• Varsity Cup preview (Round 7)

    Four teams will fight it out for the two remaining play-off spots in the final round of the Varsity Cup on Monday.

    With Tuks and Shimlas having secured home semi-finals with big wins in the penultimate round last week, it's down to which teams will join them in the knockout phase of the competition.

    In the early match on Monday, two-time champions Tuks will be looking to maintain their place at the top of the standings when they travel to Port Elizabeth to face a NMMU side hoping to end a disappointing campaign on a high.

    In Cape Town, defending champions UCT will know a win will see them stay in the competition, but their opponents UJ will need more than that as their outside chance of making the semi-finals rests on other results going their way.

    Three-time champions Maties face winless newcomers CUT in Bloemfontein, and they will need all five log points – and a favour from either UJ or Shimlas – if they are to avoid missing the play-offs for just the second time in the history of the competition.

    Shimlas are the only team yet to lose this season, and they host Pukke in what could be a make-or-break game for the visitors.

    Last year's beaten finalists know a win will be enough to go through, but if they do not manage to topple coach Franco Smith's impressive Shimlas outfit, then they will have to rely on results elsewhere going their way to make the cut.

    In the Varsity Shield, UWC continue their mission to sneak into the final when they travel to Alice to face Fort Hare, while TUT host log-leaders Wits, who can assure themselves a home final with victory in Pretoria, in the other Shield match.

    NMMU vs TUKS
    Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth
    Kick-off: 16.45 (SuperSport 1)

    NMMU – 15 Tythan Adams, 14 Khaya Malotana, 13 Micheal Barnardt, 12 Devon Lailvaux, 11 Brian Skosana, 10 Ruan Allerston, 9 Enrico Acker (c), 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Philip Odendaal, 6 Jody Reyneke, 5 Robert Louw, 4 Stephan Zaayman, 3 Brenden Olivier, 2 Dane Van der Westhuyzen, 1 Marzuk Maarman.
    Subs: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Steven Robbeson, 18 Elandre van der Merwe, 19 Ivan-John du Preez, 20 Ivan ludick, 21 Stevn Hansel, 22 Andile Jho, 23 Arno Ebersohn.

    Tuks – 15. Riaan Britz, 14. Damian van Wyk, 13. Daniel Kriel, 12. John Jackson, 11. Jermaine, 10. Joshua Stander, 9. André Warner, 8. Clyde Davids, 7. Jannes Kirsten, 6. Wiaan Liebenberg (c), 5. Reniel Hugo, 4. Irné Herbst, 3. Andrew Beerwinkel, 2. Jan Enslin, 1. Nqobisizwe Mxoli.
    Subs: 16 Jan Van der Merwe, 17 Justin Forwood, 18 Dennis Visser, 19 Pieter Jansen van Vuren, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Dewald Human, 22 Adrian Maebane, 23 Neethling Fouché.

    UCT vs UJ
    UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town
    Kick-off: 18.30 (not televised)

    UCT – 15 Khanyo Ngcukana, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Lihleli Xoli, 12 Guy Schwikkard, 11 Dylan Sage, 10 Thomas Bednall, 9 Ryan Dugmore, 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Michael Botha (c), 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Mark Prior, 3 Kyle Whyte, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Joel Carew.
    Subs: 16 Michael Kennedy, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Jade Kriel, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 Stephen Wallace, 21 Nicholas Holton, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 David Maasch.

    UJ – 15 Aphiwe Dyanti, 14 Bradley Moolman, 13 Robert De Bruyn, 12 Adriaan Vermeulen, 11 Andries Osthuizen, 10 Jaco Fourie, 9 Chuma Faas, 8 Dylan Peterson, 7 Kyle Van Dalen, 6 Kobus Porter (c), 5 David Antonites, 4 Werner Lourens, 3 Nico Du Plessis, 2 Siphatho Qinisile, 1 Gareth Milasinovich.
    Subs: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Raeez Salie, 18 Griffith van Wyk, 19 Wiaan Conradie, 20 Hilton Mudarika, 21 James Campbell, 22 Dominic Kroezen, 23 Brandon Landsberg.

    CUT vs MATIES
    CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein
    Kick-off: 18.30 (not televised)

    CUT – 15 Henry immelman, 14 Lethole Makoena, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Mosego Toolo, 10 Duan Pretorius (c), 9 Christiaan Erasmus, 8 Jean Pretorius, 7 Jean-Claude Fourie, 6 Dean Kouprihanoff, 5 Fanie Coetzee, 4 JJ Nel, 3 Niel Schoombee, 2 Jeandre Roux, 1 Len Noort.
    Subs: 16 Niel Schoombee, 17 Ian Smith, 18 Daneel Botes, 19 Victor Maruping, 20 Dean Jacobs, 21 Dean Rossouw, 22 Naude van Biljon, 23 Boetie Makethlo.

    Maties – 5 Mike Muller, 14 Jamie Joseph, 13 Paul Streicher, 12 Koos Loubser, 11 Craig Barry, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Bjorn Bernardo, 8 Janco Venter, 7 Derick Linde (c), 6 Justin Benn, 5 Kobus Van Dyk, 4 Lourens Fick, 3 Jacobus Van der Merwe, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Niel Oelofse.
    Subs: 16 Craig Corbett, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Grant Prior, 19 Lungelo Chonco, 20 Louis Nel, 21 Ernest Stapelberg, 22 Kyle Leibrandt, 23 Abel De Klerk.

    SHIMLAS vs PUKKE
    Shimla Park, Bloemfontein
    Kick-off: 19.00 (SuperSport 1)

    Shimlas – 15 AJ Coertzen (c), 14 JP Coetzee, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Maphutha Dolo, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Gerhard Olivier, 6 Steven Meiring, 5 Niel Claassen, 4 Johan van der Hoogt, 3 Conraad Van Vuuren, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Ox Nche.
    Subs: 6 Jacques Du Toit, 17 Chase Morison, 18 Boela Venter, 19 Tienie Burger, 20 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 21 Vuyani Maqina, 22 Refuoe Rampete, 23 Theunis Nieuwoudt.

    Pukke – 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Dalen Goliath, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel (c), 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Jaco Buys, 7 Marno Redelinghuys, 6 Armandt Liebenberg, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Wian Fourie, 1 Johan Smith.
    Subs: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Mogau Mabokela, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Moletsi Bouwer, 20 Malherbe Swart, 21 Juandre Williams, 22 Bouke Tack, 23 Cayle Denner.

    By Michael de Vries

    Photo: Van Zyl Naudé/SASPA/Varsity Cup

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    Mariette Adams