Maties favourite for Cape derby

Unbeaten Maties are likely to end defending champions UCT’s semi-final hopes in Stellenbosch on Monday night.

The Cape derby between Maties and UCT has been a closely-contested highlight in the Varsity Cup throughout its history: from the annual league meetings at the Green Mile or Danie Craven Stadium to the 2008 and 2010 finals. However, this season’s match should see the hosts win comfortably.

Three-time champions Maties have returned to their best form after a disappointing 2011 campaign, where they failed to qualify for the play-offs for the first time. They’re currently enjoying a five-match winning streak and are on course for a home semi-final berth. Ikeys have experienced a nightmare title-defending run this year, with only one win from their five fixtures. They will be disappointed with their 29-29 draw against Pukke at home last week, considering they led 24-5 at the break, but it’s a result that still gives them slim hopes of finishing in the top four.

Ikeys will need to avoid defeat in the last two rounds to keep their title ambitions alive, but it’s unlikely that the students from Stellenbosch will fold to their southern-suburb rivals, who have been the impostors of the unit they were in 2012. Maties have won five of the six encounters between the two teams and have never lost to Ikeys at home. Expect an easy Maties win.

The other interesting fixture will see UJ travel to Potchefstroom to tackle a physical Pukke outfit. Victory will give the visitors a big chance of finishing in the top two, while the hosts will take a big step towards qualifying for the semi-finals should they win. Pukke have been impressive at home, but UJ haven’t lost since the opening round and have scored 143 points over the past two weeks.

Tuks will entertain NMMU in Pretoria, but the home side should be too strong for the Madibaz. While NMMU have picked up some surprising wins this season, they will struggle to beat a strong Tuks side. The Shimlas-TUT clash is a dead-rubber match, as both sides will not finish in the top four. Shimlas will win comfortably.

Shimlas vs TUT, Bloemfontein, 5pm

Shimlas – 15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Earl Snyman, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Erick Colyn, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Erik le Roux, 7 Armandt Koster, 6 Freddie Ngoza, 5 Joubert Horn, 4 Lebo Zietsman, 3 Ian Potgieter, 2 PW van Vuuren, 1 John-Henry Harris.
Subs: 16 JC van Wyk, 17 Stephan Kotze, 18 JC Astle, 19 Fanie van der Walt, 20 Pieter Rademan, 21 Reinhardt Erwee, 22 Stephan van der Merwe, 23 Carl van Heerden.

TUT – 15 Quinton van Greunen, 14 Hagen Mumba, 13 Rikus de Beer, 12 Koos Kotze, 11 Ruan van Loo, 10 Melcolm Griffiths, 9 Manny Raposo, 8 Wikus Botes (c), 7 Yves Basiya, 6 Ryno Coetzee, 5 Ewald Maree, 4 Gavin Engelbrecht, 3 Zandre Grobler, 2 Nathi Sethusi, 1 Dandre van der Westhuyzen.
Subs: 16 Coert van Gerve, 17 Nico van den Heever, 18 Tinus van Wyk, 19 Peter Matthews, 20 Nico Smuts, 21 Thabo Mangena, 22 Craig van Rooi, 23 Ryno van Rooyen. prediction: Shimlas by 20 plus

Maties vs Ikeys, Stellenbosch, 7pm

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

15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 Adrian Kritzinger, 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Greg Mallett, 7 Zandy Macdonald, 6 Ntsolo Setlaba (c), 5 Levi Odendaal, 4 Graham Knoop, 3 Francois van Wyk, 2 Dayne Jans, 1 Wes Chetty.
Subs: 16 Matt Page, 17 Adriaan Botha, 18 Brad Bosman, 19 James Kilroe, 20 Nick Farrar, 21 Paul Cohen, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 Mini Bhengu. prediction: Maties by 12

Tuks vs NMMU, Pretoria, 7pm

Tuks – 15 Wynand Pienaar, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Dabeon Draghoender, 11 Hayden Groepes, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Clayton Stewart, 8 Okkie Kruger, 7 Daniel Adongo, 6 Jacques Verwey, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Mike Williams, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Zane Botha (c), 1 Sabelo Nhlapo.
Subs: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Sthembiso Mlongo, 19 Wiaan Liebenberg, 20 Rudi van Rooyen, 21 Fanie Booysen, 22 Courtnal Skousan, 23 Basil Short.

NMMU – 15 Martin du Toit, 14 Mayibuye Ndwandwa, 13 Quinton Crocker, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Eckard Jacobs, 10 Bradley Kretzman, 9 Anton Verster, 8 Jaco Swanepoel (c), 7 André Goosen, 6 Ulrich Pretorius, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Dexter Fahey, 2 Kobus Greeff, 1 Gareth Hartley.
Subs: 16 Francois Coetzer, 17 Roy Godfrey, 18 Timothy Agaba, 19 Thomasau Forbes, 20 Marlin Ruiters, 21 Carl van Niekerk, 22 Devon Lailvaux, 23 Phillip Nel. prediction: Tuks by 10

Pukke vs UJ, 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 Spanner Pretorius, 7 Ernie Strydom, 6 Philip de Wet, 5 Victor Kruger, 4 Siyanda Ndlovu, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 JC Oberholzer, 1 Henry Scharneck.
Subs: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Lodewyk Uys, 19 Siya Mdaka, 20 Andries Botha, 21 SW Oosthuizen, 22 Terswin Raubenheimer, 23 Zander de Kock.

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

By Gareth Duncan