FNB Varsity Cup

Varsity Cup Round 3: Previews

Be sure not to miss the action as Varsity Cup rolls into round 3. Here are all the previews courtesy of varsitycup.co.za

Fixture: FNB UCT Ikeys vs FNB NWU

Team: FNB UCT Ikeys

Log position: 4th

Date: 12 February 2018

Kick-off: 18h30

Venue: UCT Rugby Fields

Coach: Christiaan Esterhuizen – 082 410 8345

Team Manager: Raun Billet – 083 308 5483

FNB UCT Ikeys look to build on FNB Madibaz win

FNB UCT Ikeys are looking build on their win against FNB Madibaz last week when they host FNB NWU in Cape Town on Monday.

FNB UCT were defeated by a determined FNB Wits side in their opening game of the tournament but defeated FNB Madibaz 27-17 in Port Elizabeth the following week, after an incredibly dominant showing from their forwards, often scrummaging the home side off the ball.

FNB UCT coach Christiaan Esterhuizen believes their win against FNB Madibaz gave his side the confidence they needed.

“A win obviously builds confidence and creates a little bit of belief in the squad. After some silly errors in last 10 mins against FNB Wits which cost us the game, the win proved to the guys that if they stay focussed for 80 minutes and manage the game better, they can win more matches.”

FNB NWU were given a bye in the second round of the FNB Varsity Cup and the FNB boss says this could benefit them. Esterhuizen also commented on the speed of the FNB NWU attack.

“The bye came early for them, they had two weeks to prepare for us and improve fitness levels. They came off a good win in round one, so they will be full of confidence coming into Monday’s match.

“They looked really well organised on attack. The created excellent ruck speed, especially at second phase which caused FNB CUT some real headaches. FNB NWU always have a good pack and it is always a challenge when you play against them.”

FNB UCT-Ikeys Starting XV: 15 Khanyo Ngcukana, 14 Karl Martin, 13 Liam Furniss, 12 Joel Smith, 11 Joel Smith, 10 Darian Hock, 9 Pieter Schoonraad, 8 Nyasha Tarusenga, 7 Josh Moon (captain), 6 Kuyenzeka Xaba, 5 Duncan Saffy, 4 David Meihuizen, 3 Simon Raw, 2 Cuan Hablutzel, 1 Wayrin Losper

Replacements: 16 Josh Van Vuuren, 17 Ashwyn Adams, 18 Ntokozo Khomo, 19 Gary Porter, 20 Deejee Putter, 21 Brandon Salomo, 22 Lohan Lubbe, 23 Suwilanji Chibale

Live commentary and stats: http://www.varsitycup.co.za/varsity-cup-fixtures-logs (click on preferred fixture during live match)

Fixture: FNB UCT Ikeys vs NWU


Log position: 3rd

Date: 12 February 2018

Kick-off: 18h30

Venue: UCT Rugby Fields

Coach: Jonathan Mokuena – 079 500 6112

Team Manager: Tannah Stroebel – 071 073 8351

FNB NWU to stay grounded ahead of FNB UCT clash

FNB NWU look to get their season back on track after a bye last week.

The Potchefstroom-based side caused waves in the opening round after obliterating FNB CUT 70-7 at the Fanie du Toit Sportsgrounds.

FNB NWU coach Jonathan Mokuena’s side made a real statement after seemingly scoring tries at will, and eventually put nine past FNB CUT. Winger Dean Gordon and flank Estehan Visagie were the stars of the show after a grabbing a brace each.

FNB NWU will now make their first trip away to take on FNB UCT. Both sides have been touted as having strong forward packs, so the clash up front could be the deciding factor in the fixture.

After putting a cricket score past FNB CUT, Mokuena says his side remain focussed on the task at hand.

“It was easy keeping the boys grounded,” said the former Blitzbok captain, “I went old school on them by drilling them like in the old days. I must say I’m happy with the response.”

Mokuena believes they will have to be wary of FNB UCT’s forward pack and defensive systems.

“FNB UCT has a strong pack, strong set phases, a strong defensive system and they like to throw the ball around. We know that we will have to be at our best in all facets of the game. They draw a lot of energy from their forwards.

“We are looking forward to the challenge, especially because it’s a home game for them.”

FNB NWU Starting XV: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Dean Gordon, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Henko Marais, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Tiaan Bezuidenhout (captain), 7 Estehan Visagie, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Siphesihle Mngadi, 1 Matimu Manganyi

Replacements: 16 Chucky van der Westhuizen, 17 Nelius Theron, 18 Theodore Ferreira, 19 Jaco Swanepoel, 20 Wandile Mazibuko, 21 Nkosana Mathaba, 22 AK Nela, 23 Jimmy Mpailane


Fixture: FNB Maties vs FNB Tuks

Team: FNB Maties

Log position: 1st

Date: 12 February 2018

Kick-off: 19h00 (live on SuperSport 1)

Venue: Danie Craven Stadium

Coach: Hawies Fourie – 072 790 6733

Team Manager: Riaan Truter – 084 276 9030

FNB Maties will have a score to settle when they host FNB Tuks on Monday.

FNB Maties will look to make it three from three when they host the current-title holders UP-Tuks at Danie Craven Stadium on Monday.

FNB Maties have been on a roll this season after dispatching FNB UJ 31-3 in their first round and 56-21 in their second round against FNB Shimlas.

The Stellenbosch-based university has scored 11 tries in just two games, blowing their opponents away with winger Duncan Saal scoring five tries this season, picking up the FNB Player that Rocks award twice, and scored a hat-trick in his most recent game against FNB Shimlas.

Monday’s clash serves as a repeat of last year’s final where FNB UP-Tuks showed character to hold off FNB Maties to win the tenth instalment of the competition 28-21 at the Tuks Rugby Stadium which will add extra spice to the bout.

FNB Maties Starting XV: 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 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Johan Fouche, 2 Arnoldi Wilmar, 1 Chippie Oelofse (captain)

Replacements: 16 Hendrik Luus, 17 Ricky Nwagbara, 18 Piet Strauss, 19 Brandon Valentyn, 20 Stephan Streicher, 21 Logan Boonzaaier, 22 Elden Schoeman, 23 Munier Hartzenberg

Team: FNB UP-Tuks

Log position: 7th

Date: 12 February 2018

Kick-off: 19h00 (live on SuperSport 1)

Venue: Danie Craven Stadium Coach: David Manuel – 072 995 7149

Team Manager: Morris Gilbert – 083 300 9314

FNB UP-Tuks look for redemption in Stellenbosch

FNB UP-Tuks will be on the hunt for their first victory when they take on the high-flying FNB Maties on Monday at Danie Craven Stadium.

It’s not the start FNB UP-Tuks coach David Manuel would have dreamt of taking over as coach of the Pretoria side after two consecutive losses. Their first defeat came against FNB Shimlas 19-17 at home in the rain and then to FNB Wits 25-19 in Johannesburg.

It’s understandable though, considering the transitional period the team is going through. FNB UP-Tuks has a new coach, new captain and a largely different side with many players leaving after their FNB Varsity Cup title victory in 2017.

With many stars among their ranks, including captain Denzil Hill at flank, number 10 Tinus de Beer and winger Xolisa Guma, they are far from down and out and should have the potential to get a few victories down the line and will aim to shock FNB Maties at home.

Guma and outside centre Toko Seerane have been star performers in the early phase of their campaign with Guma and Seerane scoring in both games with the former picking up a brace in FNB UP-Tuks’s clash with FNB Wits.

FNB UP-Tuks Starting XV: 15 Willem Strydom, 14 Dewald Naude, 13 Adrian Seerane, 12 Erich Cronje, 11 Xolisa Guma, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Theo Maree, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Denzel Hill (captain), 6 Jacobus Smit, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Ruan Nortje, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel

Replacements: 16 Cornelius Els, 17 Mashao Mukhari, 18 Marius Verwey, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Carlo Engelbrecht, 21 Divan Rossouw, 22 Tyler Fisher, 23 Wesley Adonis

Fixture: FNB CUT Ixias vs FNB Madibaz


Log position: 9th

Date: 12 February 2018

Kick-off: 16h45 (Live on SuperSport 1)

Venue: CUT Stadium

Coach: Tiaan Liebenberg – 082 332 2383

Team Manager: Skillie Bester – 082 375 3600

FNB CUT Ixias wary of ‘dangerous’ FNB Madibaz backline

FNB CUT Ixias will look to claim their first win when they return to Bloemfontein to host FNB Madibaz. Coach Tiaan Liebenberg made three changes to the team who lost against FNB UJ last week.

Tiaan Liebenberg’s men have lost both of their opening games, by big results after taking a wholloping against FNB NWU, 70-7 and then against FNB UJ, losing 48-21.

FNB CUT conceded 15 tries in two games and only managed to score two tries.

Liebenberg believes that despite their losses his side showed great signs against their latest game against FNB UJ and will try to perpetuate those strengths in their next game.

“The two losses that we took was obviously against two of the best sides in the competition and I feel we were in the game against FNB UJ. There was a lot of positives that we took out of that game and we will definitely build on the confidence the team took from that. We will not change a lot, but I do think we need to execute better if we want to have a chance against a very good FNB Madibaz side.”

The former Stormers player believes finally playing at home will really benefit FNB CUT’s performance.

“It is very nice to finally have a home game, although I do not think we need to put unnecessary pressure on the team, they are very excited to play in front of our home crowd. I think that every rugby team out there wants to play at home and if we are relaxed and focused I believe we will do well.”

Liebenberg gave a lot of respect to opposition coach David Maidza and the FNB Madibaz backline but admitted his excitement for the clash.

“The FNB Madibaz side will always post a massive challenge and I have a lot of respect for David Maidza their coach, he was the assistant coach to Rassie in 2006 when I was with the Cheetahs for super rugby and I know he is a very smart coach. They have a very dangerous backline and their pack will always be competitive. It will definitely be a massive game and we are looking forward to it!”

FNB CUT Starting XV: 15 Dimitrio Tieties, 14 Masego Toolo, 13 Ruan Wasserman, 12 Heinrich Bitzi, 11 Dean Jacobs, 10 Denver Kleu, 9 Ruben Heymans, 8 Gerhardus Nel, 7 Rayno Nel (captain), 6 Ruan Smit, 5 Brendon Fortuin, 4 Sylvester Makakole, 3 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 2 Tiaan Erasmus, 1 Quintin Vorster

Replacements: 16 Johannes Terblanche, 17 Raynard Esterhuizen, 18 LW Viljoen, 19 Isiah Bila, 20 Arne van Rensburg, 21 Tiisetso Madonsela, 22 Karabo Maqeba, 23 Johannes Nel

Team: FNB Madibaz

Log position: 8th

Date: 12 February 2018

Kick-off: 16h45 (Live on SuperSport 1)

Venue: CUT Stadium

Coach: David Maidza – 082 577 9382

Team Manager: Nico Koen – 072 579 4992

Maidza calls for improved execution as FNB Madibaz take on FNB CUT
FNB Madibaz will look to claim their first win of the game when they take on FNB CUT in Bloemfontein on Monday.

The men from Port Elizabeth put in a spirted shift last week against a determined FNB UCT side but were bested on the day losing 27-17.

They scored one less try than their Western rivals. Both Simon Bolze and Siphumelele Msutwana’s were exhilarating to watch while the backline was supported by a strong performance from the forwards.

FNB Madibaz boss David Maidza believes his side needs to improve their all-round performance to beat FNB CUT, but that all their faults can be fixed at practice.
“Our set pieces did not give us a solid platform to play from and credit to FNB UCT for putting us under pressure especially at scrums. We had our chances but did not finish off those opportunities to score. But there was a great effort from the boys, all the work-ons are items that we can handle going forward and stay focused because I believe the game could have gone either way.”

The former Zimbabwe international is wary of FNB CUT’s forward pack and kicking abilities.
“They have a good pack hence we have to work harder this week in fixing our scrum work. They also have a number of good tactical kickers in their side.”

FNB Madibaz Starting XV: 15 Michael Botha, 14 Athenkosi Mayinje, 13 Siphumelele Msutwana, 12 Riaan Esterhuizen (captain), 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

Replacements: 16 JP Jamieson, 17 Tembelihle Yase, 18 Similile Qinela, 19 Robert Izaks, 20 Jayson Reinecke, 21 Sibusiso Ngcokovane, 22 Henrique Olivier, 23 Jordan KoekemoerFixture:

FNB Shimlas vs FNB Wits 

Team: FNB Shimlas

Log position: 6th

Date: 12 February 2018

Kick-off: 18h30

Venue: XEROX Shimla Park

Coach: Hendro Scholtz – 082 441 2590

Team Manager: Dougie Heymans – 082 825 1376

FNB Shimlas backs young side at home

FNB Shimlas will look to bounce back against FNB Wits when the Bloemfontein-based side plays their first game at home this season.

The men in blue looked ripe and ready to unseat FNB Maties after beating FNB UP-Tuks 19-17 at a cold and wet Tuks Rugby Stadium in the first round.

It was a different story in Stellenbosch where FNB Shimlas leaked a whopping seven tries to go down 56-21 against a ruthless FNB Maties side.

FNB Shimlas coach Hendro Scholtz admitted the defeat was tough on his young squad but explained that playing at home will be all the motivation they need for the next clash against FNB Wits.

“Yes, it’s never nice to lose. I think we played well at times. We gave away possession to easily and FNB Maties scored three seven-point tries from it. We’ve got a young side, so it’s never difficult to motivate the players and home-field advantage is huge. I know that other teams don’t like to travel to Bloemfontein, so we must use that.”

Scholtz is wary of the unbeaten and confident FNB Wits side.

“They have had two good wins now, so are on a high. We just must keep to our structures and hold on to the ball.”

FNB Shimlas Starting XV: 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 (captain)

Replacements: 16 JC Jansen van Vuuren, 17 Louis Cloete, 18 Janu Botha, 19 Raymond Woest, 20 Christoffel Roelofse, 21 Zinedene Booysen, 22 Ayabonga Oliphant, 23 Tiaan Schutte

Team: FNB Wits

Log position: 2nd

Date: 9 February 2018

Kick-off: 18h30

Venue: XEROX Shimla Park

Coach: Hugo van As – 082 899 3063

Team Manager: Ferdinand Kelly – 071 460 7803

FNB Wits brace for FNB Shimlas backlash

FNB Wits coach Hugo van As isn’t celebrating yet after his side’s two impressive wins. The Braamfontein-based side accomplished two great victories after defeating FNB UCT in Cape Town in their first round and then 2017 FNB Varsity Cup Champions FNB UP-Tuks in Johannesburg in the second round.

FNB Wits have proved to be a multi-faceted force this season. The men from Jozi possess a powerful set of forwards led by inspirational captain Constant Beckerling and a potent backline armed with accomplished finishers, Kwanele Ngema and Kasende Kapepula on the wings.

If Van As’s men can claim a three-from-three record, it will provide them with a valuable points cushion for the rest of the competition.

But the FNB Wits boss believes his side still has a mountain to climb.

“We are currently on two wins, and are obviously very grateful for the starting record, but are fully aware that we have achieved very little. No team has ever won or lost something with two wins, we are in week three of the campaign and still face huge challenges as a group.”

Van As believes FNB Shimlas will be out for redemption against FNB Wits and that his side must be ready for them.

“We expect a backlash. FNB Shimlas is a proud institution and we know that what happened last week is not a true reflection of them. FNB Shimlas is a well-balanced side and play a typical Cheetahs brand of rugby. They will ask a lot of questions on all aspects of the 80 minutes. Our biggest challenges are how we react with our processes and what we want to achieve.”

FNB Wits Starting XV: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Sicelo Champion, 12 Adriaan van Blerk, 11 Daniel Kapepula, 10 Christian Humphries, 9 Ruan Cloete, 8 Ayabulela Mdudi, 7 Jethro de Lange, 6 Justin Brandon, 5 Dawid Bodenstein, 4 Conor-Terrah Brockschmidt 3 CJ Greeff, 2 CJ Conradie, 1 Ameer Williams

Replacements: 16 Christopher Worthington, 17 Craig Hume, 18 Sipho Siboza, 19 Kyle Wesemann, 20 Manqoba Mbatha, 21 Lwazi Monakali, 22 Luyolo Qinela, 24 Constant Beckerling*

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