Liam Furniss, 12 Charles Ball, 11 Joel Smith, 10 Darian Hock, 9 Pieter Schoonraad, 8 Nyasha Tarusenga, 7 Josh Moon (c), 6 Kuyenzeka Xaba, 5 Duncan Saffy, 4 David Meihuizen, 3 Simon Raw, 2 Cuan Hablutzel, 1 Wayrin Losper.
Subs: 16 Josh Van Vuuren, 17 Ashwyn Adams, 18 Ntokozo Khomo, 19 Gary Porter, 20 Kwezi Puza, 21 Stefano de Gouveia, 22 Lohan Lubbe, 23 Suwilanji Chibale.
Shimlas – 15 Sechaba Matsoele, 14 Athi Halom, 13 Carel-Jan Coetzee, 12 Sango Xamlashe, 11 Gideon Agenbag, 10 Nicholas Naude, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Albertus de Bod, 7 Menzi Nhlabathi, 6 Jan Cloete, 5 Henk Pretorius, 4 Sibabalo Qoma, 3 Mogau Mabokela, 2 Hanno Snyman, 1 Gert Kotze (c).
Subs: 16 JC Jansen van Vuuren, 17 Louis Cloete, 18 Janu Botha, 19 Raymond Woest, 20 Benjamin Jansen van Vuuren, 21 Zinedene Booysen, 22 Ayabonga Oliphant, 23 Tiaan Schutte.
PUKKE vs UJ
Fanie du Toit Stadium, Potchefstroom
Kick-off: 19:00 (SuperSport 1)
Pukke – 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Dean Gordon, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Akhona Nela, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Tiaan Bezuidenhout (c), 7 Estehan Visagie, 6 Wandile Mazibuko, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Nelius Theron.
Subs: 16 Marius Stander, 17 Matimu Manqanyi, 18 Theodore Ferreira, 19 Jaco Swanepoel, 20 Senzo Mkhize, 21 Nkosana Mathaba, 22 Henko Marais, 23 Jimmy Mpailane.
UJ – 15 Ronald Brown, 14 Tyreeq February, 13 Jan-Louis la Grange, 12 Jaco Fourie, 11 Tatendaishe Mujawo, 10 Jeanluc Cilliers, 9 Bradley Thain, 8 Wian Conradie, 7 Adriaan Bester, 6 James Venter, 5 Kevin de Randt, 4 Malembe Mpofu, 3 Nico du Plessis, 2 Jannes Snyman (c), 1 Sibusiso Lali.
Subs: 16 Hendrik van Schoor, 17 Dillon Bakos, 18 Estian Enslin, 19 Siyabonga Luwaca, 20 Darryle Kameel, 21 Austic-Marc Davids, 22 Louis van der Schyff, 23 Cohen Kiewit.
Photo: Picture Cafe/Varsity Cup