Tuks will face Shimlas in the Varsity Cup in Bloemfontein on Monday, while UWC are up against CUT, UJ travel to log-leaders Maties and NWU meet UCT in a crucial clash. DYLAN JACK reports.
It has been a resurgent season for the men from Pretoria, who have brought a youthful energy to the competition under head coach Nollis Marais.
However, they will face a tough test against Shimlas, who displayed their attacking prowess in putting 50 points past UCT last week. One thing that will have Tuks on the alert is how UCT were still able to come back late in that game, scoring 40 points of their own.
A win, even with a bonus point, won’t be enough for Shimlas to go past Tuks on the Varsity Cup log as Tuks have a far superior points differential, but all five points will see them draw level with the second-placed team.
‘We don’t focus too much on the log because we’re taking it game-by-game, and we try and play each game as well as we can,’ said Shimlas captain Henk Pretorius. ‘But the idea that a win will place us that much closer to the playoffs, is the best type of motivation.
‘This week went exceptionally well. Preparation for Tuks is always rougher and our training is extra physical because that’s what we expect from them; a lekker tough match ahead.’
Tuks captain Marius Verwy says he is proud of the way his charges went about their business in their 70-12 hammering of UWC in Cape Town, but added that they will have to be on their guard defensively against Shimlas.
‘We handled ourselves very well against UWC on Monday. Especially with the wind against us, we managed to maintain ball possession and challenged their territory.
‘We had a great week of training behind us and we are very ready for Shimlas. Shimlas are a very good and unpredictable team and they like to run with the ball. So our approach is basically to not give them any space.’
Earlier in the day, winless UWC will be involved in a bottom-of-the-table clash against CUT in Cape Town.
Chester Williams’ team has found its first year in the Varsity Cup tough to adjust to after an excellent couple of seasons in the Shield. They have not helped themselves with some poor discipline and basic defensive errors taking away from their fantastic free-flowing attack.
CUT, on the other hand, have had time to prepare for the clash having come off a bye in round five. They will want to emulate what they managed to do to UJ in their 27-26 win against the Johannesburg side.
Meanwhile, defending champions Maties will be targeting another big win at home against UJ to extend their winning run, while Ikeys could climb into the top four should they beat NWU with a bonus point in Potchefstroom.
UWC vs CUT
UWC Sports Grounds, Cape Town
Kick-off: 4:45pm (SuperSport 1)
UWC – 15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Sthsaba Mqhatu, 13 Darren Jaftha, 12 Lyle Hendricks, 11 Andre Manuel, 10 Aidynn Cupido, 9 Moegamat Kannemeyer, 8 Adrian Paarwater, 7 Bronlee Mouries, 6 Joel Paarwater, 5 Curtly Thomas, 4 Jaen-Louis de Lange, 3 Hendrik Calitz, 2 Jacques van Zyl
Subs: 16 Ralph Jansen, 17 Luvo Bazi, 18, Matthew le Roux, 19 Reece Bocks, 20 Clayton Daniels, 21 Keagan Fortune, 22 Lubelo Scott, 23 Justine Theys.
CUT – 15 Cohen Jasper, 14 Dimitrio Tieties, 13 Ruan Wasserman, 12 Marnu van Niekerk, 11 Erasmus Breedt, 10 Heinrich Bitzi, 9 Johannes Hattingh, 8 Gerhardus Nel, 7 Luvuyo Ndevu, 6 Ruan Smit, 5 Rayno Nel, 4 Sylvester Makakole, 3 Tebogo Masemola, 2 Anrich Alberts, 1 Edward Davids
Subs: 16 Ruben Cross, 17 Quintin Vorster, 18 Henco Smit, 19 Brendon Fortuin, 20 Stefan Kruger, 21 Estiaan van Rensburg, 22 Marc Morrison, 23 Jason Raubenheimer.
MATIES vs UJ
Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch
Kick-off: 6:30pm (Not televised)
Maties – 15 Anton du Toit, 14 Herman van Dyk, 13 David Brits, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Reinhardt Fortuin, 9 Brendon Nell, 8 Jesse Johnson, 7 Mitchell Carstens, 6 Joe van Niekerk, 5 Zirk Jansen, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Wayrin Losper
Subs: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Ricky Nwagbara, 18 Piet Strauss, 19 Gift Dlamini, 20 Clee Sesink, 21 Logan Boonzaaier, 22 Jordan Chait, Munier Hartzenburg
UJ – TBC
NWU vs UCT
Fanie du Toit Sports Ground, Potchefstroom
Kick-off: 6:30pm (Not televised)
NWU – 15 Shane van Rooyen, 14 Lungelo Gosa, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 AK Nela, 11 Lincoln Daniels, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Eugene Hare, 8 Edmund Rheeder, 7 Reuben du Plooy, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Jan du Plooy, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Matimu Manganyi, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Botter Moloto.
Subs: 16 Marius Stander, 17 Nelius Theron, 18 Robert Hunt, 19 Muziwandile Mazibuko, 20 Senzo Mkhize, 21 Sylvester Hassien, 22 BF van Staden, 23 Keagan Tait.
UCT – 15 Darian Hock, 14 Rayno Mapoe, 13 James Tedder, 12 Robert Ball, 11 Lindelwe Zungu, 10 Jonathan Bredell, 9 Brandon Salomo, 8 Nyasha Tarusenga, 7 Josh Moon, 6 Cornelius Otto, 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Gary Porter, 3 Tomas Rosenwerth, 2 Brenton Greaves, 1 Devon Arendse.
Subs: 16 Joshua van Vuuren, 17 Qhawe Bula, 18 Simon Raw, 19 Deejee Putter, 20 Busanda Mabena, 21 Albertus Pretorius, 22 Michael Brink, 23 Sibabalwe Mzanywa.
SHIMLAS vs TUKS
Shimla Park, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 7pm (SuperSport 1)
Shimlas – 15 Ruan Henning, 14 Cham Zondeki, 13 Tiaan Schutte, 12 William Eybers, 11 Charl Pretorius, 10 Lubabalo Dobela, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Mihlali Peter, 7 Albertus de Bod, 6 Jan Cloete, 5 Henk Pretorius, 4 Sibabalo Qoma, 3 Mogau Mabokela, 2 Hanno Snyman, 1 Wentzel Vorster.
Subs: 16 Willen Marais, 17 Thembinkosi Mangwana, 18 Cornelius Kramer, 19 Sihle Diniso, 20 Jan Rossouw, 21 Izak Burger, 22 Marnus Boshoff, 23 Sechaba Matsoele.
Tuks – 15 Damian Bonaparte, 14 Dewald Naude, 13 Lourens Pretorius, 12 Erich Cronje, 11 Ciaran Dayaran, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Theo Maree, 8 Denzel Hill, 7 Hanru Sirgel, 6 Stephan Smit, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Marius Verwey, 3 Jean-Pierre Smith, 2 Cornelius Grobbelaar, 1 Etienne Janeke.
Subs: 16 Werner Fourie, 17 Jacobus Eloff, 18 Bart le Roux, 19 Brian Leitch, 20 Raegan Oranje, 21 Christo Hamman, 22 Irvin Ali, 23 Mihlali Stamper.
Photo: Kevin Sawyer/Varsity Sports