After two weeks of the 2012 Varsity Cup the one thing we can be sure of is that there are no easy games in this tournament.
Tuks 40-0, Tuks made small work of TUT after an indifferent first half from them.
UJ 29-15, The 2011 Champions UCT, had their second straight loss of the season and are sitting with no points on the table after two weeks.
Maties 14-12, Maties overcome the big defense of Pukke to win the match with a late try in the game.
NMMU 29-27, NMMU gave us the biggest upset when they came back to win against Shimlas in Bloemfontein.
This week, we will first see UJ taking on NMMU. This match could be an interesting game after NMMU surprised everyone last week with their comeback win against Shimlas. UJ will also feel a little bit uncomfortable after letting UCT back in the game last week. “We’re obviously pleased with Monday’s result, but we are not satisfied,” admitted the UJ boss, “there’s still a lot of work to be done and areas to improve on.” UJ side is unchanged for tonight’s matchup against NMMU.
NMMU showed us last week that through hard work and never giving up you can come from a nothing rugby team to one that can beat the best anytime, anywhere. Coach Brent Jansen van Rensburg has pointed to his teams self-believe as a crucial factor in their victory last week. This self-believe must now be filtered through to tonight’s game for the men from PE. Andre Goosen, the try-scoring hero for NMMU last week will pack in at lock tonight. Timothy Agaba will take Gossen’s number 7 jersey for tonight’s match.
In match number two we have Tuks who will try to keep their good run of form going against Pukke. Pukke will take a lot from their loss against three times champions, Maties last week. Tuks is definitely the in-form team so far in the competition, and rightly so after the impressive season last year and the continuation of that through the two matches so far this year. Tuks will get and extra boost tonight after hooker Zane Botha, the man who was meant to have captained the side this season, is back for the boys. For Pukke, Coach Hannes Esterhuizen has announced an unchanged line-up for the match, for the third time this season. One thing is for certain, this match will be for the connoisseur and expect a tight game.
In the other two matches Maties will first host Shimlas in Stellenbosch and UCT will take on TUT. We should expect UCT to win their first game of the season tonight, but after last week I will not put my house on that.
Even though UCT have not got to stand in the winning circle this year yet, Coach Kevin Foote believes his team can still turn the season around. “We will fix it,” said Foote of his team’s current seventh-place position on the Varsity Cup log. “I’m not a guy that likes to make excuses,” added Foote, “but we’ve lost a lot of experience from last year and the pleasing thing has been how the younger players are learning every week. With MNNU winning last week against Shimlas Foote and his boys will have to step up to the plate against TUT.
Here is the line-up for tonight’s games:
Monday, February 20 – Round Three:
FNB UJ v FNB NMMU (UJ Stadium, Johannesburg), 5pm (TV)
FNB Tuks v FNB Pukke (Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria), 7pm (TV)
FNB Maties v FNB Shimlas (Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch), 7pm
FNB TUT v FNB UCT (TUT Stadium, Tshwane), 7pm
UJ v NMMU – UJ to win by 10 points
Tuks v Pukke – I belive in Tuks this year so going with Tuks with 10 points
Maties v Shimlas – Believe it or not I pick Shimlas to come back after last week Shimlas by 6
TUT v UCT – UCT by 20 or more, just cannot see TUT win here.
**Additional information from www.varsitycup.co.za