Jacques looks at the first round of Varsity Cup matches taking place later today.
The FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International kicks off tonight with three-times champions FNB Maties who will host FNB UJ in Stellenbosch. The beauty of the Varsity Cup is that every year, every team fields an almost brand new team for the tournament, meaning you have now idea who will be the favourites for the season.
Maties new coach Chris Rossouw will want his team to keep the moment that was build-up in the pre-season games, especially their game against the Baby Boks.
Defending Champions FNB Tuks will have to travel to Potchefstroom for their first game of the season against FNB NWU-Pukke. The champions coach is not taking any chances in their first game in naming a power line-up three current junior world champions in his team.
NWU-Pukke is the one team who has been building a reputation as a formidable opponent in recent years will go into this home game knowing how much a win against the champions will do for their aspirations to lift the trophy in 2013.
In the other Western Cape match FNB UCT Tigers will be seeking a win against FNB NMMU Madibaz in their Monte Taljaard trophy clash. The Madibaz took the trophy in style last year in Port Elizabeth.
All teams will have one eye on the newcomers FNB Wits as they make their debut in front of their home crowd against FNB UFS – Shimlas.
Meanwhile, in the Varsity Shield on Monday, last year’s Wooden Spoonists the FNB UKZN Impi will be looking to defend their spot at the top of the standings when they host the FNB CUT Ixias in Pietermaritzburg.
The Impi secured a morale-boosting victory over FNB TUT in Pretoria on Thursday, leaving the former Varsity Cup outfit without a win in two games this season.
The TUT Vikings will travel to Alice on Monday to face the FNB Fort Hare Blues who will be looking to bounce back from their opening defeat to the Impi in front of their passionate home crowd.
FNB Varsity Cup fixtures – Monday, February 4;
FNB Maties v FNB UJ, Danie Craven Stadium – 4.45pm (TV)
FNB NWU-Pukke v FNB UP-Tuks, Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds – 7pm (TV)
FNB UCT v FNB NMMU, UCT Rugby Fields – 7pm
FNB Wits v FNB Shimlas, Wits Rugby Stadium – 7pm
To predict a winner is stupid because it is just what I could take from pre-season results.
- Maties vs. UJ – Maties by 10 points
- Pukke vs. Tuks – Tuks by 20 points
- UCT vs. NMMU – UCT by 25 points
- Wits vs. Shimlas – Shimlas by 20 points
**additional information from www.varsitycup.co.za and Sports Media365.
You can register on www.superbru.com in Ruggaworld pool to make your predictions in this year’s Varsity Cup.
Here are the details to join our Varsity Cup SuperBru pool:
Pool name: RW Varsity Cup 2013
Pool code: meowsway