Table toppers clash in Stellies

The fourth round of the Varsity Cup will see the exciting clash between Maties and Tuks in Stellenbosch.

The fact that this match will not be televised is ridiculous. Varsity Cup managing director Duitser Bosman explained that the tournament organisers have scheduled the televised matches according to the teams’ placings last year, but this round has proved it is a flawed procedure. All Varsity Cup lovers will want to follow the action at Danie Craven Stadium this evening, but now only those in Stellenbosch will be able to watch the action.

It should be a closely contested fixture – a potential clash of the season. Both teams have shown great form during their three-match winning streaks, and will want to carry an unbeaten record into the next round. Tuks have been impressive all around, with their mobile forwards and their pacy backline playing a key part in their expansive game plan. Maties will be more direct in their approach. The hosts boast a strong and physical pack, that will need to set the momentum up front.

In Port Elizabeth, UCT will want to added to their win against TUT last week when they face NMMU in the early game. Ikeys suffered a poor start to the season, but scored nine tries in their 66-2 drubbing of the Vikings. The Madibaz have been inconsistent over the past three rounds, but should prove to be a challenge for Ikeys on home soil.

In Bloemfontein, Shimlas and UJ face off in a crucial game. With Maties or Tuks likely to drop points, it gives both teams an opportunity to make valuable ground. A win could be the major turning point for either side. A defeat for the hosts might cost them a top-four spot later this season.

In Potchefstroom, Pukke will enjoy an easy outing against hapless TUT. The Tshwane outfit have been the whipping boys of the competition this season and can expect another hiding from the hosts, who will be desperate for a win following back-to-back defeats.

NMMU vs UCT, PORT ELIZABETH, 5PM

NMMU – 15 Gerrit Smith, 14 Mayibuye Ndwandwa, 13 Quinton Crocker, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anton Verster, 10 Martin du Toit, 9 Charlie Purdon, 8 Jaco Swanepoel (c), 7 André Goosen, 6 Ulrich Pretorius, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Dexter Fahey, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey.
Subs: 16 Kobus Greeff, 17 Gareth Hartley, 18 Timothy Agaba, 19 Jaco Otto, 20 Marlin Ruiters, 21 Bradley Kretzman, 22 Devon Lailvaux, 23 Phillip Nel.

UCT – 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 Michael Morris, 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Rayn Smid, 7 Zandy Macdonald, 6 Ntsolo Setlaba (captain), 5 Levi Odendaal, 4 Don Armand, 3 Francois van Wyk, 2 Dayne Jans, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Adriaan Botha, 18 Brad Bosman, 19 Greg Mallett, 20 Ricky Schroeder, 21 Paul Cohen, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 Digby Webb.

Keo.co.za prediction:UCT by 8.

SHIMLAS vs UJ, BLOEMFONTEIN, 7PM

Shimlas – 15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Cameron Jacobs, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Earl Snyman, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Rynhardt Erwee, 9 Pieter Rademan, 8 Willie Britz (c), 7 Fanie van der Walt, 6 Freddie Ngoza, 5 JC Astle, 4 Joubert Horn, 3 Ian Potgieter, 2 Michael van Vuuren, 1 Charles Marais.
Subs: 16 JC van Wyk, 17 John-Henry Harris, 18 Wilken Heyns, 19 Armand Koster, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Franna du Toit, 22 Erick Colyn, 23 Stephan Kotze.

UJ – 15 Worsie Kotze, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Luan Steenkamp, 12 Divan van Zyl, 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Guy Cronjé, 9 Rudi Paige, 8 Justin Wheeler (c), 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Johan van Deventer, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Jaco Vermeulen, 2 Shaun Malton, 1 Ruan Dreyer.
Subs: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Njabulo Mkize, 18 Marnus van Huyssteen, 19 RJ Liebenberg, 20 Jacques Pretorius, 21 Justin St. Jerry, 22 Aubrey McDonald, 23 Heinrich Terblanche.

Keo.co.za prediction: Shimlas by 5.

MATIES vs TUKS, STELLENBOSCH, 7PM

Maties – 15 André Smith, 14 Ryan Nell, 13 Wessel Coetzee, 12 Louis Jordaan, 11 Dean Hammand, 10 André Kemp, 9 Donald Stevens, 8 Tertius Daniller, 7 Helmut Lehmann (c), 6 Sam Mabombo, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Grant Hattingh, 3 Os Hamman, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Subs: 16 Gareth Light, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Reniel Hugo, 19 JP Swanepoel, 20 Boela Abrahams, 21 Jarryd Buys, 22 Clearance Khumalo, 23 Hein van der Merwe.

Tuks – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Dabeon Draghoender, 11 Hayden Groepes, 10 Wesley Dunlop, 9 Lohan Jacobs, 8 Jono Ross (c), 7 Jacques Verwey, 6 Okkie Kruger, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Mike Williams, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Jacques Momberg, 1 Sabelo Nhlapo.
Subs: 16 Zane Botha, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Sthembiso Mlongo, 19 Lean Schwartz, 20 Clayton Stewart, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Riaan Britz, 23 Basil Short.

Keo.co.za prediction: Maties by 5.

PUKKE vs TUT, POTCHEFSTROOM, 7PM

Pukke – 15 Malan van der Merwe, 14 Andrew van Wyk, 13 Ruan Jacobs, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht (c), 11 Joe Seerane, 10 Gerhard Nortier, 9 Tiaan Dorfling, 8 Ernie Strydom, 7 Philip de Wet, 6 Siya Mdaka, 5 Victor Kruger, 4 Lodewyk Uys, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Marius Fourie, 1 Henry Scharneck.
Subs: 16 JC Oberholzer, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Danie Jordaan, 19 Juan ‘Spanner’ Pretorius, 20 Andries Botha, 21 SW Oosthuizen, 22 Terswin Raubenheimer, 23 Mashudu Mafela.

TUT – 15 Hagen Mumba, 14 Rikus de Beer, 13 Hansie Graaff, 12 Brahm du Preez, 11 Ruan van Loo, 10 Melcolm Griffiths, 9 Manny Raposo, 8 Wikus Botes (captain), 7 Yves Basiya, 6 Ryno Coetzee, 5 Ewald Maree, 4 Gavin Engelbrecht, 3 Zandre Grobler, 2 Nathi Sethusi, 1 Dandre van der Westhuyzen.
Replacements: 16 Coert van Gerve, 17 Nico van den Heever, 18 Joel Kapena, 19 Peter Matthews, 20 Nico Smuts, 21 Quinton van Greunen, 22 Craig van Rooi, 23 Ryno van Rooyen.

Keo.co.za prediction: Pukke by 15.

By Gareth Duncan