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Madibaz ready to go for Varsity Cup

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NMMU Madibaz headcoach, David Maidza appointed scrumhalf Ivan Ludick to lead the FNB Madibaz to success in this year’s FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International which starts on the 8th of February.

Madibaz start their 2016 campaign against FNB UJ at the UJ Stadium before returning to Port Elizabeth for their first home game against FNB Maties on the 15th.

Three away games follows, the first against last year’s winners, FNB Shimlas in Bloemfontein then FNB CUT in Bloemfontein and FNB Tuks in Pretoria before they return to Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth for the final two against FNB NWU-Puk and FNB Ikeys before the play-offs.

FNB Madibaz 2016 squad:

PROPS: Marzuq Maarman, Greg Jackson, Nicolas Oosthuizen, James Ronald Beyl, Nemo Roelofse

HOOKERS: Warrick Venter, JP Jamieson, Tango Balekile, Jedwyn Harty

LOCKS: Sintu Manjezi, Gerrit Huisamen, Elandre van der Merwe, Tyler Paul, Wynand Grassman

LOOSE FORWARDS: Kevin Kaba, Junior Pokomela, Henry Brandon Brown, Andisa Ntsila, CJ Velleman, SF Nieuwoudt, Jayson Reinecke, JP Jonck

SCRUMHALVES: Ivan Ludick, Franswa Ueckermann, Sbu Ngcokovane

FLYHALVES: Simon Bolze, Thomas Kean, Garrick Mattheus

CENTRES: Jeremy Ward, Somila Jho, Riaan Esterhuizen, Luan Nieuwoudt, Warren Swarts, Andile Jho

OUTSIDE BACKS: Yamkela Ngam, IJ du Preez, Charles Radebe, Khaya Malotana, Keanu Vers, Lindelwe Zungu

Varsity Cup and SARU pave the way for free-flowing rugby

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logoIn a meeting held in Cape Town, SARU (South African Rugby Union) officials met with the coaches of all 13 universities taking part in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International and Varsity Shield competitions, in 2016….by                     

The meeting was held to clarify existing laws, as well as to discuss any amendments to laws implemented by World Rugby and the Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield competitions. In a practical and healthy discussion between all 13 university coaches, Varsity Cup CEO Duitser Bosman and SARU officials, all areas of the game were discussed in detail.

“I think it’s a collaborative effort between the coaches and the referees in terms of what they’re trying to achieve,” said former Springbok and current UCT Ikeys head coach, Hanyani Shimange. “At the end of the day the main product is the Varsity Cup and what it stands for. It’s just been growing and growing, so the more clarity we have in the game and the more entertaining it is, the better.

“Having the referees explain the changes makes it easier for coaches to plan and in terms of their strategy, to make sure they are ticking the right boxes. Everyone is involved in the game, so there shouldn’t be a separation between referees and coaches. Accessibility and understanding is what’s need from both sides.”

Rules such as those surrounding obstruction, dangerous cleanouts around the neck and offsides were all clarified in an aim to eliminate any uncertainty by referees and players, as well as ensure the safety of players.

A major topic of discussion was that of the scrum. As announced last week, the new call for scrums will be: crouch, bind, slide. The slide action should minimise the number of reset scrums, make it simpler for referees to interpret and understand, while also rewarding strong and innovative scrums. It has been highlighted as one of the key changes to provide free-flowing rugby.

Proceedings were led by SARU referee consultant, Deon van Blommestein, who was enthusiastic about the collaborative effort between referees and coaches.

“Today was about clarification on applying the law,” said Van Blommenstein, “and specifically about the changes to Varsity Cup. Following today’s meeting, referees and coaches have first hand information on the new law application, so that they can prepare for Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield.

“Also, it’s good that they get to know each other on a personal level. We want interaction between coaches, referees and management to ensure that we have a better product.
At the end of the day, the game doesn’t belong to us, to the coaches or to the players; it belongs to the spectators.”

A number of other exciting and innovative changes were discussed and will be revealed to the public once finalised. These changes are designed to encourage attacking, running rugby with minimal stops to the match.

The 2016 Varsity Cup season commences on 8 February 2016, and the Varsity Shield on 1 February 2016.

Below are those who attended

Varsity Cup representatives:

Duitser Bosman
Xhanti Lomzi Nesi

Varsity Cup coaches:

Hendro Scholtz (UFS Shimlas)
David Maidza (NMMU)
Helgard Muller (CUT)
Hawies Fourie (Maties)
Petrus Human (UP-Tuks)
Werner Janse van Rensburg (UJ)
Hanyani Shimange (UCT)
Jonathan Mokuena (Pukke)

Varsity Shield coaches:

Lumumba Currie (UFH)
Hugo van As (Wits)
Hennie Pieterse (TUT)
Chester Williams (UWC)

SARU representatives:

Deon van Blommestein
Lettie Coetzee
Jaco Kotze
Lourens van der Merwe
AJ Jacobs
Stephan Geldenhuys
Sindile Ngcese
Jason Jaftha
Archie Sehlako

For all Varsity Cup news, fixtures, logs and updates online: www.varsitycup.co.za

 

 

Seven Varsity Cup Boks at RWC

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There were seven players with FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International experience named in the Springbok squad for the World Cup.

In total there have been 15 players to go from the Varsity Cup to the national team, and seven of them were named in coach Heyneke Meyer’s final squad for the global showpiece in England.

Damian de Allende, Lodewyk de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Rudy Paige and Handré Pollard all count Varsity Rugby as one of the stepping stones in their career and have now set their sights on securing South Africa’s third World Cup title.

Of that group former FNB UCT lock enforcer Etzebeth has played for the Springboks the longest, having made his debut in 2012 against England and amassing 38 Test caps since then.

He is joined in the squad by fellow former UCT player De Allende who has been a sensation at inside centre for the Springboks this year in the absence of injured skipper Jean de Villiers.

A former UP-Tuks player in the squad is flyhalf Pollard who started all three of the Springboks’ Rugby Championship games in the No.10 jersey this year.

Props Oosthuizen and Nyakane both played their Varsity Rugby in Bloemfontein, but at different institutions and in different competitions with Oosthuizen having played for FNB UFS-Shimlas and Nyakane for FNB CUT Ixias in the Varsity Shield.

Former FNB NWU-Pukke lock De Jager also made the cut along with uncapped scrumhalf Rudy Paige who played for FNB UJ and is set to become the 16th Varsity Cup Springbok if he takes to the field at the World Cup.

Springbok squad: Jean de Villiers (captain), Willem Alberts, Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger, Damian de Allende, Lodewyk de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Fourie du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner, Siya Kolisi, Jesse Kriel, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Francois Louw, Victor Matfield, Frans Malherbe, Tendai Mtawarira, Lwazi Mvovo, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Rudy Paige, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Handré Pollard, Morné Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen.

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Shimlas just too good for Pukke

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FNB UFS-Shimlas beat FNB NWU-Pukke 63-33 in an epic final in Bloemfontein on Monday to claim their first FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International title.

By: Michael de Vries

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The hosts outscored their old rivals by nine tries to four in a breathless match to end the season unbeaten and hand NWU-Pukke their second consecutive final defeat.

The visitors made a determined start to the match, and drove UFS-Shimlas deep into their own territory where they were able to force a penalty which was slotted by Rhyno Smith.

However, they were reduced to 14 men shortly afterwards when flank Marno Redelinghuys was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle, and the home side took advantage immediately with lock Johan van der Hoogt barging over for the opening try which put them 8-2 up once converted by flyhalf Niel Marais.

They did not have that lead for long though, as Marais’ clearance from the restart was charged down by NWU-Pukke scrumhalf Malherbe Swart who scored under the poles to put his side back in front.

The Potchefstroom students were not done there and added a second try straight away, with inside centre Johan Deysel running a great line off a line-out in their own half to race away and score to stretch their lead out to 18-8 despite being a man down.

UFS-Shimlas hit back just after the first strategy break, with big No.8 Niell Jordaan crashing over from a driving maul to cap a sustained period of pressure, but the visitors were able to respond with another Smith penalty which took their lead out to 20-13.

The drama continued as NWU-Pukke captain Jeandre Rudolph was sent to the sin bin on the half-hour mark for repeated breakdown infringements and the home side duly capitalised with wing Maphutha Dolo stepping through a gap for a try that gave them the lead.

They were not done there though and came up with a fantastic counter-attack from their own half which was sparked by Vuyani Maqina who found Marais on the inside and the flyhalf produced a sensational offload to put flying flank Daniel Maartens away for a try which put them 26-20 ahead at half-time.

The hosts scored their fifth try just after the break with Marais central once again as he collected a partially charged kick and got the ball away to Dolo who released outside centre Nico Lee to surge over the whitewash.

At 34-20 down NWU-Pukke were right up against it and their forwards produced the perfect response with Rudolph scoring a pushover try from a dominant atacking scrum.

The seesaw battle continued as UFS-Shimlas hit back with a second try from Lee who hit a well-timed pass from Marais at pace to burst through and score under the poles.

That left NWU-Pukke with it all to do in the last 20 minutes, but it was not to be as tries from Marais, Dolo and Maartens piled more misery on the Potchefstroom side, and although the visitors had the last say with a late try from Rowayne Beukman it mattered little as the hosts claimed an emphatic victory in the end.

FNB Player that Rocks: Niel Marais

The scorers:

For FNB UFS-Shimlas:

Tries: Van der Hoogt, Jordaan, Dolo 2, Maartens 2, Lee 2, Marais

Cons: Marais 6

For FNB NWU-Pukke:

Tries: Swart, Deysel, Rudolph, Beukman

Cons: Smith 3

Pens: Smith 2

Yellow cards: Marno Redelinghuys (NWU-Pukke, 5 mins – Dangerous tackle) Jeandre Rudolph (NWU-Pukke, 30 mins – Repeated infringements)

Varsity Cup Final: All roads lead to Bloemfontein

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It is Varsity Cup Final with no Maties, no Tukkies and no UCT, but we do have the Pukke taking on the Shimlas in Bloemfontein for the 2015 Varsity Cup final.

Both the FNB UFS-Shimlas and FNB-NWU-Pukke will be gunning for their first title when they meet in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International final in Bloemfontein on Monday.

For hosts UFS-Shimlas it will be their first-ever final, while NWU-Pukke will be looking for redemption after having the title snatched from them by FNB UCT in dramatic circumstances at home last year.

The two teams have taken contrasting routes to the final, with the unbeaten UFS-Shimlas seeing off the defending champion Ikeys in their home semifinal and NWU-Pukke sneaking into the play-offs before knocking out the table-topping FNB UP-Tuks in their Pretoria semifinal.

There was not much to choose between the sides when they met in the final round of action before the play-offs, with UFS-Shimlas dominating the first half and NWU-Pukke fighting back to clinch the two bonus points which secured them fourth spot on the standings.

On top of all that there is the old rivalry between the teams which is well understood by both coaches who experienced the intensity of the Shimlas-Pukke Intervarsity in their playing days.

Franco Smith and Robert du Preez both played for the Springboks, but before that they did duty for the universities they currently coach and are expecting another huge battle on Monday.

Smith has turned the UFS-Shimlas’ fortunes around dramatically in his first season in charge, and he is expecting an electric atmosphere at Shimla Park with far more than just bragging rights at stake.

“The excitement around it has been enormous, a lot of old Shimlas have got involved again so there is a lot of hype in Bloemfontein around the home final.

“I have been involved previously in my career in a lot of these intervarsities and there is a big sense of that in Bloemfontein, it has definitely added a bit of spice to what is already a big game,” he said.

Du Preez is expecting a strong contingent of NWU-Pukke supporters to make the trip down to Bloemfontein with his side and create an occasion to rival anything from the past.

“I believe there are a lot of supporters going down which is always nice. Even from my days when I played the Pukke-Shimlas intervarsities were great affairs, and this one won’t be any different,” he said.

The Steinhoff Koshuisrugby championship will also conclude on Monday when three-time champions Steinhoff Vishuis host the unbeaten Steinhoff Mopanie from UP-Tuks in a curtain-raiser to the main final.

Mopanie have swept all before them this season to end top of the standings, but they will have to make the trip down to Bloemfontein to face a Vishuis side eyeing their fourth title in front of what should be a sizeable home crowd.

Teams and match details for Monday, April 13:

FNB UFS-Shimlas v FNB NWU-Pukke
(Shimla Park, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 19.00 televised live on Supersport)

FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Dalen Goliath, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Dillon Smit, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Malherbe Swart, 8 Jeandre Rudolph (captain), 7 Marno Redelinghuys, 6 Armandt Liebenberg, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Wian Fourie, 1 Johan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Mogau Mabokela, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Moletsi Bouwer, 20 Johannes Briers, 21 Marnus Tack, 22 Kurshwill Williams, 23 Cayle Denner.

FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen (captain), 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Maphutha Dolo, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Gerhard Olivier, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Johan van der Hoogt, 4 Henco Venter, 3 Conraad Van Vuuren, 2 Elandre Hugget, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Theunis Nieuwoudt, 18 Boela Venter, 19 De Wet Kruger, 20 Nhlanhla Hlongwane, 21 JP Coetzee, 22 Refuoe Rampete, 23 Dolph Botha.

Referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Tahla Ntshakaza
Assistant referees: Oregopotse Rametsi, Lourens van der Merwe
TMO: Johan Greeff

FNB UKZN Impi claims first Shield Cup

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FNB UKZN handed FNB Wits a 29-24 defeat in Johannesburg on Monday to claim their first Varsity Shield title.

It was the only defeat of the season for hosts Wits, who were outscored by four tries to three in an entertaining game played in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

Both teams had good attacking opportunities in the opening stages that they were not able to take advantage of, with the defences coming out on top in a tense start to the game.

The visitors landed the first blow when captain Lwazi Ngcungama forced the ball against the post after a sustained period of pressure in Wits territory.

The home side responded by surging into the UKZN 22 just after the first strategy break, but some stern defence from the visitors managed to keep them at bay.

Instead the Impi would strike next as they made the most of a penalty kick that hit the upright with hooker Chris de Beer scoring in the corner from a clever move at the front of a line-out.

Wits hit back just before the break with impressive fullback Tommy Damba rounding off a good team try to score in the corner and cut UKZN’s lead at half-time to 13-8.

The visitors made a determined start to the second half, and extended their lead to 21-8 when flyhalf Innocent Radebe skipped through the Wits defence to score and convert his own try.

Wits responded by storming into opposition territory and flank Constant Beckerling was on hand to barge over for the try which put them back within striking distance at 21-16 once converted by Hewitt from close to the touchline.

The home side had their tails up with the support of a vocal crowd, but the Impi soaked up the pressure well and were next to strike when replacement Alwayno Visagie scored after some great running from inside centre Marius Louw.

Wits threw absolutely everything at the visitors in the final stages as they attempted to stage a dramatic comeback, and hooker Ferdinand Kelly got over to put them back within touch again.

However, it was not enough as UKZN held on to claim their first-ever Varsity Shield title.

Player that Rocks: Innocent Radebe

The scorers:

For FNB Wits:
Tries:
Damba, Beckerling, Kelly
Cons: Hewitt 3

For FNB UKZN:
Tries:
Ngcungama, De Beer, Radebe, Visagie
Cons: Radebe 2, Dube

Pukke and Shimlas in Varsity Cup Final

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The unbeaten FNB UFS-Shimlas will host FNB NWU-Pukke in their first-ever FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International final in Bloemfontein.

By: Michael de Vries

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The Free State side saw off defending champions FNB UCT in their home semifinal, and NWU-Pukke edged table-topping FNB UP-Tuks in Pretoria to book a place in their second consecutive final.

A late try from flyhalf Jonny Welthagen saw NWU-Pukke snatch a dramatic 29-28 victory over UP-Tuks to send the two-time champions crashing out of the competition.

Welthagen had been the villain of NWU-Pukke’s defeat to UCT in last year’s final in Potchefstroom, but he turned to hero in Pretoria as a superb individual effort saw his side through.

NWU-Pukke were the only team to beat UP-Tuks in the round robin phase of the competition, and they made it a season double to set up a final clash against their old rivals in Bloemfontein on Monday, April 13.

UFS-Shimlas proved too strong for the Ikeys in the first semifinal, outscoring the Cape side by three tries to two to secure a spot in their first final which they will play in front of their home crowd thanks to NWU-Pukke’s win against UP-Tuks.

FNB Wits will hosts FNB UKZN in the Varsity Shield final in Johannesburg next week, after the Kwa-Zulu Natal outfit picked up a comfortable 42-0 victory over FNB Fort Hare in Durban.

Wits had already secured a home final ahead of their clash with FNB UWC, and the teams ended tied for the second time this season as UWC fell short of a place in the final, ending the season in third place.

The Varsity Young Guns final next week will see a replay of last years’ final only at a different venue as defending champions UFS host UP-Tuks in Bloemfontein.

The Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship final will see UP-Tuks’ Steinhoff Mopanie go up against UFS-Shimlas’ Steinhoff Vishuis after they cruised to a 71-13 victory over Steinhoff Bastion.

NWU-Pukke’s FNB Patria cruised to an 84-0 win over UCT’s Steinhoff Cobras, but it was not enough as they finished the season in third place.

It’s play-off time for Varsity Cup!!

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Both of last year’s finalists are playing away from home in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International semifinals on Monday.

Defending champions FNB UCT travel to Bloemfontein to face the unbeaten FNB UFS-Shimlas and FNB NWU-Pukke take on the table-topping FNB UP-Tuks in Pretoria, with both matches televised live on Supersport.

The Ikeys and NWu-Pukke both won home semifinals last year, before going on to contest the epic final in Potchefstroom which saw UCT launch an incredible late comeback to clinch their second title.

This year they both had to work hard last week for their place in the play-offs, with UCT grinding out an 8-0 win over UJ on the Green Mile and NWU-Pukke’s two bonus points in a losing cause against UFS-Shimlas enough to book semifinal spots.

It will be a first-ever home semifinal for UFS-Shimlas, who are the only team that did not lose in the round robin phase of the competition, and they should be confident against a UCT side that they beat 44-24 at Shimla Park in Round Six.

However, UFS-Shimla coach and former Springbok utility back Franco Smith knows that his team cannot afford to underestimate the Ikeys after their heroics in last year’s final.

“I think they must be one of the more difficult sides in the competition, they have got that never-say-die attitude. They are the champs and they would definitely like to prove their worth,” he said.

Two-time champions UP-Tuks have only lost one game this year, which was against their semifinal opponents NWU-Pukke who beat them 42-37 in an absolute thriller in Potchefstroom back in Round Four.

The nominees for the FNB Player that Rocks award have been announced, along with the Forward and Back that Rocks and the Varsity Shield awards.

UP-Tuks skipper Wiaan Liebenberg, young NMMU flank CJ Velleman and NWU-Pukke fullback Rhyno Smith are the contenders to be named Player that Rocks.

The Forwards that Rock nominees are all openside flanks, with Velleman joined by Maties’ Beyers de Villiers and UCT’s Jason Klaasen while in the backs it is between Smith, UFS-Shimlas captain AJ Coertzen and UCT flyer Lihleli Xoli.

The Varsity Cup play-offs will see the traditional rugby posts replaced with the American National Football League (NFL)-style posts.

FNB and Steinhoff International have introduced this new innovation to place the NFL style posts at the semifinal and final venues in order to help FNB Varsity Cup cement its place as a leader in sportainment. The dimensions for these new posts are the same as the current rugby post above the crossbar, with the exception that it stands on one leg and has a catching net.

In the final round of the Varsity Shield there will be something riding on both games with hosts FNB UKZN and and FNB UWC both bidding to join FNB Wits in the final next week.

The UKZN Impi are just one log point ahead of UWC and take on FNB Fort Hare at Howard College in Durban, while UWC are up against Wits in Bellville.

There is just one Varsity Young Guns clash left before the final between defending champions UFS and UP-Tuks in Bloemfontein next week, with UJ hosting the Junior Maties in Johannesburg looking to end the season on a high.

In the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship Steinhoff there are three teams fighting for the right to join Steinhoff Vishuis in the final, with both games set to have an influence on which sides gets through.

Steinhoff Mopanie are in pole position ahead of their trip to Johannesburg to face Steinhoff Bastion who could also sneak through, while Steinhoff Patria need a win over Steinhoff Cobras in Potchefstroom to put themselves in the mix.

All of Monday’s match details:

FNB UFS-Shimlas v FNB UCT
(Shimla Park, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 16.45 televised live on Supersport)

FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen (captain), 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 JP Coetzee, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Gerhard Olivier, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Boela Venter, 4 Johan van der Hoogt, 3 Conraad Van Vuuren, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Elandre Hugget, 17 Theunis Nieuwoudt, 18 De Wet Kruger, 19 Henco Venter, 20 Nhlanhla Hlongwane, 21 Maphutha Dolo, 22 Refuoe Rampete, 23 Dolph Botha.

 FNB UCT: 15 Khanyo Ngcukana, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Lihleli Xoli, 12 Guy Schwikkard, 11 Dylan Sage, 10 Warren Seals, 9 Ryan Dugmore, 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Michael Botha (captain), 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Mark Prior, 3 Kyle Whyte, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Msizi Zondi, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Jade Kriel, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 Stephen Wallace, 21 Nicholas Holton, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 David Maasch.

Referees: Lesego Legoete, Jaco Pretorius
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: JJ Wagner

FNB UP-Tuks v FNB NWU-Pukke
(Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 19.00 televised live on Supersport)

FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Riaan Britz, 14 Damian van Wyk, 13 Daniel Kriel, 12 John Jackson, 11 Jermaine Kleinsmith, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 André Warner, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Rudolph Smith, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Andrew Beerwinkel, 2 Jan Enslin, 1 Justin Forwood.
Replacements: 16 Jan Van der Merwe, 17 Nqobisizwe, 18 Dennis Visser, 19 Hein Viljoen, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Dewald Human, 22 Adrian Maebane, 23 Dayan van der Westhuizen.

FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Johannes Briers, 14 Dalen Goliath, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Juandre Williams, 10 Rhyno Smith, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Jeandre Rudolph (captain), 7 Marno Redelinghuys, 6 Armandt Liebenberg, 5 Daniel Jordaan, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Johan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Wian Fourie, 17 Mogau Mabokela, 18 Walt Steenkamp, 19 Moletsi Bouwer, 20 Malherbe Swart, 21 Johnny Welthagen, 22 Bouke Tack, 23 Cayle Denner.

Referees: Rodney Boneparte, Francois Pretorius
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Willie Vos

Varsity Shield fixtures:

FNB UKZN v FNB Fort Hare
(Howard College, Durban – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UWC v FNB Wits
(UWC Sports Stadium, Cape Town – Kick-off: 18.30)

Varsity Young Guns fixture:

FNB UJ Young Guns v Steinhoff Junior Maties
(Milo Park, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 14.15)

Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship fixtures:

Steinhoff Bastion v Steinhoff Mopanie
(Milo Park, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 16.30)

Steinhoff Patria v Steinhoff Cobras
(Fanie du Toit Stadium, Potchefstroom – Kick-off: 16.30)

Pukke knock Maties out of Varsity Cup Playoffs

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Two late bonus points saw FNB NWU-Pukke sneak into the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International semifinals ahead of FNB Maties on points difference.

By: Michael de Vries

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Last year’s beaten finalists will face table-toppers FNB UP-Tuks in Pretoria next week, while defending champions FNB UCT will travel to Bloemfontein to take on the unbeaten FNB UFS-Shimlas in the other semifinal.

Three-time champions Maties romped to a comprehensive 53-8 victory over winless FNB CUT in Bloemfontein, but it was not enough in the end as they miss the play-offs for just the second time in the history of the competition.

Although NWU-Pukke went down 29-26 to UFS-Shimlas in Bloemfontein, two late tries saw them pick up two vital bonus points to knock Maties out on points difference.

UFS-Shimlas are the only team that have not lost this season, but they ended in second place to UP-Tuks who were far too strong for FNB NMMU.

The Pretoria outfit outscored the Madibaz by five tries to one in Port Elizabeth to seal top spot ahead of UFS-Shimlas on points difference.

UFS-Shimlas will host their first-ever semifinal against UCT who battled to a tough 8-0 victory over FNB UJ on a windy Green Mile in Cape Town to secure their spot in the play-offs.

Ikeys flank Jason Klaasen scored the only try of the match in a tight encounter, which saw UJ end the season in sixth place ahead of NMMU and CUT – who finished their debut season without a single log point.

In the Varsity Shield FNB UWC kept their hopes of sneaking into the final alive with a comprehensive 58-8 victory over FNB Fort Hare in Alice despite being reduced to 14 men for most of the game.

FNB Wits secured a home final with a comfortable 50-5 victory over FNB TUT who have not won a single game this season.

The Varsity Young Guns final will be a replay of last year’s dramatic clash between UFS and UP-Tuks, although this year they will be playing in Bloemfontein instead of Pretoria.

The Pretoria side handed the NMMU Young Guns their first defeat of the season to deny the Eastern Cape side a place in the final on points difference.

In the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship Steinhoff Vishuis lost to Steinhoff Patria but secured their place in the final with a bonus point, while CUT’s Steinhoff Tigers easily beat NMMU’s Steinhoff Stallions.

Final round of Varsity Cup

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There will be four teams fighting it out over the two remaining play-offs spots in the final round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International on Monday.

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With FNB UP-Tuks and FNB UFS-Shimlas having secured home semifinals with big wins in the penultimate round last week, it is down to which teams will join them in the knockout phase of the competition.

Just four log points separate the next four sides, who will all be desperate to ensure they will be travelling to either Pretoria or Bloemfontein for a semifinal next week.

In the early match on Monday two-time champions UP-Tuks will be looking to maintain their place at the top of the standings when they travel to Port Elizabeth to face a FNB NMMU Madibaz hoping to end a disappointing campaign on a high.

In Cape Town defending champions FNB UCT will know that a win will see them stay in the competition, but their opponents FNB UJ will need more than that as their outside chance of making the semifinals rests on other results going their way as well.

Three-time champions FNB Maties face winless newcomers FNB CUT in Bloemfontein, and they will need a full five log points and a favour from either UJ or FNB UFS-Shimlas if they are to avoid missing the play-offs for just the second time in the history of the competition.

UFS-Shimlas are the only team that has yet to lose this season, and they host FNB NWU-Pukke in what could be a make-or-break game for the visitors.

Last year’s beaten finalists know that a win will be enough to go through, but if they do not manage to topple coach Franco Smith’s impressive UFS-Shimlas outfit then they will have to rely on results elsewhere going their way to make the cut.

In the Varsity Shield FNB UWC continue their mission to sneak into the final when they travel to Alice to face the FNB Fort Hare Blues.

In the other match winless FNB TUT Vikings host log-leaders Wits who can assure themselves a home final with victory in Pretoria.

With defending champions UFS having already booked themselves a place in the Varsity Young Guns final, the focus will be on which team gets to join them.

Three-time champions UP-Tuks travel to Port Elizabeth where they will need to collect a bonus-point win against an unbeaten NMMU side, while the FNB UCT Trojans also have an outside chance of sneaking in if they manage to beat NWU-Pukke and the other result goes their way.

In the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship three-time champions Steinhoff Vishuis can secure themselves a place in the final with a win over NWU-Pukke’s Steinhoff Patria in Bloemfontein and at the other end of the table NMMU’s Steinhoff Stallions square up with CUT’s Steinhoff Tigers.

All of Monday’s match details:

FNB NMMU v FNB UP-Tuks
(Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth – Kick-off: 16.45 televised live on Supersport)

FNB NMMU: 15 Tythan Adams, 14 Khaya Malotana, 13 Micheal Barnardt, 12 Devon Lailvaux, 11 Brian Skosana, 10 Ruan Allerston, 9 Enrico Acker (captain), 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Philip Odendaal, 6 Jody Reyneke, 5 Robert Louw, 4 Stephan Zaayman, 3 Brenden Olivier, 2 Dane Van der Westhuyzen, 1 Marzuk Maarman.
Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Steven Robbeson, 18 Elandre van der Merwe, 19 Ivan-John du Preez, 20 Ivan ludick, 21 Stevn Hansel, 22 Andile Jho, 23 Arno Ebersohn.

FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Riaan Britz, 14 Damian van Wyk, 13 Daniel Kriel, 12 John Jackson, 11 Jermaine Kleinsmith, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 André Warner, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Andrew Beerwinkel, 2 Jan Enslin, 1 Nqobisizwe Mxoli.
Replacements: 16 Jan Van der Merwe, 17 Justin Forwood, 18 Dennis Visser, 19 Pieter Jansen van Vuren, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Dewald Human, 22 Adrian Maebane, 23 Neethling Fouche.

Referees: Quinton Immelman, Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Christie du Preez

FNB UCT v FNB UJ
(UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UCT: 15 Khanyo Ngcukana, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Lihleli Xoli, 12 Guy Schwikkard, 11 Dylan Sage, 10 Thomas Bednall, 9 Ryan Dugmore, 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Michael Botha (captain), 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Mark Prior, 3 Kyle Whyte, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Michael Kennedy, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Jade Kriel, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 Stephen Wallace, 21 Nicholas Holton, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 David Maasch.

FNB UJ: 15 Aphiwe Dyanti, 14 Bradley Moolman, 13 Robert De Bruyn, 12 Adriaan Vermeulen, 11 Andries Osthuizen, 10 Jaco Fourie, 9 Chuma Faas, 8 Dylan Peterson, 7 Kyle Van Dalen, 6 Kobus Porter (captain), 5 David Antonites, 4 Werner Lourens, 3 Nico Du Plessis, 2 Siphatho Qinisile, 1 Gareth Milasinovich.
Replacements: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Raeez Salie, 18 Griffith van Wyk, 19 Wiaan Conradie, 20 Hilton Mudarika, 21 James Campbell, 22 Dominic Kroezen, 23 Brandon Landsberg.

Referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Jaco Kotze
Assistant referees: Local

FNB CUT v FNB Maties
(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB CUT: 15 Henry immelman, 14 Lethole Makoena, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Mosego Toolo, 10 Duan Pretorius (captain), 9 Christiaan Erasmus, 8 Jean Pretorius, 7 Jean-Claude Fourie, 6 Dean Kouprihanoff, 5 Fanie Coetzee, 4 JJ Nel, 3 Niel Schoombee, 2 Jeandre Roux, 1 Len Noort.
Replacements: 16 Niel Schoombee, 17 Ian Smith, 18 Daneel Botes, 19 Victor Maruping, 20 Dean Jacobs, 21 Dean Rossouw, 22 Naude van Biljon, 23 Boetie Makethlo.

FNB Maties: 15 Mike Muller, 14 Jamie Joseph, 13 Paul Streicher, 12 Koos Loubser, 11 Craig Barry, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Bjorn Bernardo, 8 Janco Venter, 7 Derick Linde (captain), 6 Justin Benn, 5 Kobus Van Dyk, 4 Lourens Fick, 3 Jacobus Van der Merwe, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Niel Oelofse.
Replacements: 16 Craig Corbett, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Grant Prior, 19 Lungelo Chonco, 20 Louis Nel, 21 Ernest Stapelberg, 22 Kyle Leibrandt, 23 Abel De Klerk.

Referees: Pro Legoete, Jaco Pretorius
Assistant referees: Local

FNB UFS-Shimlas v FNB NWU-Pukke
(Shimla Park, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 19.00 televised live on Supersport)

FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen (captain), 14 JP Coetzee, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Maphutha Dolo, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Gerhard Olivier, 6 Steven Meiring, 5 Niel Claassen, 4 Johan van der Hoogt, 3 Conraad Van Vuuren, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Jacques Du Toit, 17 Chase Morison, 18 Boela Venter, 19 Tienie Burger, 20 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 21 Vuyani Maqina, 22 Refuoe Rampete, 23 Theunis Nieuwoudt.

FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Dalen Goliath, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel (captain), 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Jaco Buys, 7 Marno Redelinghuys, 6 Armandt Liebenberg, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Wian Fourie, 1 Johan Smith.

Varsity Cup-Tuks and Shimlas secure home playoffs

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FNB UP-Tuks and FNB UFS-Shimlas both secured home semifinals with big wins in Round Six of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International on Monday.

UFS-Shimlas beat defending champions FNB UCT 44-24 in Bloemfontein to remain the only unbeaten side in the competition, and UP-Tuks handed Gauteng rivals FNB UJ a 34-0 defeat in Johannesburg to maintain their place at the top of the standings.

Despite the top two sides having wrapped up home advantage in the play-offs already, with the four teams below them fighting for the two remaining places next week.

Three-time champions FNB Maties came from behind to secure a 26-16 bonus-point home win against FNB NMMU to keep their play-off hopes very much alive with a clash against the winless FNB CUT Ixias in Bloemfontein next week.

The vital five log points saw the Stellenbosch outfit move up to fifth place, one point ahead of UJ who will need a few results to go their way next week if they are to sneak into the knock-out phase of the competition.

UJ were humbled in front of their home crowd by a powerful UP-Tuks outfit who shut them out to show how tough they will be to stop at the business-end of the competition.

Another team that will be riding high is UFS-Shimlas whose convincing seven-try win against the Ikeys means that they are still only second to UP-Tuks on points difference ahead of their mouth-watering clash with NWU-Pukke next week.

The Potchefstroom outfit handed newcomers CUT a 53-16 defeat in Bloemfontein to move up to third place just one log point ahead of fourth-placed UCT who will slug it out with UJ on the Green Mile in Cape Town next week.

In the Varsity Shield FNB Wits secured a home final with a 40-26 victory over FNB UKZN in Johannesburg, while FNB UWC kept their slim hopes alive with a big 66-10 win against FNB TUT in Bellville.

Varsity Young Guns champions UFS handed UP-Tuks their first-ever defeat in the history of the competition in what was a replay of last years’ final, while NMMU kept their winning run going by beating the Junior Maties in Stellenbosch and UJ cruised to a comfortable win against their counterparts from CUT who remain winless.

Three-time Steinhoff Koshuisrugby champions Steinhoff Vishuis secured their place in another final with a win against Steinhoff Bastion who must beat Steinhoff Mopanie convincingly in the final round to sneak into the final while there was also a big win for Steinhoff Medies who overpowered NMMU’s Steinhoff Stallions in Stellenbosch.

Unbeaten Shimlas stand tall in Varsity Cup

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By: Michael de Vries at VarsityCup.co.za

A 21-16 victory over FNB Maties in Bloemfontein saw FNB UFS-Shimlas move to the top of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International standings on Monday.

The Free State side are the only team in the tournament still unbeaten after four rounds of action, while three-time champions Maties are still looking for their first win.

The match was deadlocked at 16-16 at half-time, and UFS-Shimlas replacement Daniel Maartens scored the only try of the second half to secure a tough win for the home team and pile more misery on Maties who found themselves in unfamiliar territory in sixth place.

FNB UP-Tuks suffered their first defeat of the season against FNB NWU-Pukke in Potchefstroom, but secured two bonus points which saw them hold on to second place ahead of FNB UJ who notched an impressive 42-13 win against FNB NMMU in Port Elizabeth.

The dramatic 42-37 win over UP-Tuks saw NWU-Pukke claim fourth place, just one log point ahead of FNB UCT who scored 12 tries on their way to a 90-8 victory over newcomers FNB UCT.

Both teams scored five tries in a pulsating game in Potchefstroom which went right down to the wire before being clinched in the dying stages by a try from NWU-Pukke flank Marno Redelinghuys who had claimed a clever cross-kick from flyhalf Jonny Welthagen.

In Port Elizabeth UJ ran away with it in the second half, eventually outscoring the Madibaz by six tries to two, while it was one-way traffic from start to finish on the Green Mile where defending champions UCT were merciless in their demolition of the CUT Ixias.

In the Varsity Shield FNB Fort Hare secured a 28-18 over the FNB TUT Vikings in Alice while FNB UKZN beat FNB UWC 21-5 in Durban to move just one point behind log-leaders FNB Wits.

In the FNB Varsity Young Guns competition FNB NMMU recorded their first-ever win against FNB NWU-Pukke in Potchefstroom, defending champions FNB UFS scored two late tries to edge the FNB Junior Maties in Bloemfontein and the FNB UCT Trojans notched a 34-24 over FNB CUT Young Guns in Cape Town.

The second round of the Steinhoff Koshuirugby Championship saw three away wins with three-time champions Steinhoff Vishuis the only home team to win with a dominant performance against Steinhoff Medies in Bloemfontein.

UJ’s Steinhoff Bastion recorded a comprehensive 34-0 win over the NMMU Steinhoff Stallions in Port Elizabeth, Steinhoff Mopanie edged Steinhoff Patria 13-10 in Potchefstroom and the Steinhoff Cobras from UCT went down to CUT’s Steinhoff Tigers in Cape Town.

Varsity Cup heats up…

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By: Michael de Vries, for more news visit VarsityCup.co.za

The table-topping FNB UP-Tuks will be looking for their first away win of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International when they travel to Potchefstroom to face FNB NWU-Pukke on Monday.

The two-time champions have two home wins and a draw, having been held in the opening round in Bloemfontein by FNB UFS-Shimlas who are the only other team left unbeaten in the competition heading into Round Four.

UP-Tuks will be up against a NWU-Pukke side smarting from their first loss of the season against FNB UJ in Johannesburg last week, while UFS-Shimlas host a desperate Maties team still looking for their first win.

Three time-champions Maties find themselves in unfamiliar territory in seventh place on the standings, and things do not get much easier after their drubbing by UP-Tuks in Pretoria last week with an impressive UFS-Shimlas side waiting for them.

The two games to be televised live on Supersport will be coastal clashes, with defending champions FNB UCT hosting newcomers FNB CUT on the Green Mile, and UJ travelling down to Port Elizabeth to face the FNB NMMU Madibaz.

It has been a tough introduction to the Varsity Cup for the CUT Ixias after gaining promotion, and the three-time Varsity Shield team face another test of character against the Ikeys who will be aiming for another bonus-point win at home to put more pressure on the top four.

Having lost in Cape Town last week the Madibaz will be back in front of their home crowd, but they are sure to have their work cut out for them against a UJ side that will be confident after getting the better of NWU-Pukke last week.

In the Varsity Shield the chasing pack will be hoping to make some ground up on log-leaders FNB Wits who have a bye. FNB Fort Hare will be looking for their first win of the season against FNB TUT Vikings in Alice and FNB UKZN take on FNB UWC at Howard College in Durban.

The second round of the FNB Varsity Young Guns will see defending champions UFS host the Steinhoff Junior Maties, while NWU-Pukke go down to Port Elizabeth to face NMMU and CUT travel to Cape Town to take on the Ikeys in a curtain-raiser to the main game.

There are also four fixtures in the second round of the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championships with Steinhoff Patria getting their campaign underway at home in Potchefstroom against Steinhoff Mopanie, three-time champions Steinhoff Vishuis hosting Steinhoff Medies in Bloemfontein, the Steinhoff Stallions making their debut at home in Port Elizabeth against Steinhoff Bastion and the Steinhoff Cobras up against the Steinhoff Tigers at UCT.

All of Monday’s fixtures and match details:

FNB UCT V FNB CUT
(UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town – Kick-off: 16.45 live on Supersport)

FNB UCT: 15 Paul Cohen, 14 Khanyo Ngcukana, 13 Lihleli Xoli, 12 Nicholas Holton, 11 Dylan Sage, 10 Warren Seals, 9 Ryan Dugmore, 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Michael Botha (captain), 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Jade Kriel, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Msizi Zondi, 17 Kyle White, 18 Mark Prior, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 James Alexander, 21 Guy Schwikkard, 22 Dean Gericke, 23 David Maasch.

FNB CUT: 15 Jesse du Toit, 14 Lethole Makoena, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Duan Pretorius, 11 Christiaan Erasmus, 10 Luke Cyster, 9 Arrie Vosloo, 8 Dean Kouprihanoff, 7 Victor Maruping, 6 Frans Sisita, 5 Daneel Botes, 4 JJ Nel, 3 Ian Smith, 2 Len Noort, 1 Gerard Baard.
Replacements: 16 Jozua de Jager, 17 Niel Schoombee, 18 Jean-Claude Fourie, 19 Rayno Nel, 20 Dean Jacobs, 21 Dean Rossouw, 22 Naude van Biljon, 23 Boetie Makethlo.

FNB UFS-Shimlas v FNB Maties
(Shimla Park, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Maphutha Dolo, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Niel Claassen, 4 Nicolaas Immelman, 3 Chase Morison, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Theuns Neuwoudt.
Replacements: 16 Marco Klopper, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Refuoe Rampete, 19 Daniel Maartens, 20 Renier Botha, 21 Stefan Janse van Rensburg, 22 JP Coetzee, 23 Dolph Botha.

FNB Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Jamie Joseph, 13 Christoff van Tonder, 12 Koos Loubser, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Ernest Stapelberg, 9 Bjorn Bernardo, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Justin Benn, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys (captain), 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Neethling Gericke, 1 Abel de Klerk.
Replacements: 16 Craig Corbett, 17 Migael Grobler, 18 Lourens Fick, 19 Derick Linde, 20 Remu Malan, 21 Brandon Thomson, 22 Kyle Leibrandt, 23 Jacobus van der Merwe.

FNB NWU-Pukke v FNB UP-Tuks
(Fanie du Toit Stadium, Potchefstroom – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Dalen Goliath, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Jeandre Rudolph (captain), 7 Marno Redelinguys, 6 Molotsi Bouwer, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Jacques Vermaak, 1 Johan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Wian Fourie, 17 Mogau Mabokela, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Jaco Buys, 20 Kurshwill Williams, 21 Marnus Tack, 22 Heinrich Smith, 23 Cayle Denner.

FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Riaan Britz, 14 Damian van Wyk, 13 Daniel Kriel, 12 John Jackson, 11 Jermaine Kleinsmith, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 André Warner, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Andrew Beerwinkel, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jan Enslin, 17 Nqobisiswe Mxoli, 18 Dennis Visser, 19 Pieter Janse van Vuren, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Dewald Human, 22 Adrian Maebane, 23 Dayan van der Westhuizen.

FNB NMMU v FNB UJ
(Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth – Kick-off: 19.00 live on Supersport)

FNB NMMU Madibaz: 15 Jarryd Buys (captain), 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Micheal Barnardt, 12 Devon Lailvaux, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Steven Hansel, 9 Ivan Ludick, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Jody Reyneke, 6 CJ Velleman, 5 Rob Louw, 4 Paul Tyler, 3 SBrenden Oliver, 2 Warrick Venter, 1 Arno Ebersohn.
Replacements: 16 Dane van der Westhuyzen, 17 Steven Robbeson, 18 Philip Odendaal, 19 Stephan Zaayman, 20 Enrico Acker, 21 Andile Jho, 22 Brian Skosana, 23 Marzuq Maarman.

FNB UJ: 15 Ronald Brown, 14 Bradley Moolman, 13 Robert De Bruyn, 12 Adriaan Vermeulen, 11 Aphiwe Dyanti, 10 Jaco Fourie, 9 Chuma Faas, 8 Dylan Peterson, 7 Kyle Van Dalen, 6 Kobus Porter (captain), 5 David Antonites, 4 Werner Lourens, 3 Nico Du Plessis, 2 Siphatho Qinisile, 1 Gareth Milasinovich.
Replacements: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Brandon Landsberg, 18 Ettienne Oosthuizen, 19 Wiaan Conradie, 20 Hilton Mudarika, 21 James Campbell, 22 Dominic Kroezen, 23 Raeez Salie.

FNB Varsity Shield fixtures:

FNB Fort Hare Blues v FNB TUT Vikings
(Davidson Rugby Stadium, Alice – Kick-off: 17.00)

FNB UKZN Impi v FNB UWC
(Howard College Rugby Stadium, Durban – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB Varsity Young Guns fixtures

FNB NWU-Pukke Young Guns v FNB NMMU Young Guns
(Fanie du Toit Stadium, Potchefstroom – Kick-off: 14.00)

FNB UFS Young Guns v FNB Junior Maties
(Shimla Park, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 14.00)

FNB UCT Young Guns v FNB CUT Young Guns
(UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town – Kick-off: 14.15)

Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship fixtures:

Steinhoff Patria v Steinhoff Mopanie
(Fanie du Toit Stadium, Potchefstroom – Kick-off: 16.15)

Steinhoff Vishuis v Steinhoff Medies
(Shimla Park, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 16.15)

Tuks ran over Maties in Pretoria

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Table-topping FNB UP-Tuks made a big statement with a comprehensive 53-8 victory over three-time FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International champions FNB Maties in Pretoria on Monday.

The two-time champions scored seven tries in front of their home crowd to retain their place at the top of the standings, one log point ahead of FNB UFS-Shimlas who are the only other unbeaten side left in the competition after Round Three.

UFS-Shimlas ran riot in the first-ever Varsity Cup Bloemfontein derby, handing local rivals FNB CUT a big 57-0 defeat in terrible conditions at the CUT Rugby Stadium.

FNB UJ moved past FNB NWU-Pukke into third place after earning a hard-fought 10-8 win against them in Johannesburg, while defending champions FNB UCT retained the Monte Taljaard trophy with a comfortable 40-13 victory over FNB NMMU on a windy Green Mile.

It was the first defeat of the season for NWU-Pukke, who fought back well but had to be content with a bonus point against UJ, who showed plenty of heart to hang on for the win under pressure and bounce back from defeat to UFS-Shimlas at home last week.

In Bloemfontein the only thing standing in UFS-Shimlas’ way was the inclement weather, with play briefly suspended at the start of the second half due to a thunderstorm, but even that could not stop them from running in nine tries against their cross-town rivals CUT.

Conditions also played a big role in Cape Town, with the notorious wind on the Green Mile making things tricky in the coastal clash between UCT and NMMU, but the Ikeys were in a different class on the night – outscoring the Madibaz by five tries to two in the end.

That leaves the defending champions UCT in fifth position, just one log point behind NWU-Pukke whose bonus point in Johannesburg was enough to see them stay in the top four with both teams picking up a win, a draw and a loss from their first three games.

In the final match of the night UP-Tuks handed Maties their first defeat of the season following consecutive draws against UCT and NWU-Pukke, leaving the Stellenbosch side down in seventh place behind NMMU on points difference.

In the Varsity Shield FNB UWC fought back bravely to salvage a thrilling 37-37 draw with the unbeaten FNB Wits, and FNB UKZN proved too strong for FNB Fort Hare, picking up a 21-13 win in Alice.

The first round of the FNB Varsity Young Guns competition saw UFS notch a big 44-8 win against CUT, while in Pretoria two-time champions UP-Tuks beat the UCT Trojans 45-20 and in Johannesburg NWU-Pukke registered a 37-29 win against UJ.

The Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship also got underway on Monday, with Steinhoff Vishuis from UFS beating Bleomfontein rivals Steinhoff Tigers 36-12, Steinhoff Bastion from UJ earning a 12-7 win against Steinhoff Cobras on the Green Mile and Steinhoff Mopanie picking up a valuable 44-34 win against Steinhoff Medies in Pretoria.

“Live” Match Center Varsity Cup

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The third round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International on Monday will feature four intense rivalries.

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The action will get underway with the first-ever Varsity Cup Bloemfontein derby as newcomers FNB CUT host their cross-town rivals the FNB UFS-Shimlas in the first match to be televised live on Supersport One.

The Monte Taljaard trophy will be up for grabs once again as coastal sides FNB NMMU and FNB UCT square off on the Green Mile in Cape Town, whilst in Johannesburg FNB UJ will take on FNB NWU-Pukke before the big North-South showdown between FNB UP-Tuks and FNB Maties in Pretoria.

All four Varsity Rugby competitions will be up and running on Monday, with the first fixtures in the FNB Varsity Young Guns and Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championships kicking off as well.

Although CUT and UFS-Shimlas have never faced each other in the Varsity Cup, there is plenty of history between the two sides, so Bloemfontein is likely to come to a standstill when the game kicks off at 16.45.

Newly-promoted Varsity Shield champions CUT are still looking for their first win of the competition, and would dearly love to make UFS-Shimlas their first scalp.

UCT won two trophies last year, picking up the Monte Taljaard trophy against the Madibaz in Port Elizabeth before going on to lift the Varsity Cup trophy at the end of the season, and having lost to UP-Tuks in Pretoria last week they will be desperate to bounce back in front of their fans and keep the trophy in Cape Town for another year.

The trophy is played in memory of star Grey High School and UCT flank Monte Taljaard who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2008, with the match between the Ikeys and the Madibaz doubling as a celebration of his life every year.

After going down at home to UFS-Shimlas last week, UJ will be determined to put things right against a NWU-Pukke side that will still be smarting after seeing a win against Maties in Stellenbosch slip through their hands in Round Two.

The late match will see two powerhouses of the competition cross swords, with two-time champions UP-Tuks up against three-time champions Maties in Pretoria.

UP-Tuks currently top the standings on points difference ahead of NWU-Pukke, and will want to maintain that position, whilst Maties will be out to break the cycle of stalemates following consecutive draws in their first two games.

In the Varsity Shield FNB Wits will look to extend their unbeaten start to the competition when they host FNB UWC, and FNB Fort Hare will be after their first win of the season against FNB UKZN in Alice.

The first round of Young Guns action will see another Bloemfontein derby between CUT and UFS-Shimlas, whilst UP-Tuks host the Ikeys and NWU-Pukke travel to Johannesburg for a curtain-raiser to the main Varsity Cup game.

In the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship the Steinhoff Cobras take on Steinhoff Bastion from UJ in Cape Town, Steinhoff Mopanie and Steinhoff Medies will do battle in Pretoria and the Steinhoff Tigers from CUT make their debut against the formidable Steinhoff Vishuis in another Bloemfontein derby.

All of the Varsity Rugby match details for Monday, February 23:

FNB CUT v FNB UFS-Shimlas
(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 16.45 live on Supersport One)

FNB CUT: 15 Henry Immelman, 14 Jessie du Toit, 13 Ali Mgijima, 12 Duan Pretorius, 11 Mosego Toolo, 10 Luke Cyster, 9 Christiaan erasmus, 8 Jean Pretorius, 7 Jean-Claude Fourie, 6 Frans Sisita, 5 Rayno Nel, 4 Fanie Coetzer, 3 Ian Smith, 2 Len Noort, 1 Gerard Baard.
Replacements: 16 Jozua de Jager, 17 Niel Schoombee, 18 Daneel Botes, 19 Victor Maruping, 20 Arrie Vosloo, 21 Dean Kouprihanoff, 22 Naude van Biljon, 23 Boetie Makethlo.

FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Arthur Williams, 11 Maphutha Dolo, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Niel Claassen, 4 Nicolaas Immelman, 3 Chase Morison, 2 Marco Klopper, 1 Theuns Neuwoudt.
Replacements: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Boela Venter, 19 Daniel Maartens, 20 Nhlanhla Hlongwane, 21 Stefan Janse van Rensburg, 22 JP Coetzee, 23 Conraad Van Vuuren.

Referees: Quinton Immelman, Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: JJ Wagner

FNB UCT v FNB NMMU
(UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UCT: 15 Paul Cohen, 14 Dylan Sage, 13 Lihleli Xoli, 12 Nicholas Holton, 11 Khanyo Ngcukana, 10 Warren Seals, 9 James Alexander, 8 Guy Alexander (captain), 7 Michael Botha (captain), 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Mark Prior, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Msizi Zondi, 17 Kyle White, 18 Jade Kriel, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 Ryan Dugmore, 21 Guy Schwikkard, 22 Dean Gericke, 23 David Maasch.

FNB NMMU-Madibaz: 15 Jarryd Buys (captain), 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Andile Jho, 12 Devon Lailvaux, 11 Brian Skosana, 10 Ruan Allerston, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Ivan-John Du Preez, 7 Stephan Zaayman, 6 CJ Velleman, 5 Rob Louw, 4 Paul Tyler, 3 Steven Robesson, 2 Dane van der Westerhuizen, 1 Arno Ebersohn.
Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Brenden Olivier, 18 Wynand Grassman, 19 Jody Reyneke, 20 Ivan Ludick, 21 Creswin Josephs, 22 Khaya Malotana, 23 Marzuq Maarman.

Referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Tahla Ntshakaza
Assistant referees: Local

FNB UJ v FNB NWU-Pukke
(UJ Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UJ: 15 Ronald Brown, 14 Bradley Moolman, 13 Robert De Bruyn, 12 Adriaan Vermeulen, 11 Aphiwe Dyanti, 10 Jaco Fourie, 9 Chuma Faas, 8 Dylan Peterson, 7 Kyle Van Dalen, 6 Kobus Porter (captain), 5 David Antonites, 4 Werner Lourens, 3 Nico Du Plessis, 2 Siphatho Qinisile, 1 Gareth Milasinovich.
Replacements: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Brandon Landsberg, 18 Ettienne Oosthuizen, 19 Wiaan Conradie, 20 Hilton Mudarika, 21 James Campbell, 22 Dominic Kroezen, 23 Raeez Salie.

FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Dalen Goliath, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Jeandre Rudolph (captain), 7 Marno Redelinguys, 6 Molotsi Bouwer, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Jacques Vermaak, 1 Johan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Wian Fourie, 17 Mogau Mabokela, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Jaco Buys, 20 Kurshwill Williams, 21 Marnus Tack, 22 Heinrich Smith, 23 Cayle Denner.

Referees: Francois Pretorius, Rodney Boneparte
Assistant referees: Local

FNB UP-Tuks v FNB Maties
(Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 19.00 live on Supersport One)

FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Duncan Matthews, 14 Riaan Britz, 13 Ryan Nell, 12 Daniel Kriel, 11 Jermaine Kleinsmith, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 André Warner, 8 Rudolph Smith, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Andrew Beerwinkel, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jan Enslin, 17 Nqobisiswe Mxoli, 18 Dennis Visser, 19 Clyde Davids, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Dewald Human, 22 John Jackson, 23 Neethling Fouche.

FNB Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Brandon Asher-Wood, 13 Christoff van Tonder, 12 Koos Loubser, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Jean Nel, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Lungelo Chonco, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys (captain), 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Niel Oelofse.
Replacements: 16 Neethling Gericke, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Janco Venter, 19 Justin Benn, 20 Bjorn Bernardo, 21 Ernst Stapelberg, 22 Kyle Leibrandt, 23 Jacobus van der Merwe.

Referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Jaco Kotze
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Willie Vos

Varsity Shield fixtures:

FNB Fort Hare v FNB UKZN
(Davidson Rugby Stadium, Alice – Kick-off: 17.00)

FNB Wits v FNB UWC
(Wits Rugby Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 18.30)

Varsity Young Guns fixtures:

FNB CUT Young Guns v FNB UFS Young Guns
(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 14.15)

FNB UP-Tuks Young Guns v FNB UCT Trojans
(Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 14.15)

FNB UJ Young Guns v FNB NWU-Pukke Young Guns
(UJ Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 16.00)

Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship fixtures:

Steinhoff Cobras v Steinhoff Bastion
(UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town – Kick-off: 16.15)

Steinhoff Mopanie v Steinhoff Medies
(Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 16.45)

Steinhoff Tigers v Steinhoff Vishuis
(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 19.00)

– See more at: http://www.ruggaworld.com/2015/02/22/varsity-cup-round-3-preview-2/#sthash.tBUq6rS5.dpuf

Varsity Cup Round 3 Preview

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The third round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International on Monday will feature four intense rivalries.

The action will get underway with the first-ever Varsity Cup Bloemfontein derby as newcomers FNB CUT host their cross-town rivals the FNB UFS-Shimlas in the first match to be televised live on Supersport One.

The Monte Taljaard trophy will be up for grabs once again as coastal sides FNB NMMU and FNB UCT square off on the Green Mile in Cape Town, whilst in Johannesburg FNB UJ will take on FNB NWU-Pukke before the big North-South showdown between FNB UP-Tuks and FNB Maties in Pretoria.

All four Varsity Rugby competitions will be up and running on Monday, with the first fixtures in the FNB Varsity Young Guns and Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championships kicking off as well.

Although CUT and UFS-Shimlas have never faced each other in the Varsity Cup, there is plenty of history between the two sides, so Bloemfontein is likely to come to a standstill when the game kicks off at 16.45.

Newly-promoted Varsity Shield champions CUT are still looking for their first win of the competition, and would dearly love to make UFS-Shimlas their first scalp.

UCT won two trophies last year, picking up the Monte Taljaard trophy against the Madibaz in Port Elizabeth before going on to lift the Varsity Cup trophy at the end of the season, and having lost to UP-Tuks in Pretoria last week they will be desperate to bounce back in front of their fans and keep the trophy in Cape Town for another year.

The trophy is played in memory of star Grey High School and UCT flank Monte Taljaard who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2008, with the match between the Ikeys and the Madibaz doubling as a celebration of his life every year.

After going down at home to UFS-Shimlas last week, UJ will be determined to put things right against a NWU-Pukke side that will still be smarting after seeing a win against Maties in Stellenbosch slip through their hands in Round Two.

The late match will see two powerhouses of the competition cross swords, with two-time champions UP-Tuks up against three-time champions Maties in Pretoria.

UP-Tuks currently top the standings on points difference ahead of NWU-Pukke, and will want to maintain that position, whilst Maties will be out to break the cycle of stalemates following consecutive draws in their first two games.

In the Varsity Shield FNB Wits will look to extend their unbeaten start to the competition when they host FNB UWC, and FNB Fort Hare will be after their first win of the season against FNB UKZN in Alice.

The first round of Young Guns action will see another Bloemfontein derby between CUT and UFS-Shimlas, whilst UP-Tuks host the Ikeys and NWU-Pukke travel to Johannesburg for a curtain-raiser to the main Varsity Cup game.

In the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship the Steinhoff Cobras take on Steinhoff Bastion from UJ in Cape Town, Steinhoff Mopanie and Steinhoff Medies will do battle in Pretoria and the Steinhoff Tigers from CUT make their debut against the formidable Steinhoff Vishuis in another Bloemfontein derby.

All of the Varsity Rugby match details for Monday, February 23:

FNB CUT v FNB UFS-Shimlas
(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 16.45 live on Supersport One)

FNB CUT: 15 Henry Immelman, 14 Jessie du Toit, 13 Ali Mgijima, 12 Duan Pretorius, 11 Mosego Toolo, 10 Luke Cyster, 9 Christiaan erasmus, 8 Jean Pretorius, 7 Jean-Claude Fourie, 6 Frans Sisita, 5 Rayno Nel, 4 Fanie Coetzer, 3 Ian Smith, 2 Len Noort, 1 Gerard Baard.
Replacements: 16 Jozua de Jager, 17 Niel Schoombee, 18 Daneel Botes, 19 Victor Maruping, 20 Arrie Vosloo, 21 Dean Kouprihanoff, 22 Naude van Biljon, 23 Boetie Makethlo.

FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Arthur Williams, 11 Maphutha Dolo, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Niel Claassen, 4 Nicolaas Immelman, 3 Chase Morison, 2 Marco Klopper, 1 Theuns Neuwoudt.
Replacements: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Boela Venter, 19 Daniel Maartens, 20 Nhlanhla Hlongwane, 21 Stefan Janse van Rensburg, 22 JP Coetzee, 23 Conraad Van Vuuren.

Referees: Quinton Immelman, Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: JJ Wagner

FNB UCT v FNB NMMU
(UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UCT: 15 Paul Cohen, 14 Dylan Sage, 13 Lihleli Xoli, 12 Nicholas Holton, 11 Khanyo Ngcukana, 10 Warren Seals, 9 James Alexander, 8 Guy Alexander (captain), 7 Michael Botha (captain), 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Mark Prior, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Msizi Zondi, 17 Kyle White, 18 Jade Kriel, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 Ryan Dugmore, 21 Guy Schwikkard, 22 Dean Gericke, 23 David Maasch.

FNB NMMU-Madibaz: 15 Jarryd Buys (captain), 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Andile Jho, 12 Devon Lailvaux, 11 Brian Skosana, 10 Ruan Allerston, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Ivan-John Du Preez, 7 Stephan Zaayman, 6 CJ Velleman, 5 Rob Louw, 4 Paul Tyler, 3 Steven Robesson, 2 Dane van der Westerhuizen, 1 Arno Ebersohn.
Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Brenden Olivier, 18 Wynand Grassman, 19 Jody Reyneke, 20 Ivan Ludick, 21 Creswin Josephs, 22 Khaya Malotana, 23 Marzuq Maarman.

Referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Tahla Ntshakaza
Assistant referees: Local

FNB UJ v FNB NWU-Pukke
(UJ Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UJ: 15 Ronald Brown, 14 Bradley Moolman, 13 Robert De Bruyn, 12 Adriaan Vermeulen, 11 Aphiwe Dyanti, 10 Jaco Fourie, 9 Chuma Faas, 8 Dylan Peterson, 7 Kyle Van Dalen, 6 Kobus Porter (captain), 5 David Antonites, 4 Werner Lourens, 3 Nico Du Plessis, 2 Siphatho Qinisile, 1 Gareth Milasinovich.
Replacements: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Brandon Landsberg, 18 Ettienne Oosthuizen, 19 Wiaan Conradie, 20 Hilton Mudarika, 21 James Campbell, 22 Dominic Kroezen, 23 Raeez Salie.

FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Dalen Goliath, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Jeandre Rudolph (captain), 7 Marno Redelinguys, 6 Molotsi Bouwer, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Jacques Vermaak, 1 Johan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Wian Fourie, 17 Mogau Mabokela, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Jaco Buys, 20 Kurshwill Williams, 21 Marnus Tack, 22 Heinrich Smith, 23 Cayle Denner.

Referees: Francois Pretorius, Rodney Boneparte
Assistant referees: Local

FNB UP-Tuks v FNB Maties
(Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 19.00 live on Supersport One)

FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Duncan Matthews, 14 Riaan Britz, 13 Ryan Nell, 12 Daniel Kriel, 11 Jermaine Kleinsmith, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 André Warner, 8 Rudolph Smith, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Andrew Beerwinkel, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jan Enslin, 17 Nqobisiswe Mxoli, 18 Dennis Visser, 19 Clyde Davids, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Dewald Human, 22 John Jackson, 23 Neethling Fouche.

FNB Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Brandon Asher-Wood, 13 Christoff van Tonder, 12 Koos Loubser, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Jean Nel, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Lungelo Chonco, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys (captain), 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Niel Oelofse.
Replacements: 16 Neethling Gericke, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Janco Venter, 19 Justin Benn, 20 Bjorn Bernardo, 21 Ernst Stapelberg, 22 Kyle Leibrandt, 23 Jacobus van der Merwe.

Referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Jaco Kotze
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Willie Vos

Varsity Shield fixtures:

FNB Fort Hare v FNB UKZN
(Davidson Rugby Stadium, Alice – Kick-off: 17.00)

FNB Wits v FNB UWC
(Wits Rugby Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 18.30)

Varsity Young Guns fixtures:

FNB CUT Young Guns v FNB UFS Young Guns
(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 14.15)

FNB UP-Tuks Young Guns v FNB UCT Trojans
(Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 14.15)

FNB UJ Young Guns v FNB NWU-Pukke Young Guns
(UJ Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 16.00)

Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship fixtures:

Steinhoff Cobras v Steinhoff Bastion
(UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town – Kick-off: 16.15)

Steinhoff Mopanie v Steinhoff Medies
(Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 16.45)

Steinhoff Tigers v Steinhoff Vishuis
(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 19.00)

Tuks go top of the log in Varsity Cup Round 2

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FNB UP-Tuks beat defending champions FNB UCT to move to the top of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International standings.

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The Pretoria side have not lost to the Ikeys since the 2011 final, and they continued their dominance over the Cape side by scoring six tries to hand UCT their first away defeat since 2013.

They are separated from FNB NWU-Pukke on points difference after the Potchefstroom outfit was held to a dramatic 26-26 draw by FNB Maties in Stellenbosch.

NWU-Pukke looked set to record their first victory over Maties since the inaugural competition in 2008, but a late try from lock Ian Groenewald saw the three-time champions fight back for their second bonus point draw in as many weeks.

Both teams scored four tries in windy conditions at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch, with Maties forced to fight back for the draw after having the same done to them by the Ikeys on the Green Mile last week.

In Johannesburg FNB UFS-Shimlas showed impressive discipline to shut FNB UJ out and record a valuable 24-0 win on the road, whilst the top four is rounded off by FNB NMMU who secured a comfortable 34-13 victory over newcomers FNB CUT despite being shown five yellow cards.

The Madibaz were reduced to 12 men at one stage, but showed plenty of character to hold out under pressure and secure the full five points in front of their home crowd in Port Elizabeth, with five tries to go along with their five yellow cards.

UFS-Shimlas will take plenty of confidence from their second-half performance, scoring three unanswered tries after a scoreless first half in Johannesburg to leave them just one log point off the pace in third place.

In the Varsity Shield FNB Wits moved to the top of the standings with big 56-13 victory over the FNB UKZN Impi in Pietermaritzburg.

It was the first defeat of the season for the Impi, leaving Wits as the only unbeaten side in the competition, with the FNB TUT Vikings in third place after securing a losing bonus point in their 21-18 defeat to FNB UWC in Pretoria.

Shimlas 24-0 UJ

The scorers:

For FNB UJ:

None

For FNB UFS-Shimlas:

Try: Van Vuuren, Mkhabela, Kruger

Cons: Marais 3

NMMU 34-13 CUT

Scorers:

For NMMU:

Tries: Acker 2, Lailvaux 2, Adams

Cons: Allerston 2, Hansel

For CUT:

Tries: Mgijima, Toolo

Con: du Toit

Tuks 39-24 UCT

The scorers:

For FNB UP-Tuks:

Tries: Kleinsmith 2, Kriel, Steenkamp 2, Mxoli

Cons: Stander 3

For FNB UCT:

Try: Murray, Alexander, Cohen

Con: Seals 3

Maties 26-26 Pukke

Scorers:

For Maties:

Tries: van Dyk, de Villiers 2, Groenewald

Cons: Loubser, Thomson

For NWU:

Tries: Smit, Penalty try, Smith, Stokes

Cons: Smith 2

Yellow Cards: Stapelberg (Maties, 6 – entering a maul from the side), Rudolph (Pukke, 29 – Not retreating 10 metres)

Dobson: A multi-talented man

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Former FNB UCT Ikeys coach John Dobson, who was recently appointed as the Western Province Currie Cup coach, is indeed a multi-talented person who describes himself as a part time author and rugby coach.

By: Varsity Cup Website 

John-Dobson-VC450

He holds a Law Degree and two Masters degrees: one in Business Administration and one in Creative writing and has recently published his first work of fiction.

Dobson is a thorough bred WP fan. He had a scholars season ticket for Newlands but also supported the old SARU-rugby. As a player (hooker) he represented WP and later the WP Federation team in the the B-section of the Currie Cup. He also played a bit in Italy and “when I got even worse” he played in Portugal.

He coached the UCT team for three seasons (2008/10) and was the technical advisor in 2011. He says that the first year of the Varsity Cup was very special.

“That final against Stellenbosch, to see hundreds of people sitting up on the mountain at a packed Craven stadium was amazing” UCT lost after the hooter went “but it was still a special occasion and memory.”

His worst match was when FNB NWU-Pukke beat them in the 2009 semifinal.

On his coaching of the WP Currie Cup team this year, Dobson said that his taking the team over as the defending champion and “cannot improve on that”.

“We want to get a home final and win the cup playing a brand of rugby that people want to come and watch,” he said.

Dobson is very serious on the tremendous success of the Varsity Cup. He says that the Varsity Cup is a “massive safety net” to catch the talented players who did not make at school or who are late developers.

In closing, Dobson said that he is glad that the Varsity Cup management applied themselves to stop Universities to field virtually professional players who are not bona fide students.

By Piet de Jager

Varisty Cup “Live” Match Center

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The travel tables will be turned in Round Two of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International on Monday.

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All four of the teams that played at home in the opening round of action will be on the road, as FNB NMMU, FNB UP-Tuks, FNB UJ and FNB Maties get an opportunity to play in front of their home crowds.

The first game to be televised live on Supersport One will see the only two teams to lose last week square off when the NMMU Madibaz take aim at newcomers FNB CUT in Port Elizabeth, whilst the late match is shaping up to be a classic as three-time champions Maties welcome FNB NWU-Pukke to the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.

Both NMMU and Maties had an away victory snatched from their grasp last week, so they will be looking to make amends on home turf and notch their first wins of the season.

The odds certainly seemed stacked against the travelling teams as the Ixias will be playing just their second Varsity Cup game whilst NWU-Pukke have lost eight consecutive Varsity Cup games against Maties.

The other two games on Monday will be up on the Highveld as UJ look to extend their lead at the top of the standings against FNB UFS-Shimlas in Johannesburg and defending champions FNB UCT go in search of their first win against UP-Tuks since 2011 in Pretoria.

Ikeys coach Kevin Musikanth knows that his side face a massive challenge against the only team they did not beat on their way to the title last year, and with both teams having drawn their games last week the stakes are even higher.

“With the draws now it is going to be another heavyweight clash. We are going to Pretoria to prepare and to try and win.

“I think last year was good because it showed UCT can travel which is something that cements a good side, so hopefully we will maintain that,” he told varsitycup.co.za.

The Varsity Shield heads into Round Three on Monday as front-runners FNB UKZN Impi host FNB Wits in Pietermaritzburg and FNB UWC travel to Pretoria to face the FNB TUT Vikings.

UKZN and Wits are both yet to lose a game, whilst it will be a completely different scenario in the capital with both the TUT Vikings and UWC coming off a defeat.

All of the teams and match details:

FNB NMMU v FNB CUT
(Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth – Kick-off: 16.45 live on Supersport One)

FNB NMMU: 15 Tythan Adams, 14 Brian Skosana, 13 Creswin Josephs, 12 Devon lailvaux, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Ruan Allerston, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Wynand Grassmann, 6 Cyril-John Velleman (captain), 5 Robert Louw, 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Steven Robbeson, 2 Dane Van Der Westhuyzen, 1 Arno Ebersohn.
Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Brenden Olivier, 18 Stephan Zaayman, 19 Ivan Du Preez, 20 Ivan Ludick, 21 Steven Hansel, 22 Eben Barnard, 23 Marzuk Maarman.

FNB CUT: 15 Luke Cyster, 14 Christiaan Erasmus, 13 Charles Hitchcock (captain), 12 Duaan Pretorius, 11 Mosego Toolo, 10 Naude Van Biljon, 9 Arrie Vosloo, 8 Dean Kouprihanoff, 7 Jean-Claude Fourie, 6 Frans Sisita, 5 Rayno Nel, 4 Daneel Botes, 3 Gerard Baard, 2 Theuns Truter, 1 Len Noort.
Replacements: 16 Jozua de Jager, 17 Ian Smith, 18 JJ Nell, 19 Victor Maruping, 20 Ali Mgijima, 21 Jean Pretorius, 22 Jesse du Toit, 23 Boetie Makethlo.

Referees: Lesego Legoete, Jaco Pretorius
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Christie du Preez

FNB UJ v FNB UFS-Shimlas
(UJ Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UJ: 15 Ronald Brown, 14 Bradley Moolman, 13 Robert De Bruyn, 12 Adriaan Vermeulen, 11 Aphiwe Dyanti, 10 James Campbell, 9 Hilton Mudariki, 8 Dylan Peterson, 7 Kyle Van Dalen, 6 Kobus Porter (captain), 5 David Antonites, 4 Werner Lourens, 3 Nico Du Plessis, 2 Siphatho Qinisile, 1 Gareth Milasinovich.
Replacements: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Brandon Landsberg, 18 Ettienne Oosthuizen, 19 Wiaan Conradie, 20 Chuma Faas, 21 Jaco Fourie, 22 Dominic Kroezen, 23 Raeez Salie.

FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Maphutha Dolo, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Niel Claassen, 4 Nicolaas Immelman, 3 Chase Morison, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Hennie-Schalk Theron.
Replacements: 16 Marco Klopper, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Tienie Burger, 19 Daniel Maartens, 20 Nhlanhla Hlongwane, 21 Stefan Janse van Rensburg, 22 JP Coetzee, 23 Conraad Van Vuuren.

Referees: Oregopotse Rametsi, Archie Sehlako
Assistant referees: Local

FNB UP-Tuks v FNB UCT
(Tuks Rugby Stadium – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Duncan Matthews, 14 Riaan Britz, 13 Ryan Nell, 12 Daniel Kriel, 11 Jermaine Kleinsmith, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 André Warner, 8 Jannes Kirsten, 7 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Andrew Beerwinkel, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jan Enslin, 17 Nqobisiswe Mxoli, 18 Dennis Visser, 19 Clyde davids, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Dewald Human, 22 John Jackson, 23 Neethling Fouche.

FNB UCT: 15 Khanyo Ngcukana, 14 Dylan Sage, 13 Brendan Rodgers, 12 Guy Schiwikkard, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Warren Seals, 9 James Alexander, 8 Guy Alexander (captain), 7 Tinotenda Zakeyo, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Mark Prior, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Michael Kennedy, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Jade Kriel, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 Ryan Dugmore, 21 Nicholas Holton, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 Kyle Whyte.

Referees: Quinton Immelman, Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Local

FNB Maties v FNB NWU-Pukke
(Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – Kick-off: 19.00 Live on Supersport One)

FNB Maties: 15 Mike Muller, 14 Craig Barry, 13 Christoff van Tonder, 12 Koos Loubser, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Ernst Stapelberg, 9 Jean Nel, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Justin Benn, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys (captain), 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 AJ de Klerk, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Wesley Adonis.
Replacements: 16 Neethling Gericke, 17 Niel Oelofse, 18 Janco Venter, 19 Lungelo Chonco, 20 Bjorn Bernardo, 21 Brandon Thomson, 22 Kyle Leibrandt, 23 John Hubert Meyer.

FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Dalen Goliath, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Jeandre Rudolph (captain), 7 Marno Redelinguys, 6 Rhyk Welgemoed, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Jacques Vermaak, 1 Johan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Wian Fourie, 17 Mogau Mabokela, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Molotsi Bouwer, 20 Kurshwill Williams, 21 Marnus Tack, 22 Heinrich Smith, 23 Cayle Denner.

Referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Tahla Ntshakaza
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Deon van Blommestein

FNB Varsity Shield fixtures:

FNB TUT v FNB UWC
(TUT Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UKZN vs FNB Wits
(Peter Booysen Sports Park, Pietermaritzburg – Kick-off: 18.30)

New skipper for Ikeys

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Guy Alexander will lead the FNB Ikey Tigers when they travel to Pretoria to take on FNB UP-Tuks in the second round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.

By: 

VC

Regular captain Michael Botha has been ruled out due to concussion for their clash with the only team they did not beat in the competition last year.

Coach Kevin Musikanth said that Alexander will get good support from the rest of the Ikeys leadership group.

“We are hoping that leadership of Guy Alexander as run-on captain will provide the energy, while the technical leadership of James Kilroe and James Alexander will be key.

“We are very lucky to have a strong leadership group within the squad, but we will miss the warrior [Botha]. It is a long campaign, and important for us to make sure that we look after our squad,” he said.

Coming off a 32-32 draw against familiar foes FNB Maties in Round One, the Ikeys will be looking to bounce back with a win. The two sides will be on equal footing, as UP-Tuks also drew against FNB UFS-Shimlas, 29-29, in their first round fixture.

Musikanth added that the medical team have had to work hard with a number of injuries causing a few more changes.

“Our medical team of Dr Huber, Mike van Rheede, and Robin Arkell have once again been exceptional in looking after our team during the pre-season and off-season so we are able to have fresh and strong players both within the 23, and also in the extended squad.”

In other changes, Richard Stewart makes his return to the line-up, with experience on the right wing. As such, Dylan Sage will be moving back into his preferred position at outside centre. Elsewhere, U19 Currie Cup winner Luke Stringer will get his opportunity to play for the defending champions, starting on the bench.

“UCT haven’t managed a win over Tuks since 2011,” said the coach, “and Tukkies were the only team in 2014 which the Ikeys didn’t manage to beat.”

With the game taking place away from home, and given the draws last week, Musikanth is looking forward to the challenge.

“It means that there is a lot to play for in terms of the competition. What’s sure is that it is going to be an absolute cracker,” he said.

FNB UCT: 15 Khanyo Ngukana, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Dylan Sage, 12 Guy Schiwikkard, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Warren Seals, 9 James Alexander, 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Tinotenda Zakeyo, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Mark Prior, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Chad Solomons, 1 Joel Carew
Replacements: 16 Mike Kennedy, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Jade Kriel, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 Ryan Dugmore, 21 Nicholas Holton, 22 Brendon Rodgers, 23 Kyle Whyte.

Date: Monday, February 16
Venue: Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria
Kick-off: 18.30
Referees: Quinton Immelman, Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Local

For more Varsity Cup News click here

UJ give CUT baptism of fire

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FNB UJ gave hosts FNB CUT Ixias a harsh initiation into the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International by handing them a 41-10 defeat in Bloemfontein.

It was a tough debut for the newly promoted Varsity Shield champions as UJ cantered to a comfortable victory in the end to storm to the top of the standings after Round One.

UJ started in fine style as skipper Kobus Porter crossed for two early tries to put them 13-0 up. He broke through the CUT defensive line for his first and a strong driving maul saw him add another shortly afterwards.

After that early setback the Ixias regrouped well and got their first Varsity Cup try when hooker Anrich Bitzi got over in the corner from a short line-out move to make it 13-5 at the first strategy break.

UJ responded with their third try as fullback Aphiwe Dyantyi broke through to score, and they wrapped the bonus point up with a penalty try just before half-time to take their lead to 26-5 at the break.

The carnage continued in the second half as first hooker Siphatho Qinisile and then left wing Andries Oosthuizen dotted down to take UJ’s lead out to 36-5.

CUT hit back with their second try when flank Dean Kouprihanoff crossed, but UJ responded with a second try to Oosthuizen straight away which made it 41-10 with just ten minutes to play.

Replacement Jaco Fourie put the finishing touch on a dominant display from the visitors with a try right on the hooter to cap a convincing win and a tough introduction to the competition for the Ixias.

The scorers:

For FNB CUT:

Tries: Bitzi, Kouprihanoff

FNB UJ:

Tries: Porter 2, Dyantyi, penalty try, Qinisile, Oosthuizen 2, Fourie

Cons: Campbell 2

Get all your Varsity news at www.varsitycup.co.za

No separating Shimlas and Tuks

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FNB UFS-Shimlas fought back to earn a thrilling 29-29 draw with FNB UP-Tuks in their FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International clash in Bloemfontein.

Both teams scored four tries and three conversions to claim three log points each for their efforts in a highly intense match which saw momentum swing constantly.

UP-Tuks were first to score when fullback Riaan Britz broke through the UFS-Shimlas defence, but the hosts were back on level terms soon afterwards as No.8 Neill Jordaan crossed for a try after getting a flick pass from his captain AJ Coertzen.

The visitors were back in front just after the first strategy break when wing Duncan Matthews ran 60 metres to score against the run of play, with the easy conversion from flyhalf Josh Stander making it 16-8.

UFS-Shimlas responded just before half-time as a strong line-out drive saw flank Gerhard Olivier crash over for a try, but the conversion was missed from the touchline so UP-Tuks took a slender 16-13 lead into the break.

They extended that lead early in the second half as centre Ryan Nell got over in the right corner, and Stander’s touchline conversion made it 24-13.

The visitors had the bonus point wrapped up shortly afterwards through a long-range try from Dan Kriel, but UFS-Shimlas were right back in it at the second strategy break thanks to a try from wing Maphuta Dolo which made it 29-21.

It was not long before the home side managed to draw level as replacement prop Conrad van Vuuren crashed over, with the conversion from Marais making it 29-29 with 15 minutes to play.

That set up a tense finish but there was no separating the teams in the end as they played out a thrilling draw which saw them both take three log points.

The scorers:

For FNB UFS-Shimlas:

Tries: Jordaan, Olivier, Dolo, Van Vuuren

Con: Marais 3

For FNB UP-Tuks:

Tries: Britz, Matthews, Nell, Kriel

Cons: Stander 3

Get all your Varsity news at www.varsitycup.co.za

Ikeys, Maties play to draw

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FNB UCT Ikey Tigers and FNB Maties played to a dramatic 32-32 draw in the final match of the opening round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.

Maties looked to have the game in the bag with seven minutes remaining in the match but two quick tries from Ikeys saw them stage another dramatic comeback, this time to claim a hard-fought draw.

There was a high intensity from the start as Ikeys looked to keep ball-in-hand and make their way up the field but were kept at bay courtesy of big tackles from the Maties defence.

Ikeys broke the deadlock in the fourth minute when Dylan Sage intercepted a pass inside Maties’ 22 to canter over for the first try of the match. Warren Seals added the extra points as Ikeys held an 8-0 lead after five minutes.

Maties got their hands on the ball and inched their way up the field before Ernst Stapelberg crossed the line thanks to sustained pressure on the Ikeys defence, however, the try wasn’t awarded as he was deemed to have lost the ball in his attempt to place it across the line.

The Stellenbosch students enjoyed the majority of possession after the Strategy Break and were camping in Ikeys’ territory, but couldn’t find a way through a stubborn defence, who had the partisan crowd in full voice with every tackle made by the home side.

Maties scored against run of play in 39th minute when a quick tap penalty from Jean Nel saw him make a few metres before releasing JP Lewis, who showed electrifying pace down the left touchline and crossed the try line unopposed. Stapelberg added the conversion to level matters as the teams went into the halftime break all square at 8-8.

UCT replicated their firsthalf start by getting over the try line four minutes after the restart when Mark Prior crashed over from close range. Seals restored Ikeys’ eight point lead when he slotted the conversion to make the score 16-8.

Kobus van Dyk levelled the scores in the 52nd minute when he showed his strength to hold off two defenders and stretch his way over the line. Brandon Thomson added the conversion to take the score to 16-16. It was all Maties from that point as they took the game to the hosts.

Maties added their third try a few minutes later when Lewis scored his second try of the match. The wing sprinted, stepped and spun his way out of several tackles to hand his side the lead. Thomson added his second conversion of the match to give the visitors a 24-16 after 57 minutes.

All the momentum was with Maties at this stage and they found their reward in the 66th minute when Craig Barry stepped his way past the last defender and stumbled his way over the line to hand Maties the bonus point. Thomson kept his 100 percent kicking record intact to stretch the lead to 32-16.

UCT were not going down without a fight and got themselves back into the match in the 72nd minute when Guy Alexander muscled his way over the line. Seals added the extra three points to set up an exciting final seven minutes.

Ikeys had their tails up and were awarded a penalty try in the 77th minute after Maties were penalised for collapsing a maul on their try line. Seals added the conversion which levelled matters at 32-32.

Maties had a chance to steal the victory when they were awarded a penalty after the fulltime hooter had sounded, however, Thomson sent his kick flying past the right-hand upright.

FNB Player that Rocks: JP Lewis

Scorers:

For UCT Ikeys:

Tries: Sage, Prior, G Alexander, Penalty Try

Cons: Seals 4For Maties:

Tries: Lewis 2, van Dyk, Barry

Cons: Stapelberg, Thomson 3

Get all your Varsity news at www.varsitycup.co.za

“Live” Match Center – Varsity Cup

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“Rugby that Rock’s” return to our living rooms tonight as the top Varsity teams go at each other for the next two months to get their hands on the silverware.

As per normal we have two matches being televised by SuperSport every Monday night and we will start of tonight with Pukke take on NMMU in Potchefstroom.


 

FNB NWU-Pukke 36(15) v FNB NMMU 26(5) 
(Fanie du Toit Stadium, Potchefstroom – Kick-off: 16.45 televised live on Supersport One)

The Pukke will surely still be hurting after last year’s final which they lost in injury time against UCT. We can expect the men from Potchefstroom to come out firing to make sure everyone take notice that they will want to avenge that defeat.

NMMU was last year the surprise package in the tournament as they beat Maties in the first game and went all the way to the play-offs. NMMU will want to go on better this year.

Teams:

FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Dalen Goliath, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Jeandre Rudolph (captain), 7 Loftus Morrison, 6 Rhyk Welgemoed, 5 Daniel Jordaan, 4 Ruan Venter, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Jacques Vermaak, 1 Johan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Wian Fourie, 17 Mogau Mabokela, 18 Marno Redelinghuys, 19 Molotsi Bouwer, 20 Kurshwill Williams, 21 Warren Gilbert, 22 Heinrich Smith, 23 Cayle Denner.


FNB UCT 0 v FNB Maties 0

(UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town – Kick-off: 19.00 live on Supersport One)

In the second game of round 1 we moved to Cape Town as Maties start there campaign against the defending Champions UCT. UCT will be high on confidence and out to proof that they they can go and win back to back Championships. Maties did not have the greatest seasons last year.

This is alsways a cracker and we expect nothing less from these two top cape teams.

Teams: 

FNB UCT: 15 Khanyo Ngcukana, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Dylan Sage, 12 Guy Schwikkard, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Warren Seals, 9 James Alexander, 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Michael Botha (captain), 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Mark Prior, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Michael Kennedy, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Jade Kriel, 19 Tinotenda Zakeyo, 20 Ryan Dugmore, 21 Nicholas Holton, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 Kyle Whyte.

FNB Maties: 15 Mike Muller, 14 Craig Barry, 13 Christoff van Tonder, 12 Koos Loubser, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Ernst Stapelberg, 9 Jean Nel, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Lungelo Chonco, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys (captain), 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 AJ de Klerk, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Niel Oelofse.
Replacements: 16 Wesley Adonis, 18 Grant Prior, 19 Justin Benn, 20 Bjorn Bernardo, 21 Brandon Thomson, 22 Kyle Leibrandt, 23 John Hubert Meyer.


 

In the other two games we have Tuks taking on Shimlas in Bleomfontein and CUT take on UJ.

Teams:

FNB UFS-Shimlas 0 v FNB UP-Tuks 0
(Shimla Park, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Maphutha Dolo, 10 Pieter-Steyn De Wet, 9 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Niel Claassen, 4 Nicolaas Immelman, 3 Chase Morison, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Hennie-Schalk Theron.
Replacements: 16 Jacques Du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Boela Venter, 19 Daniel Maartens, 20 Nhlanhla Hlongwane, 21 Niel Marais, 22 JP Coetzee, 23 Conraad Van Vuuren.

FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Riaan Britz, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Daniel Kriel, 12 Ryan Nell, 11 Jermaine Kleinsmith, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 André Warner, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Neethling Fouché, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jan Enslin, 17 Nqobisiswe Mxoli, 18 Dennis Visser, 19 Ruan Steenkamp, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Dewald Human, 22 John Jackson, 23 Andrew Beerwinkel.

FNB CUT 0 v FNB UJ 0

(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB CUT: 15 Henry Immelman, 14 Luke Cyster, 13 Charles Hitchcock, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Mosego Toolo, 10 Naude Van Biljon, 9 Christiaan Erasmus, 8 Jean Pretorius, 7 Dean Kouprihanoff, 6 Frans Sisita, 5 Rayno Nel, 4 Daneel Botes, 3 Gerard Baard, 2 Anrich Bitzi, 1 Len Noort.
Replacements: 16 Theuns Truter, 17 Ian Smith, 18 Fanie Coetzer, 19 Victor Maruping, 20 Marius Grobler, 21 Jean-Claude Fourie, 22 Duan Pretorius, 23 Boetie Makethlo.

FNB UJ: 15 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 14 Bradley Moolman, 13 Robert De Bruyn, 12 Adriaan Vermeulen, 11 Andries Oosthuizen, 10 James Campbell, 9 Hilton Mudariki, 8 Dylan Peterson, 7 Kyle Van Dalen, 6 Kobus Porter (captain), 5 David Antonites, 4 Werner Lourens, 3 Nico Du Plessis, 2 Siphatho Qinisile, 1 Gareth Milasinovich.
Replacements: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Brandon Landsberg, 18 Ettienne Oosthuizen, 19 Wiaan Conradie, 20 Chuma Faas, 21 Jaco Fourie, 22 Ronald Brown, 23 Raeez Salie.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday night rugby returns..

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Monday Night Rugby will return this afternoon as the top universities will tackle each other in the next two months. 

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This is one of the most entertaining tournaments on the calendar each year and even promise to get better this time around. In last years final we saw one of the greatest comebacks in the game when UCT came from behind to win the tournament against Pukke.

Although many players will have change and 12 months have past, one can be sure that their will be some scores to be settled.

The opening round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International on Monday will feature replays of both of last year’s semifinals.

It may be a fresh start for all eight teams this season, but there is no denying the extra edge that will feature in the two games to be televised live on Supersport One as FNB NWU-Pukke host the FNB NMMU Madibaz in Potchefstroom and Cape rivals FNB UCT and FNB Maties meet on the Green Mile.

The other two matches, which both take place in Bloemfontein, will certainly not lack for passion either with FNB UFS-Shimlas taking on two-time champions FNB UP-Tuks and the newly promoted FNB CUT Ixias making their Varsity Cup debut against FNB UJ.

Another new addition to the competition this year will be the white card which will allow teams a decision review in televised games in addition to the two referee system.

NMMU coach David Maidza said that the innovation will be a good safety net if either of the two referees miss something important.

“I think there is merit to the white card, the only thing is how it is going to be used.

“We as coaches have every faith in the two ref system and what they will call out there, so hopefully the white card will actually not be a necessity at all,” he told varsitycup.co.za.

Maidza knows his side have their work cut out first up against a NWU-Pukke outfit he expects to be one of the top sides in the competition once again this year.

“Our sole focus is on Pukke, I am sure they will be one of the leading contenders again this year and I am hoping that we go out and perform to the best of our ability and take it from there.

“The predecessors have set a foundation and we have got to carry on with that mentality that we want to keep on progressing,” he said.

There is always a lot at stake when Maties play UCT, but having lost to the Ikeys twice in the Varsity Cup last year there is that much more incentive for the Stellenbosch students to take the defending champions down in front of their home crowd.

Maties coach Chris Rossouw admitted that his side cannot wait to get out there, but he remains cautious about the potential impact of the notoriously windy conditions on the Green Mile.

“That will obviously be in the back of the minds, although they won’t be out to take revenge we would obviously like to settle one.

“We are looking forward to it and we are obviously very excited about it and we just hope that it will be a nice day for running rugby,” he said.

In the Varsity Shield FNB Wits make their return to the competition after two years in the Varsity Cup, and they face a tricky outing in Alice where the FNB Fort Hare Blues and their legion of fans await them.

After beating FNB UWC in Bellville last week, the FNB UKZN Impi host the FNB TUT Vikings who will also be high on confidence after winning at home last week.

All the teams and match details:

FNB NWU-Pukke v FNB NMMU
(Fanie du Toit Stadium, Potchefstroom – Kick-off: 16.45 televised live on Supersport One)

FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Dalen Goliath, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Jeandre Rudolph (captain), 7 Loftus Morrison, 6 Rhyk Welgemoed, 5 Daniel Jordaan, 4 Ruan Venter, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Jacques Vermaak, 1 Johan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Wian Fourie, 17 Mogau Mabokela, 18 Marno Redelinghuys, 19 Molotsi Bouwer, 20 Kurshwill Williams, 21 Warren Gilbert, 22 Heinrich Smith, 23 Cayle Denner.

FNB NMMU: 15 Jarryd Buys, 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Devon Lailivaux, 12 Andile Jho, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Ruan Allerston, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Wynand Grassmann, 6 Cyril- John Velleman, 5 Tyler Paul, 4 Robert Louw, 3 Steven Robbeson, 2 Dane Van Der Westhuyzen, 1 Arno Ebersohn.
Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Brenden Olivier,18 Rudolph Odendaal, 19 Ivan Du Preez, 20 Ivan Ludick, 21 Steven Hansel, 22 Brain Skosana, 23 Marzuk Maarman.

Referees: Quinton Immelman, Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Willie Vos

FNB UFS-Shimlas v FNB UP-Tuks
(Shimla Park, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Maphutha Dolo, 10 Pieter-Steyn De Wet, 9 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Niel Claassen, 4 Nicolaas Immelman, 3 Chase Morison, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Hennie-Schalk Theron.
Replacements: 16 Jacques Du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Boela Venter, 19 Daniel Maartens, 20 Nhlanhla Hlongwane, 21 Niel Marais, 22 JP Coetzee, 23 Conraad Van Vuuren.

FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Riaan Britz, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Daniel Kriel, 12 Ryan Nell, 11 Jermaine Kleinsmith, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 André Warner, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Neethling Fouché, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jan Enslin, 17 Nqobisiswe Mxoli, 18 Dennis Visser, 19 Ruan Steenkamp, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Dewald Human, 22 John Jackson, 23 Andrew Beerwinkel.

Referees: Lesego Legoete, Jaco Pretorius
Assistant referees: Local

FNB CUT v FNB UJ
(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 18.30)

FNB CUT: 15 Henry Immelman, 14 Luke Cyster, 13 Charles Hitchcock, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Mosego Toolo, 10 Naude Van Biljon, 9 Christiaan Erasmus, 8 Jean Pretorius, 7 Dean Kouprihanoff, 6 Frans Sisita, 5 Rayno Nel, 4 Daneel Botes, 3 Gerard Baard, 2 Anrich Bitzi, 1 Len Noort.
Replacements: 16 Theuns Truter, 17 Ian Smith, 18 Fanie Coetzer, 19 Victor Maruping, 20 Marius Grobler, 21 Jean-Claude Fourie, 22 Duan Pretorius, 23 Boetie Makethlo.

FNB UJ: 15 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 14 Bradley Moolman, 13 Robert De Bruyn, 12 Adriaan Vermeulen, 11 Andries Oosthuizen, 10 James Campbell, 9 Hilton Mudariki, 8 Dylan Peterson, 7 Kyle Van Dalen, 6 Kobus Porter (captain), 5 David Antonites, 4 Werner Lourens, 3 Nico Du Plessis, 2 Siphatho Qinisile, 1 Gareth Milasinovich.
Replacements: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Brandon Landsberg, 18 Ettienne Oosthuizen, 19 Wiaan Conradie, 20 Chuma Faas, 21 Jaco Fourie, 22 Ronald Brown, 23 Raeez Salie.

Referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Jaco Kotze
Assistant referees: Local

FNB UCT v FNB Maties
(UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town – Kick-off: 19.00 live on Supersport One)

FNB UCT: 15 Khanyo Ngcukana, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Dylan Sage, 12 Guy Schwikkard, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Warren Seals, 9 James Alexander, 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Michael Botha (captain), 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Mark Prior, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Michael Kennedy, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Jade Kriel, 19 Tinotenda Zakeyo, 20 Ryan Dugmore, 21 Nicholas Holton, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 Kyle Whyte.

FNB Maties: 15 Mike Muller, 14 Craig Barry, 13 Christoff van Tonder, 12 Koos Loubser, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Ernst Stapelberg, 9 Jean Nel, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Lungelo Chonco, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys (captain), 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 AJ de Klerk, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Niel Oelofse.
Replacements: 16 Wesley Adonis, 18 Grant Prior, 19 Justin Benn, 20 Bjorn Bernardo, 21 Brandon Thomson, 22 Kyle Leibrandt, 23 John Hubert Meyer.

Referees: Francois Pretorius, Rodney Boneparte
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

Varsity Shield fixtures:

FNB UKZN V FNB TUT
(Peter Booysen Park, Pietermaritzburg – Kick-off: 19.00)

FNB Fort Hare v FNB Wits
(Davidson Rugby Stadium  – Kick-off: 19.00)

Impi’s off to a good start

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The FNB UKZN Impi lead the way after the opening round of the Varsity Shield after notching a valuable away win against FNB UWC.

Last year’s beaten finalists picked up a 16-5 win over UWC in what was a scrappy game in Bellville, whilst in Pretoria the FNB TUT Vikings claimed a hard-fought 21-16 win at home against the FNB Fort Hare Blues.

That means that the Impi top the standings after the first round of action, followed by TUT who trail them on points difference, whilst Fort Hare have a single bonus point to show for their efforts.

The visitors from Kwa-Zulu Natal scored a try in each half to take four valuable log points on the road, whilst former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers’ UWC charges were left empty-handed in front of their home fans.

It was a scrappy encounter throughout, with both teams making their fair share of basic errors, but it was the visitors that ended with the spoils thanks to tries from inside centre Marius Louw and livewire flyhalf Innocent Radebe who claimed the FNB Player that Rocks award.

The hosts staged a late rally as they looked to salvage something from the encounter, but it was not to be and they could only manage a single try to wing Gavian Cloete in response.

The match in Pretoria was a much tighter affair, and it took a late try from Vikings outside centre Vian Riekert to clinch the win after the teams had been deadlocked at 16-16.

TUT outscored the Eastern Cape side by three tries to one in the end, but Fort Hare remained firmly in the mix throughout thanks to a dominant scrum and the trusty boot of flyhalf Sivakele Ulana.

The UKZN Impi host the TUT Vikings in Pietermaritzburg next week, whilst FNB Wits make their return to the Varsity Shield in Alice where they will square off with the Fort Hare Blues after a bye in the first round.

All the teams and scorers:

FNB TUT Vikings 21-16 FNB Fort Hare Blues

FNB Player that Rocks: Hamish Herd

The scorers:

For FNB TUT:
Tries:
Herd 2, Riekert
Cons: Walters 2

For FNB Fort Hare:
Try:
Mandaba
Con: Ulana
Pens: Ulana 4

Teams:

FNB TUT Vikings: 15 Paul Walters, 14 Tovhowani Nefale, 13 Vian Riekert, 12 Edwin Oliver, 11 Nelis Snyman, 10 Lee Roy Afrika, 9 Shawn Jaards, 8 Claude Johannes, 7 Attie Joubert, 6 Mandla Mdaka, 5 Jaco van Staden, 4 Armand Marshall, 3 James Frost, 2 Hamish Herd (captain), 1 Wian van Schalkwyk.
Replacements: 16 Jean Claude le Roux, 17 Ryan Sim, 18 Ross Middelcote, 19 Wessel Jordaan, 20 Deon Joubert, 21 Dylan du Buisson, 22 DK Mukendi, 23 RW De Wal.

FNB Fort Hare Blues: 15 Akhona Matutu, 14 Hlubi Mvana, 13 Lundi Ralarala, 12 Lithabile Mgwadleka, 11 Aziyena Mandaba, 10 Sivakele Ulana, 9 Khaya Siqoko, 8 Athenkosi Manentsa, 7 Madoda Ludidi, 6 Siphesihle Punguzwa, 5 Sibusiso Sityebi, 4 Lwando Nteta, 3 Olwethu Mputla, 2 Sesethu Time, 1 Lwando Mabenge.
Replacements: 16 Lutho Klaas, 17 Zanoxolo Qwele, 18 Ntyatyambo Mkhafu, 19 Malusi Vula, 20 Elandre Sias, 21 Siviwe Bisset, 22 Khanyiso Komani, 23 Litha Labase.

FNB UWC 5-16 FNB UKZN

The scorers:

For FNB UWC:
Try:
Cloete

For FNB UKZN Impi:
Tries:
Louw, Radebe
Cons: Radebe 2

Teams:

FNB UWC: 15 Darian Hock, 14 Gavian Cloete, 13 Minenhle Mthethwa, 12 Gordon-Wayne Plaatjes, 11 James Verity-Amm, 10 Quaid Langeveldt, 9 Matthew Nortje, 8 Darren Luiters, 7 Jose Julies (captain), 6 Matthew Faught, 5 Stuart Austin, 4 Heynes Kotze, 3 Tahriq Allen, 2 Lifa Ghana, 1 Curtis Beukes.
Replacements: 16 Chadwin Robertson, 17 Wayron Losper, 18 Mitch Lingeveldt, 19 Brandon Beukman, 20 Damian Stevens, 21 Lubabalo Faleni, 22 Shane Pietersen, 23 Gustav Heydenrych.

FNB UKZN Impi: 15 Spa Dube, 14 Hendrik Lategan, 13 Marcel Coetzee, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Shayne Makombe, 10 Innocent Radebe, 9 Graham Koch, 8 Adam Wessels, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Lwazi Ngcungama, 5 Christie van der Merwe, 4 David Harel, 3 Sizwe Kubheka, 2 Chris de Beer, 1 Njabulo Mkize.
Replacements: 16 Mikyle Webster, 17 Ntando Mpofana, 18 Michael Hutton, 19 Sanele Malwane, 20 Langelihle Shange, 21 Gavin Nyawata, 22 Yandisa Mdolomba, 23 Matthew Mandioma.

For full match reports, results and logs go to varsitycup.co.za

Kempson new coach of young Madibaz

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Former Springbok prop Robbi Kempson has been appointed as coach of the FNB Madibaz Young Guns ahead of the NMMU Under-20 side’s first game against FNB NWU-Pukke on March 2, report Michael De Vries from VaristyCup.co.za

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The tough front row stalwart debuted for the national team in 1998 and retired from professional rugby in 2003 after playing 37 Tests for South Africa.

Following his retirement from professional rugby Kempson began coaching in 2005 and is currently academy and high performance manager of the SARU Kings Academy.

Kempson’s association with the academy allowed him to become involved with NMMU rugby structures, specifically the Young Guns team, which is restricted to players under the age of 20.

“There is a strong relationship that has been built between the SARU Kings Academy and NMMU, which creates a conduit for the players to be educated at the same time as pursuing their dream of playing professional rugby,” he said.

“The EP Kings and NMMU have worked hard to harness the talent within the province from the first-year students all the way through to the EP Currie Cup main side.”

Having coached at various levels, Kempson said the most rewarding part of guiding the Young Guns side was seeing how the young talent took on their rugby challenges and developed their skills and careers.

“Experiencing how they react to the highs and the lows and how they manage their very different personalities in a team environment is a high point for me.”

Kempson said that, in terms of the Varsity Cup tournament as a whole, the value of the Young Guns competition was highly underestimated.

“It is the first opportunity for these young men to compare their talents with that of their peers around the country.”

According to Kempson, this year’s Madibaz Young Guns team is a very talented group of young men and a strong leadership group.

“It will be a relatively young U19 team as many of our top players have made it into the Varsity Cup squad.”

Kempson said it drives him to see the work ethic of the players and how they enjoyed and grew within the team environment.

His objectives for the Young Guns reflect the essence of the tournament, which is to enjoy the game at a competitive level while promoting sound team ethics.

“A few wins under the belt wouldn’t hurt either.”

In terms of standout players, Kempson said it was difficult to tell this early in the season but pointed to Jeremy Ward and former SA schools forward Junior Pokomela as top pre-season performers.

“We have a very talented group of players that once they get game time hopefully will have their own standout performances.”

Kempson and the team have been hard at work preparing strategies for this year’s tournament.

“It’s always been about playing rugby, keeping the game lively and testing themselves daily against their peers, be it in the NMMU environment or playing against Tukkies,” he said.

The team have been training five times a week and each player has his own gym obligations over and above that.

“We will be competitive, although we do have a tough group with some of the top teams in the competition.”

Kempson said Maties and defending champions UP-Tuks would be the Madibaz Young Guns team’s biggest competition in the tournament.

The Young Guns final squad announcement will be made early next month.

Stage set for Varsity Cup

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he 2015 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International was officially launched in Johannesburg at the Copperleaf Golf Estate on Monday and with just two weeks to go before kick-off, the excitement is building with plenty to look forward to in this year’s tournament.

By: 

Varsity Cup Launch 2015

This season will see the reintroduction of the White Card rule which allows coaches and captains to refer decisions for review to the Television Match Official during games. It was first introduced during the inaugural Varsity Cup competition in 2008 and is endorsed by the South African Rugby Union.

“This is a new test from Varsity Cup that we believe the world of rugby will look favourably on after the World Cup,” SARU CEO Jurie Roux stated.

The competition will also be sticking with its innovation of using two referees, following the success of the trial last season.

A new format will be introduces for this year’s Young Guns and Koshuisrugby competitions, which will see the eight teams split into two pools with four teams in each pool. The teams will play each other across pools meaning each team will play four matches. The points log will be combined and the final will be contested by the two teams at the top of their respective pools at the end of the group fixtures. There is extra incentive to top the group as the final will be played at the home ground of the team which tops the log.

The newbies, Central University of Technology from Bloemfontein will make their bow this year after winning promotion from the FNB Varsity Shield. Duitser Bosman, CEO of Varsity Sports, believes this will further strengthen the quality of the competition.

“CUT did extremely well in last year’s Varsity Shield competition and I am very excited to see how they do in the Varsity Cup. They have great structures in place and I am sure they will cause an upset or two,” Bosman said.

To ensure the competition continues to bring out the best in young rugby talent, only bona-fide students can take part in the tournament.

To make it even easier to back your boytjies, Varsity Cup replica jerseys from Maties, Ikeys, Tuks and UJ will be available to purchase at selected at Edgars Active stores across the country. This is another way in which the Varsity Cup is catering for its loyal supporters who really want to back their boytjies in every which way possible.

Throughout the tournament, fans will enjoy non-stop action with cheerleaders, giveaways, new rules and unique university presentations adding to the rugby that rocks.

Varsity Cup ready for new Innovations

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The FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International is ready to rock, with new innovations and even more excitement set to form part of this year’s competition. The 2015 season kicks off on February 9, and among some of the exciting innovations, is the return of the White Card.

By:

Varsity Cup Logo1

The white card, which allows coaches and captains to refer decisions for review to Television Match Officials during games, was first introduced during the inaugural Varsity Cup competition in 2008. The system makes a welcome return and is endorsed by the South African Rugby Union.

This is just another way Varsity Cup ensures it remains at the forefront of sporting innovation and assist SARU in testing ideas. This season will also see the addition of the Defensive Scrumhalf. The Defensive Scrumhalf is a simple change in rules where the scrumhalf defending the scrum will not be allowed to pass the mouth of the scrum once the ball has been inserted.

In other words, the defending scrumhalf will not be allowed to follow the ball. Varsity Cup hopes this rule will encourage a running style of play and diminish the breakdowns at the scrum.

Founder of the competition, former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar, believes this year will be even bigger and better than last year.

“This year is a very exciting year for Varsity Cup Rugby. The return of the White Card presents us with a unique opportunity to trial something that we could one day see used in international rugby. Sport cannot afford to stagnate in this day and age and it is important that it evolves with the players in mind. The White Card is there to ensure the correct decision is always made,” Pienaar said.

The 2014 edition saw UCT Ikeys crowned champions after an emphatic comeback. Ikeys scored three tries in five minutes to beat NWU-Pukke 39-33, after being 15-33 behind.

Duitser Bosman, CEO of Varsity Sports, hopes this year’s competition will be equally exciting.

“We saw some brilliant rugby played last year and believe that this year will be no different. The excitement around the tournament has really come of age in the last few years. The crowds have been brilliant, but most importantly, we have seen the Varsity Cup be a springboard for players to launch their career,” Bosman explained.

The competition is also a springboard for players to further their careers. Last year’s Currie Cup final saw 29 of the 44 players come from a pool of former Varsity Cup players, evidence that the platform is breeding some of the best talent in the country.

As usual, there will be hotly contested derby matches between Ikeys and Maties, Shimlas and CUT, UJ and Tuks as well as a repeat of last year’s final in Potchefstroom. There will be two televised fixtures on SuperSport channel 201 each week, to make sure that the rugby keeps on rocking.

The competition would not have been able to grow, were it not for the continued support from the sponsors, something Bosman feels is testament to the quality of the competition.

“With First National Bank (FNB), Steinhoff International, Spur and Cell C continuing their commitment to sponsorship, it underscores what a great product we have,” Bosman concluded

Varsity Cup – Tuks have a point to prove

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After missing out on the play-offs as defending champions last year, FNB UP-Tuks are determined to bounce back in the 2015 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.

 from VarsityCup.co.za

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The Pretoria side finished in a disappointing sixth place last season in their first year under coach Pote Human, with defeat to Maties in Stellenbosch in their final league fixture sending them crashing out of the tournament.

But a year wiser and with much the same squad he had at his disposal last year, Human is confident that they will be in the mix for the title once again this year.

“Last year we didn’t make the play-offs which was a big disappointment for every player so we are going to be on a mission. We know it is going to be a difficult competition because anything can happen – just look at the final last year when the Ikeys came back.

“Most of the guys that played last year will play this year again so the guys are a year older and would have learned from last year,” he told varsitycup.co.za.

The squad started training in November last year before breaking for the festive season, and returned to training on Monday.

Human has appointed 2012 Junior World Championship-winning Junior Springbok captain Wiaan Liebenberg as his skipper, to be assisted by experienced former FNB Maties centre Ryan Nell.

“We have made Wiaan Liebenberg captain for this season and he was the SA Under-20 captain so he is a good leader. Ryan Nell is a great experienced guy that played for Maties before and he will be our vice captain,” said Human.

The two-time champions have lined up some testing warm-up matches against some top club sides as they look to hit the ground running when the competition kicks off on February 9.

“We play Pretoria Police next weekend, and then we play Impala the weekend after that, then the last game will be against Despatch so it is going to be really good preparations for the Varsity Cup,” Human explained.

The UP-Tuks coach said that the key for his team will be to back themselves and their systems no matter what the situation in what should be another hard-fought season.

“For me the big thing is that the players must believe in themselves. When we played Maties last year if we have won that game we were in the play-offs and we were up at half-time but then lost it.

“We need to believe in ourselves and our systems and the guys are in a better space now so I really think we will do well this year,” he said.

Whilst they have their sights set on a third title, Human knows that it will not be easy, and tipped NWU-Pukke and Maties as the pre-season favourites.

“It is going to be a very tough season, we want to win the competition. We have won it twice and last year we finished sixth so we want to do better than that.

“We have got the potential to win it but it is going to be difficult because any team can beat any other team on the day. At this stage I think Maties and Pukke must be the two favourites but it is going to be an interesting year,” he said.

Varsity Cup – Ixias ready to surprise many

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FNB CUT Ixias have vowed not to be the whipping boys of the 2015 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International despite making their debut in the competition.

CUT vs UFH

 from Varsirtycup.co.za

The Ixias have been the stand-out team in the FNB Varsity Shield and managed to gain promotion to the Cup competition by beating FNB-UKZN Impi 35-26 in the 2014 FNB Varsity Shield final. The Bloemfontein men have claimed the Shield three-times but this will be their first time playing in the Cup competition.

Coach Skillie Bester is under no illusion that it will be a tough campaign for himself and his charges but stated that people can expect some surprises as his boys are raring to go.

“We are not blind to the fact that it will be challenging [for us] but we expect to surprise people [along the way] and show everyone that we won’t be the whipping boys of the tournament.

“It will be madness if we expect ourselves to win the competition but that doesn’t mean we going to be playing just to make up the numbers. There are a few games we have targeted as matches we want to win, the squad doesn’t agree because they want to go out and beat every team we play against, but you have to be realistic.

“Having said that, the mood in the camp is awesome, very positive and everyone is raring to go,” Bester toldvarsitycup.co.za.

FNB CUT began their preparations in September 2014 and have been hard at work in the Bloemfontein heat to choose only the best to represent the institution in the tournament. The final cuts to the initial 45-man squad will be made after they have played practice matches against Currie Cup First Division outfit, the Border Bulldogs, on January 23, before taking on FNB Wits on January 30.

Bester will have the likes of right-hand-man Jan du Toit, Izak van der Westhuizen (forwards coach) and JB Heckroodt (backline coach) to lean on as the quartet look to make an immediate and lasting impression on the Cup competition.

The Ixias have a number of exciting prospects who will be taking the field this year, non more so then Hentie Immelman who was chosen as the SA Schools fullback but had to withdraw from that side due to injury. Other players to look out for will be No.8 Jasper Wiese, lock Johann Grundlingh and a few other unknown entities who are sure to turn heads and make a big difference to the team.

Charles Hitchcock will don the captains armband for the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International and will lead a fairly balanced team in the competition and will be assisted by fellow senior players such as Duan Pretorius, Len Noort, Gerhard Baard and Frans Sisita.

Sisita has been playing for the FNB CUT Ixias for the past three years and Bester believes he can play with the likes of Oupa Mahoje. These senior players will be key to their campaign in helping to guide and groom the less-experienced members of the squad.

Without the likes of flyers Kholo Ramashala and Alec Mhlanga to call on this year, Bester feels it’s an ideal chance for the next generation of players to put the hands up and stake a claim to become the next big thing.

“The new players have the talent, there’s no doubt about that. It now becomes a story of self-belief and being in the right frame of mind. So if that six inches between their ears is tuned properly, they will be fine,” he said.

Varsity Cup -Van der Sluys leads Maties

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Big lock Wilhelm van der Sluys will lead the FNB Maties in the 2015 FNB Varsity Cup Presented by Steinhoff International.

Maties 2015 Captain
Maties 2015 Captain

By Dorfling Terblanche from Varsity Cup.co.za

A veteran of the competition, Van der Sluys is taking part in his third Varsity Cup.

Since making his debut against FNB UJ in 2013 he has played 16 matches in the famous maroon jersey and was named Man of The Match against FNB UFS-Shimlas in Stellenbosch in 2014.

Van der Sluys has an amazing rugby pedigree, with quite an action-packed career for a 23-year-old.

He attended the famous Paarl Boys High and was part of the 2009 team which recorded a memorable interschool’s victory over arch-rivals Paarl Gym. He also represented Western Province at the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week that year.

Alongside a host of future Springboks including Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Frans Malherbe, he was part of the Western Province team that won the U19 Currie Cup 2010 Championship.

After being involved with both the WP U21 and the SA U20 Touring Squad to Argentina in 2011 Van der Sluys was primed for a big season in 2012. Quite how big it turned out to be must surely have exceeded even the loftiest expectations that he would have harboured.

The first of many highlights saw him form part of the WP Vodacom Cup team which beat the Griquas to win the competition. He made his first team debut against the Pampas XV, coming on as a substitute in their game at the hallowed turf of the Danie Craven.

He was subsequently named captain of the WP U21’s before earning selection for the seniors. He was on the bench for the final against the star-studded Sharks at Kings Park, where another Varsity Cup alumnus Demetri Catrilikis inspired an unlikely victory.

During the 2014 season he had moulded a formidable combination with fellow lock Jan de Klerk at the heart of the maroon machine engine room.

This partnership, very much in the mould of Springboks Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield, will not be resumed in 2015 as De Klerk has completed his studies in Engineering and has signed with WP. Who will join Van der Sluys in the second-row remains to be seen, but there are a glut of capable candidates to fill the big void left by De Klerk.

Van der Sluys is completing his degree in accounting and has a strong affinity for management accounting and is considering going the CIMA route when he enters the professional world.

He is ready and capable to wear the captains’ armband in 2015 and will look to lead his charges from the front. There is an exceptional spirit in the current squad and with a captain with the stature of Van der Sluys, the Maties will be well served in the leadership department.

White card makes a comeback

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The FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International for 2015 is set to continue its grand tradition of trying out experimental laws, further cementing the tournament’s status as a testing ground for the laws of rugby…..by Varsitycup.co.za

White Card

This season sees the exciting reintroduction of the White Card – which was used in the inaugural 2008 Varsity Cup Final. The White Card is a card that can be used by either coach or captain to review a decision by the referee.

This exciting experiment is endorsed by the South African Rugby Union (SARU). Andre Watson, SARU General Manager Referees, had the following to say on the white card.

“This is a step in the right direction to assist referees to get that important decision correct, and to put some responsibility on the captain and coaches to help with the process.”

The White Card challenge system is to only be used during the Varsity Cup. The team challenge, or White Card, can be called by the team coach or captain.

During a stoppage in play they can request that the referee review a decision they believe to be incorrect, or request the referee to review an infringement that went unnoticed and requires appropriate sanction.

Duitser Bosman, CEO of the Varsity Cup was extremely positive about the reintroduction of the White Card.

“We at Varsity Cup started with the two referees this year and we are reintroducing now the white card this coming year in a process to get the game as fair as possible.”

The process of a White Card challenge is as follows: The coach will inform the TMO of the request for a review via radio contact.

The coach must advise details regarding the location on the field where the incident took place, the time it occurred as well as the phase in which it took place.

The TMO will inform the referee of the challenge. The referee will then, at the next stoppage of play, raise a white card to indicate that a request for a review has been lodged.

The TMO will then review the incident, and advise the on-field referee of the appropriate decision to be taken. The timing of the challenge is vital, as it should be done before the start of the next play.

For example: if the whistle blows and a scrum is awarded, the challenge should have been lodged in order for the match officials to review the decision. If the scrum has commenced with the ball being fed, no review can take place. The coach, however, is not the only person who can lodge a team challenge. The on-field captain also has the right to review a decision.

The team/captain’s challenge also has clear parameters for the usage thereof. Each team (either the coach or the captain) is allowed two challenges per game. This in turn is limited to a single challenge per half.

If a challenge is successful, then it will remain intact for the remainder of the half. If a challenge is unsuccessful, the team will have no challenges remaining for the half. If a challenge is still intact at the end of a half, it expires.

It is important to note the following terms regarding the experimental White Card law:
• There is no limit on what can be reviewed by either the coach or captain, provided it concerns an infringement of Law or incorrect application.
• The outcome of the review by the TMO and the referee is final, and stands regardless.

Laws changed by Varsity Cup in the past:
• Eight players on the bench which is being used world-wide in test matches;
• Three point conversions and the two points penalties which is used in the Australian Domestic League
• Free catch rule
• 2 referee rule

Varsity Cup 2015 is set to be another action packed tournament, be sure to catch all the action on SuperSport 201 on Monday nights from 9 February at 16.45.

Varisty Cup fixtures for 2015

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The fixtures for the 2015 Varsity Cup have been released amid much fanfare and excitement from the South African rugby community.

Varisty Cup Logo  

The new season once again promises much in terms of excitement-filled student rugby fuelled by youthful flair and an attacking approach. In last year’s final, the UCT Ikeys snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Pukke at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds in Potchefstroom.

A last-gasp, injury time converted try which came after a drop kick charge down on the stroke of full time enabled the men from Cape Town to lift the trophy. The Ikeys counter attack and try which followed will long live on in Varsity Cup folklore as one of the tournament’s enduring moments – the comeback of all comebacks.

The first round of fixtures which commence on February 9 dishes up a tantalising match-up between Ikeys and Maties.

The game, to be played at the UCT rugby fields, will feature Ikeys in their capacity as defending champions, and Maties as the most decorated team in the history of the Varsity Cup. The other opening fixture on the same evening will see Pukke host last season’s semi-finalists NMMU Madibaz at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds in Potchefstroom.

Newly promoted Central University of Technology (who replaced Wits in the Varsity Cup) will also host UJ in Bloemfontein for their very first Varsity Cup match. UJ will be on the offensive display as they have no interest in returning to the relegation quagmire they were involved in last year.

Lastly, Shimlas also take on Tuks at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein to conclude the first round’s action.

If last year’s heart-stopping moments are anything to go by, the 2015 edition of the Varsity Cup will once again provide more than its share of legendary moments.

Stormers trio back for WP

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wp

Stormers squad members Stephan Coetzee, Tazz Fuzani and Sikhumbuzo Notshe are all back in the Western Province team for Saturday’s Vodacom Cup clash against the Free State XV at City Park (16:00 kick-off).

Coetzee, Fuzani and Notshe all spent some time with the Stormers in Australasia last month and were also part of the match-day squad that featured against the Waratahs last weekend.
Hooker Coetzee will start in the WP front row this week, with Fuzani and Notshe lining up at lock and flank, respectively.

WP will have a new flyhalf this week, for the first time this season, with Gary van Aswegen out with an injury. Kurt Coleman will start at No 10, along with a new-look centre combination – both on debut – in the shape of Varsity Cup stars Robert du Preez (Maties) and Huw Jones (UCT).

Western Province coach John Dobson told the WP Rugby website: “We have an injury or two more than we would like.

“Losing Gary, Kyle Lombard and Johnny Kotze is a blow but to be able to welcome back Notshe and Tazz is fantastic. They are awesome players and individuals who understand how we play and our culture.

“The selection of Robert du Preez is also an exciting one. He really is a great acquisition for WP Rugby and we look forward to exposing him fully to the Province culture this week.
Robert, like many top quality No 10s before – players like Dan Carter and Johnny Wilkinson spring to mind immediately here – will start his senior career at inside centre, but he will definitely get game time at flyhalf on Saturday.

“Gary is a loss, like I said, but we’re so fortunate to call upon Kurt in the No 10 shirt and, of course, the selection of Huw Jones, the best centre in the Varsity Cup, is very exciting for us too – despite losing both Kyle Lombard and Johnny Kotze.

“Huw Jones is not the only fresh face from the Varsity Cup this week – after Jan de Klerk, Lungelo Chonco and Jean Nel joined us last week,” added Dobson.

“As we all know, Robert du Preez ended the Varsity Cup season as the Player of the Tournament, whilst UCT’s hardman, Shaun McDonald, the 2014 Forward of the Tournament, also trained with us this week.”

Looking ahead to Saturday, which sees Western Province return to their home away from home – City Park in Crawford – Dobson concluded: “It’s a very important game for us – it will decide if we get a home play-off or not.

“The Free State XV have produced excellent results this season and have also only lost one game – (also) to the Sharks XV. They’re an all-round side and are enjoying their best Vodacom Cup season in many years and we know they will never stop playing, but, then again, neither will we!

“We have some nice plans and hope that those who feel like seeing some attractive rugby between two sides who really like to play come along to City Park on Saturday.”

Teams:

Western Province:

15. Tiger Bax, 14. JP Lewis, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Robert du Preez, 11. Devon Williams, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Jean Nel, 8. Carel du Preez, 7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6. Rohan Kitshoff (captain), 5. Jan de Klerk, 4. Tazz Fuzani, 3. Entienne Swanepoel, 2. Stephan Coetzee, 1. Alistair Vermaak

Substitutes: 16. Michael Willemse, 17. Deacon Chowles, 18. Jan Uys, 19. Eital Bredenkamp, 20. Freddie Muller, 21. Janco Gunter, 22. Chevandre van Schoor

Free State:

15 Luke Cyster, 14 Alvin Brandt, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Niel Marais (captain), 11 Sino Ganto, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Heinrich Brüssow, 7 Wayven Smith, 6 Zingisa April, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Neil Claassen, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Kevin Stevens.

Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Nick Schonert, 18 Philip du Preez, 19 Peet Coetzee, 20 KK Hlongwane, 21 Joubert Engelbrecht, 22 Don Mlondobozi

The Greatest comeback- UCT Champions Again!!

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If there is every a game that all rugby coaches should show their teams then this Varsity Cup final is the one.

It had it all…..great tries, controversial decisions from TMO and referee’s alike and one of the greatest comebacks from any team I have ever witness. With 5 minutes to go UCT still had to score three times to win the game and all was done and sealed for Pukke to take their first Varsity Cup.

Heartbreak was the only thing NWU-Pukke got at the end as they stopped playing for the last five minutes to give UCT one of the greatest wins seen in Varsity Cup. Tries from Michael Botha, Dean Grant and Nathan Nel saw the Cape side stage one of left the capacity crowd at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds stunned.

The visitors got off to a flying start as a flowing backline move saw outside centre Huw Jones hit a gap out wide and surge over for the opening try to put them 5-0 up, with flyhalf Dean Grant’s conversion attempt hitting the upright. That silenced the capacity crowd in Potchefstroom but they did not have to wait long to find their voice as a series of strong driving mauls from NWU-Pukke put them right on the Ikeys’ tryline.

UCT soaked up the pressure well and forced a knock-on, but NWU-Pukke were back in their 22 soon enough as they launched another sustained attack. The home side were rewarded for their dominance when a well-timed pass from captain Tiaan Dorfling put Rhyk Welgemoed through a gap, and there was no stopping the big flank as he thundered over the tryline.

NWU-Pukke had all of the momentum and they increased their lead shortly afterwards as good hands down the backline saw left wing Luther Obi score in the corner. That gave them a 13-5 advantage at the first strategy break after an intense opening 20 minutes which had seen flashes of brilliance from both teams. A great kick from Grant put UCT on the attack, and although NWU-Pukke managed to hold them out they suffered a major blow when captain Dorfling was stretchered off with an injury.

 It was end-to-end stuff as Ikeys flank Jason Klaasen won a crucial turnover on the 22 after a jinking run from Sylvian Mahuza, and the counter attack saw wing Richard Stewart score in the corner after fullback Ross Jones-Davies had made good ground up the middle of the park.

 Grant could not land the conversion that would have levelled the scores, but UCT were right back in the game with the deficit down to 13-10.

The home side thought they had scored just before half-time when replacement scrumhalf Dillon Smit raced away after UCT had coughed the ball up on attack, but joy turned to misery for the home crowd when the TMO ruled that NWU-Pukke centre Johan Deysel had committed a reckless tackle. The midfielder was shown a yellow card which was a double blow for his team as they were reduced to 14 men and denied a certain try.

The Ikeys looked to have struck on the stroke of half-time, but a desperate tackle from NWU-Pukke flyhalf Johnny Welthagen saved the day for his team who went into the break with a slender 13-10 lead.

NWU-Pukke made a determined start to the second half and hammered away at the UCT defence with a series of strong drives before hooker Armand van der Merwe powered his way over from close range. That gave them an eight-point buffer, but they were reduced to 14 men once again soon afterwards when tighthead prop Nhlanhla Ngcamu was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Liam Slatem.

However, that did not seem to slow them down as Smit slotted a penalty to take their lead out to ten points at 20-10.

UCT needed a response to get back into the game and they got it from a driving maul, with the hard-working Klaasen crashing over to cut the deficit to 20-15 at the second strategy break. UCT were cut down to 14 men after a cynical infringement from wing Lihleli Xoli on their tryline and Van der Merwe thought he had gone over for his second try straight afterwards, but the TMO ruled that it had been a double movement.

To their credit NWU-Pukke did not let that ruffle them and they marched straight back into the UCT 22 where Smit was able to force his way over for the fourth try which took their lead out to 28-15. Big lock Francois Robbertse added another try and it looked as though NWU-Pukke had put the game beyond the Ikeys, but the Cape side refused to say die and they were rewarded in the most dramatic style.

 Grant managed to convert tries from himself and Botha before Nel broke free in extra time to plunge a dagger into NWU-Pukke hearts and send his teammates into ecstacy.

Varisty Cup: All Eyes on Potch

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Varisty Cup Logo

The 2014 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International title will be decided on Monday when Potchefstroom hosts its first-ever final.

Apart from the showdown between FNB NWU-Pukke and FNB UCT, the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship final and the promotion/relegation battle between FNB UJ and the FNB UKZN Impi will also be decided at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds – all televised live on Supersport One. Coach Robert du Preez’s NWU-Pukke side will be hunting their first title when they take on the Ikey Tigers who lifted the trophy the last time they made the final back in 2011.

Both teams secured home semifinal victories, with NWU-Pukke edging the FNB NMMU Madibaz in dramatic style and UCT taking care of old rivals FNB Maties in the wind and rain on the Green Mile. The hosts will have the psychological advantage of having beaten the Ikeys in Cape Town in the opening round, but coach Kevin Musikanth’s team are yet to lose away from home this year so they cannot be taken lightly. Musikanth has made a major impact in his first season with UCT after two lean years since they won their only title in 2011, and his counterpart Du Preez has made a big impression as well with NWU-Pukke topping the table for the first time.

The teams have had a two-week break since their semifinal victories, but Musikanth said that they have not changed much in terms of their preparation. “As far as the result is concerned and the approach to the game we have prepared in the same manner as we have always prepared. “Ultimately if we want to call ourselves Varsity Cup champions we need to have what it takes to go out to Potch and beat Pukke in their own backyard. Our team and coaching staff have tremendous work ethic and we are going all in,” he said.

The last available place in next year’s Varsity Cup will be decided in the promotion/relegation play-off between John Mitchell’s UKZN Impi and an embattled UJ outfit that finished down in seventh position this season. The Impi went down to FNB CUT in the Varsity Shield Final last week, with the Ixias securing their third title to finally move up to the Varsity Cup, but they will have another crack at promotion in the first game to be played at the Fanie du Toit Sports Ground.

They face a UJ side who find themselves fighting for survival after a disappointing campaign that went downhill after their promising draw with defending champions FNB UP-Tuks in their opening game. The Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship Final will feature two unbeaten teams as NWU-Pukke’s Patria host Steinhoff Heimat from UFS in the curtain-raiser to the Varsity Cup Final.

 The visitors will be eager to keep the trophy in Bloemfontein by following in the footsteps of last year’s champions Steinhoff Vishuis, but they will have to be on top of their game against a well-drilled Patria outfit who will have the local crowd right behind them.

 All the teams and match details:

 FNB NWU-Pukke v FNB UCT

(Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds, Potchefstroom – Kick-off: 19.00 live on Supersport)

 FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Edmar Marais, 13 Jaap Pienaar, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9, Tiaan Dorfling (captain), 8 Juan Language, 7 Henro-Pierre Swart, 6 Rhyk Welgemoed, 5 Francois Robbertse, 4 Peet van der Walt, 3 Nhlanhla Ngcamu, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Mashudu Mafela.

Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Philip de Wet, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Rhyno Smith, 22 Lucien Cupido, John-Roy Jenkinson.

 FNB UCT: 15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Guy Schwikkard, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Michael Botha, 7 Vince Jobo, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Shaun McDonald, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Joel Carew.

Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Kyle Kriel, 19 Guy Alexander, 20 James Alexander, 21 Martin Sauls, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 David Maasch.

Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Cwengile Jadezweni

Assistant referees: Francois Pretorius, Jaco Kotze

TMO: Johan Greeff

Ixias get their Varsity Cup reward

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Varisty Cup Logo

FNB CUT Ixias will play in the 2015 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International after they won 35-26 against the FNB UKZN Impi in the Varsity Shield Final in Bloemfontein on Monday.

 The Men from Bloemfontein celebrate becoming champions for the second consecutive year and the third time in total, but it is the first time that they have managed to gain promotion up to the Varsity Cup. Meanwhile, it will be back to the training field for the Impi, as they have a promotion/relegation game against FNB UJ in Potchefstroom next week. The Impi had a strong wind at their back in the first half but it was the Ixias who got the early territory with clever kicking from scrumhalf Stephan Grisel.

It was an nervy start from both sides in such an important game and it showed, which unforced errors littering the early exchanges. The men from KwaZulu-Natal were guilty of more mistakes and the Ixias were agressive at the breakdowns and the turnovers began to hurt the Impi. A lost lineout in the ninth minute lead to the first try of the game as quick ball was sent to the backs where the centres combined well. Johan van Schalkwyk popped a great ball to Duan Pretorius who had wrapped around at pace and found fullback Charles Hitchcock who timed his pass brilliantly to send right wing Alec Mhlanga over in the right hand corner.

Just four minutes later the Ixias were in to score again. They won a turnover in their own half and Hitchcock broke away down the left but was caught by the cover defence. The Bloemfontein-based side won a scrum just inside the Impi 22 metre area and another silky backline play saw the ball shifted quickly from flyhalf Noel Marx to Pretorius who cantered over to score and then added the conversion.

The visitors tried to strike back, just before the first half strategy break, by setting up a lineout just five metres from the CUT line but their attempts to maul the ball over the line came to nothing and once again the hosts managed to make a turnover at the breakdown and clear their lines. The UKZN scrum was working well though and they won two further scrum penalties as they dominated the setpiece.

The visitors started to put the very strong wind at their backs to good use as flyhalf Duncan Campbell unleashed a massive touchfinder from inside his own half. The Impi set up the five metre lineout in the 33rd minute and after the maul didn’t work out, they sent it wide and Campbell stepped through the defence to score near to the posts before chipping over the extra three points to leave his side trailing by just 8-13 at half-time.

CUT were almost made to rue an early second half error as they knocked on from the kick off and Zwela Zondi went over to score after a break from scrumhalf Cameron Wright, but on review the TMO determined that Deon Carney had obstructed Mhlanga to create the gap for Wright to go through and the Ixias got the penalty and a reprieve. Great work from Pretorius soon extended the Ixias’ lead as they won a penalty by forcing Brandon Bailing to hold on and then nailed the kick to give the hosts a 15-8 lead after 47 minutes.

The Impi scrum continued to work wonders for them, just two minutes later, as they forced a penalty on CUT’s feed and set up a five metre lineout. This time their maul was successful and they rumbled over the line for hooker Dean Muir to dot down. Campbell added the tricky sideline conversion to put UKZN into the lead for the first time. Pretorius put his side back into the lead with another good strike from the tee from over 30 metres to make it 17-16 to CUT after 60 minutes.

The advantage didn’t last long as CUT No.8 Dean Kouprianoff hit Wright late after a kick and it gave Campbell a chance to put the Impi back in front from a penalty kick on the 22, which he duly did to edge the Impi ahead 18-17. A moment of magic from Griesel followed as he broke away from a CUT scrum just inside the Impi 22 and stepped past the covering tackle of Hendrik Lategan to charge over to score a vital try. Pretorius added the conversion to give the Ixias a 25-18 lead with 15 minutes to play.

The Impi hit back with sustained pressure and eventually it told as Deon Carney barged over from close range and Campbell was on hand to put UKZN ahead once more – 26-25 with 10 minutes left. Pretorius was not done and the CUT inside centre broke away from his own half and beat a few defenders before Hitchcock went on a mazy run, skipping past more Impi players and offloading to Fanie Coetzer to go over for the try to make it 33-26 to the Ixias with eight minutes to go.

CUT flyhalf Noel Marx added a long-range drop-goal from close to 40 metres out after 74 minutes to put the seal the game for the home side as they saw out the game to secure progression to the Varsity Cup for the first time

The scorers:

For FNB CUT Ixias:

Tries: Mhlanga, Pretorius, Griesel, Coetzer

Cons: Pretorius 3

Pens: Pretorius 2

DG: Marx

For FNB UKZN Impi:

Tries:Campbell, Muir, Carney

Cons:Campbell 3

Pen: Campbel

Preview: High stakes in Shield Final

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Varsity-Shield-trophy

The CUT Ixias will host the UKZN Impi in the Varsity Shield Final in Bloemfontein on Monday, with promotion to the Varsity Cup on the line.

It will be the Impi’s first appearance in a Varsity Shield Final, and they will have their work cut out for them against the Ixias who have played in all three finals since the competition began in 2011.

The two-time champions were denied promotion to the Varsity Cup in 2012 when Wits beat them on home turf, so it will be a case of unfinished business when they face former All Blacks coach John Mitchell’s team.

Wits will play in the Varsity Shield again next year after going winless in their two seasons in the Varsity Cup, whilst the team that loses on Monday will play a promotion/relegation play-off against UJ who finished seventh in the Varsity Cup this year.

UKZN secured their spot in the Final by beating CUT 39-21 in Pietermaritzburg last week, which has prompted Ixias coach Johannes Bester to label the KwaZulu-Natal side as favourites for the Final.

“I think they should now be the favourites to win this, so it’s going to be a tough one,” he said.

Bester added that whilst his team was off the pace last week they were beaten by the better team on the day, and have no illusions about the challenge that lies ahead.

“Yes, the guys didn’t show up mentally but apart from that they played well, so we know what we’re in for.

“Game’s don’t get much bigger than this for us and it’s on our home turf, so we can’t lose this, we cannot lose this another time,” he said.

Impi coach John Mitchell said that the key for his team will be to stick to what has worked for them this season.

“We have given ourselves an opportunity now, it is a new situation altogether but it is actually about sticking to the same processes, getting our preparation right and bringing our performances,” he explained.

The experienced Mitchell has plenty of respect for CUT, who went unbeaten to take the title last year.

“Clearly they set the benchmark in the competition, they were certainly ahead of us at the start of the competition and we have had to get better like all teams.

“They are very urgent, they like to move the ball around and they punish your weaknesses. They play an exciting brand of rugby and they work hard for each other, they come from a good rugby culture,” he said.

However, he still has plenty of confidence in his team who have shown great fighting spirit and developed as a unit this season.

“We are not an easy team to beat by any means, we pride ourselves on our work ethic and I guess we don’t yield easily,” Mitchell added.

* The Varsity Young Guns Final will also be played on Monday, with UP-Tuks looking to secure their third consecutive title when they host UFS-Shimlas in Pretoria.

The UP-Tuks Young Guns team has not lost a single game in the three seasons that the competition has been running, so a win against UFS-Shimlas will make it a remarkable hat-trick.

The two-time champions were pushed hard by the Bloemfontein side when they met earlier in the season, so despite their unbeaten record they will not be taking anything for granted.

UFS-Shimlas coach Jaco Swanepoel is hoping that the guts his team showed in their semifinal win against NWU-Pukke last week will be enough for them to cause an upset against the UP-Tuks juggernaut.

“The [Young Guns] competition is so short and the preparation time is so short that the best ingredients that you can have is guts and I think we have a lot of that,” he said.

All of the teams and match details:

CUT Ixias v UKZN Impi
(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 16.30)

CUT Ixias: 15 Charles Hitchcock, 14 Alec Mhlanga, 13 Johan van Schalkwyk, 12 Duan Pretorius, 11 Kholo Ramashala (captain), 10 Noel Marx, 9 Stephan Griesel, 8 Dean Kouprianoff, 7 Vincent Marupeng, 6 Frans Sisita, 5 Lyvette Shikwambana, 4 Fanie Coetzer, 3 Danie van der Merwe, 2 Deon Gouws, 1 Len Noort.
Replacements: 16 Daniel de Jager, 17 Gerhard Baard, 18 Moeka Bolofo, 19 Johann Grundlingh, 20 Marius Grobler, 21 Johan Nel, 22 Theuns Truter, 23 Hanro Liebenberg.

UKZN Impi: 15 Hendrik Groenewald, 14 Shayne Makombe, 13 Brandon Bailing, 12 Kurt Mavrodaris, 11 Hendrik Lategan, 10 Duncan Campbell, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Deon Carney, 7 Zwela Zondi, 6 Lwazi Ngcungama (captain), 5 Johan Wagenaar, 4 Adam Wessels, 3 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Henri Boshoff.
Replacements: 16 Mikyle Webster, 17 Bartholomeus le Roux, 18 Gideon Koegelenberg, 19 Sanele Malwane, 20 Nelson Makhanye, 21 Gavin Nyawata, 22 Yandisa Mdolomba, 23 Sizwe Kuhbeka.

Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Jaco Kotze, Khotso Raleteng
TMO: Johan Greeff

UP-Tuks Young Guns v UFS-Shimlas Young Guns
(Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 19.00)

UP-Tuks Young Guns: 15 Philip Orffer, 14 Dimitrio Tieties, 13 Marquit September, 12 Adrian Maebane, 11 Keanan van Wyk, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Chris Massyn, 6 Heinrich Viljoen, 5 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 4 Abongile Nonkontwana, 3 Pierre Schoeman (captain), 2 Arno van Wyk, 1 Piet Strauss.
Replacements: 16 Francois Steyn, 17 Njabulo Gumede, 18 Corne Cooper, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Kobus Wolmarans, 21 Simon Bolze, 22 Jurie Linde, 23 Matthys Basson.

UFS-Shimlas Young Guns: 15 Stephen Rautenbach, 14 Donovan Gissing, 13 Pieter Faber, 12 Stephan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Charlton Koopman, 10 Ruan Potgieter, 9 Zee Makhabela, 8 Andries Kriek, 7 Boela Venter, 6 Steven Meiring, 5 Andre Venter, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Conrad van Vuuren, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Ox Niche.
Replacements: 16 Anrich Alberts, 17 Petrus Senekal, 18 Daniel Maartens, 19 Refuoe Rampetha, 20 TJ Goodard, 21 Herman Share, 22 Lorenzo Gordon, 23 Gunter Janse van Vuuren.

Referee: Lesego Legoete
Assistant referees: Jan Venter, Wilko Esterhuizen
TMO: Willie Vos

Ikeys packing for Potchefstroom

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Varisty Cup Logo
A late penalty from replacement Rhyno Smith saw FNB NWU-Pukke clinch a 19-18 victory over NMMU in Potchefstroom to set up their first-ever home FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International final.

NWU-Pukke will host the FNB UCT Ikey Tigers in the final on April 7 after edging the Madibaz in a dramatic finish as the Eastern Cape side went down by a single point in their second consecutive semifinal. The home side made the early running as they surged into the NMMU 22 with purpose, and it was not long before flank Rhyk Welgemoed dived over for the opening try next to the posts.

There was no respite for the Madibaz as NWU-Pukke got right back on the front foot and some quick hands saw wing Luther Obi get over for their second try which gave them a healthy 13-0 lead inside the opening ten minutes. NMMU had hardly got their hands on the ball, and they made their first foray into opposition territory as they looked for a response, but Andile Jho was denied a try after being put over the line by a forward pass.

Two penalties from NWU-Pukke centre Adriaan Engelbrecht early in the second half saw them stretch their lead to 17-8, before some last-ditch defending saw them deny the Madibaz from scoring in the corner. However, the visitors struck soon afterwards as they launched a breathtaking counter-attack from their own territory after absorbing plenty of pressure from the hosts.

Fullback Jarryd Buys picked the ball up off his bootlaces and threw a neat dummy before releasing wing Tythan Adams who finished well, with Hauptfleisch’s conversion reducing the gap to 17-16 at the second strategy break. NMMU took the lead for the first time with just 12 minutes left to play when Buys slotted a drop-goal which set up a tense finish as both teams chased a first-ever home final.

However, Smith stepped up with just two minutes left on the clock and sent the ball sailing through the uprights to the delight of the crowd to break Madibaz hearts.

The scorers:

For FNB NWU-Pukke:
Tries: Welgemoed, Obi
Con: Engelbrecht
Pens: Engelbrecht 2, Smith

For FNB NMMU Madibaz:
Tries: Cloete, Adams
Cons: Hauptfleisch 2
DG: Buys

In Cape Town

FNB UCT booked their place in the 2014 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International final with a dominant 20-8 victory over Maties on a wet Green Mile.

The wind and rain in Cape Town made it a tricky prospect for both teams, with UCT adapting best to conditions as they scored all of their points after half-time following a scoreless first half. The visitors made a positive start to the game, pegging the Ikeys back in their own half in the slippery conditions, but they were unable to make it count on the scoreboard as the UCT defence held up well after conceding a string of penalties in their 22.

The battle up front was always going to be key given the persistent rain, and Ikeys struck a big blow when they shoved the Maties pack backwards in the first scrum of the game, which set the tone for the rest of the match. They kept the pressure on and camped on the Maties tryline for a while, but the team from Stellenbosch showed just as much resolve on defence to keep the game scoreless after an intense opening 15 minutes.

Maties made their move once more, rejecting a few opportunities to kick at goal as they looked for the opening try, and although Ikeys wing Richard Stewart was shown a yellow card for repeated infringements the Stellenbosch side could not find a way through as they went into the first strategy break without bothering the scorers. Maties looked certain to score after the ball was sent wide following a turnover in UCT territory, but left wing John Durr was forced into touch just short of the tryline as the Tigers hung tough.

Maties continued to hammer away, but Ikeys clearly had the upper hand in the set-pieces and they managed to keep them out as the teams went into the half-time break still deadlocked at 0-0. The home side had the wind at their backs in the second half, and it paid off straight away as Lihleli Xoli followed up well on a chip kick to score the opening try, with Dean Grant’s conversion putting them 8-0 up.

Grant added two penalties which took Ikeys’ lead to 12-0, and it looked a long way back for Maties with the wind and rain blowing in their faces. Some clever kicking from Grant kept Maties back in their own 22, where the Ikeys scrum put them under some considerable pressure, and it finally told as a massive shove saw UCT No.8 Michael Botha crash over for a pushover try which made it 20-0 once converted.

That left Maties with it all to do in the last ten minutes, and they were given a glimmer of hope when Ikeys captain Liam Slatem was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle. His opposite number Jean Nel took advantage straight away when he slid over for a try in the corner, which was converted from the touchline by flyhalf Robert du Preez, but it was not enough to avoid defeat as Ikeys booked their place in the final.

The scorers:

For FNB UCT:
Tries: Xoli, Botha
Cons: Grant 2
Pens: Grant 2

For FNB Maties:
Try: Nel
Con: Du Preez

FNB Varisty Cup heats up

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Varisty Cup Logo
The coastal teams made a charge up the standings at the conclusion of Round Six of the 2014 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International on Monday night.

There were important wins for FNB UCT, FNB NMMU and FNB Maties in an enthralling penultimate round of matches before the play-offs, leaving the competition wide open heading into the final week of league action.

The Ikey Tigers ran in four tries against FNB UFS-Shimlas to secure their first victory at home on the Green Mile this season and move into second place, just four log points behind pace-setters FNB NWU-Pukke.

The Cape team scored three tries playing into the wind in the first half and then went on to claim the bonus point after half-time as they romped to a 25-5 victory. This result leaves UFS-Shimlas down in sixth place after starting the round in third position.

Torrential rain in the northern part of the country had a big say in the other three matches, as FNB UJ and FNB UP-Tuks slumped to defeats at home, whilst NWU-Pukke were forced to work hard for their victory over FNB Wits in Potchefstroom.

Defending champions UP-Tuks suffered their second consecutive defeat at home, as the Madibaz ground out a crucial 19-9 win which saw them move past the Pretoria side into third place on the standings. It was NMMU’s second big scalp of 2014, having beaten the Maties back in Round One.

UP-Tuks are now level on log points with three-time champions Maties who ended UJ’s hopes of making the semifinals this season with a comfortable 24-8 victory.

Points difference is all that separates Maties and UP-Tuks on the log, which sets up their showdown in Stellenbosch next week perfectly.

NWU-Pukke were able to maintain their position at the top of the standings, but they were made to work hard for their 16-8 win by a determined Wits side that is still looking for their first victory in the competition.

Next week will see the final round of league action take place in the 2014 Varsity Cup – without doubt the most open competition since the inaugural event in 2008.

UFS-Shimlas will take on NMMU, Maties will host UP-Tuks, NWU-Pukke will entertain UJ and UCT will face Wits away on March 17 as just ten points separate the top six teams ahead of the semifinals, with home-ground advantage and play-off qualification on the line.

In the Varsity Shield two-time champions FNB CUT travelled to Alice where they earned a bonus-point 28-18 victory over FNB Fort Hare who are the only team to have beaten them since 2012.

Peter de Villiers’ FNB UWC secured a vital 24-17 win over the FNB TUT Vikings in Pretoria to move up to third place, just one log point behind the second-placed FNB UKZN Impi who had a bye.

The Varsity Young Guns showdown between defending champions UP-Tuks and NWU-Pukke had to be postponed until Wednesday due to the unplayable conditions, whilst in the other match FNB UJ notched a dramatic last-minute 28-24 win over the Steinhoff Maties Juniors.

In the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship UFS champions Steinhoff Heimat scored five tries on their way to a 37-0 demolition of the Steinhoff Purple Cobras in Cape Town to consolidate their spot at the top of the Hi-Fi Corporation pool.

In the Incredible Connection pool Steinhoff Patria from NWU-Pukke edged the Steinhoff Medies Rebels 24-22 in Potchefstroom and the clash between Steinhoff Onderstepoort and Steinhoff Oppidani had to be postponed due to an unplayable pitch in Pretoria.

FNB Varsity Cup Round Six

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Varisty Cup Logo
With the play-offs on the horizon, Round Six of the Varsity Cup will have a major bearing on which teams make the knock-outs.

The penultimate round of the league phase of the competition has served up some intriguing clashes, and with seven of the eight sides still in the running for the semifinals there will be no shortage of intensity on Monday night.

The only team without a chance of making the semifinals is winless Wits who face another major challenge as they travel to Potchefstroom to take on log-leaders NWU-Pukke in the first match to be televised live.

NWU-Pukke are coming off consecutive away wins against NMMU and defending champions UP-Tuks, so they will be aiming for a bonus-point victory in front of their home crowd to extend their lead at the top of the standings.

Down in Cape Town the third-placed Ikey Tigers will be looking for their first home win of the season when they look to tame both the fourth-placed UFS-Shimlas and the notorious wind on the Green Mile.

The Ikeys are unbeaten on the road this season but have not had as much success at home, and they will be tested once again by a UFS-Shimlas team that held Maties to a draw in a windy Stellenbosch last week.

Maties have been very erratic this year and find themselves down in sixth position, but well within striking distance of the top four, and they are up against a desperate UJ side who have just one win to show for their efforts this season.

Despite their troubles this year, UJ’s hopes of making the semifinals are not over so expect them to have a full go in front of their home crowd with their campaign effectively on the line.

UP-Tuks will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season to NWU-Pukke last week when they host the NMMU Madibaz in Pretoria.

The Madibaz find themselves in fifth place after their tough win over Wits last week, and they face another difficult assignment against a UP-Tuks team determined to bounce back from a defeat at home.

In the Varsity Shield Fort Hare will be looking to do a rare season double over two-time champions CUT. The Eastern Cape side handed CUT their first defeat since 2012 earlier this season, so the Ixias will be out for revenge when they meet in Alice.

The bottom two sides in the competition – TUT and UWC – will be looking to make a late charge up the standings when they meet in Pretoria. Peter de Villiers’ UWC edged UKZN last week, and they will be hoping to back that up against a TUT Vikings side that is low on confidence after three consecutive defeats.

Double Varsity Young Guns champions UP-Tuks will be out to extend their remarkable unbeaten record when they host NWU-Pukke in Pretoria. NWU-Pukke won their only previous game against Wits, but face the true test of their play-off credentials from the big UP-Tuks outfit.

Over in Johannesburg it will be a battle between two unbeaten teams when UJ host the Junior Maties in a match that is likely to decide who finishes top of their pool.

There are three matches to look forward to in the Koshuisrugby Championships as competition heats up ahead of the play-off stage of the season. On the Green Mile the Cobras will host Heimat from UFS in a curtain-raiser to the main Varsity Cup game.

In Pretoria both Onderstepoort and Oppidani will be looking for their first wins of the season, whilst Patria and Medies will face each other with top spot in their pool on the line.

NWU-Pukke v Wits
(Fanie du Toit Stadium, Potchefstroom – Kick-off: 16.45 live on Supersport One)

NWU-Pukke: TBC
Wits: 15 Ruhan Nel, 14 Mandla Dube, 13 Divan Ferguson, 12 Brent Crossley, 11 Riaan Arends, 10 Ashlon Davids, 9 Mathew Torrance, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 Senna Esterhuizen, 6 J.P. Jonck, 5 Rendani Ramovha, 4 Devin Montgomery (captain), 3 Gideon Muller, 2 Ashley Kohler, 1 Hannes Ludick.
Replacements: 16 James Marx, 17 Kyle Wood, 18 Conor Brockschmidt, 19 Peter van Biljon, 20 Joshua Jarvis, 21 Ish Nkolo, 22 Joshua Jarvis, 23 Ferdinand Kelly.

Referees: Jaco Kotze, Jaco Pretorius
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Johan Greeff

UCT v UFS-Shimlas
(UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town – Kick-off: 17.00)

UCT: 15 Ross Jones Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Guy Shwikard, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Liam Slatem (captain), 8 Michael Botha, 7 Vince Jobo, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Shaun McDonald, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Guy Alexander, 19 Kyle Kriel, 20 James Alexander, 21 Martin Sauls, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 David Maasch.

UFS-Shimlas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Maphuta Dolo, 13 Tertius Kruger, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht (captain), 11 Divandre Strydom, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Gerhard Olivier, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Neil Claassen, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Justin Pappin, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Franco van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Markus Odendaal, 17 Luan de Bruin, 18 Johan van der Hoogt, 19 Neill Jordaan, 20 Kay-Kay Hlongwane, 21 Francois du Toit, 22 Sethu Tom, 23 Gideon Bruwer.

Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Quinton Immelman

UJ v Maties
(UJ Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 19.00 live on Supersport One)

UJ: 15 Marais Schmidt, 14 PJ Walters, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Michael Haznar, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Jacques Pretorius (captain), 8 Dylan Peterson, 7 Victor Sekekete, 6 Kobus Porter, 5 David Antonites, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Van Zyl Botha, 2 Jannes Snyman, 1 Devon Marthinus.
Replacements: 16 Qinisile Siphato, 17 Wiseman Kamanga, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 JP Swanepoel, 20 Lukas van Zyl, 21 Juan Kotze, 22 Pieter Morton, 23 Hendrik Bredenkamp.

Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Clearance Khumalo, 13 Mark Hodgskiss, 12 Jacobus Loubser, 11 Caleb Smith, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jean Nel, 8 Tertius Daniller (captain), 7 Justin Benn, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Nicol Heyns, 2 Charl de Villiers, 1 Niel Oelofse.
Replacements: 16 Neethling Gericke, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Ian Groenewald, 19 Helmut Lehmann, 20 Bjorn Bernardo, 21 Chris Smith, 22 John Durr, 23 Liam Hendricks.

Referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Tahla Ntshakaza
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Willie Roos

UP-Tuks v NMMU
(Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 19.00)

UP-Tuks: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Ryan Nell, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Carlo Engelbrecht, 8 Reniel Hugo (captain), 7 Rudolph Smith, 6 Chris Massyn, 5 Dennis Visser, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Basil Short, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Jannes Kirsten, 19 Leneve Damens, 20 Emile Temperman, 22 Francois Tredoux, 22 Duncan Matthews, 23 Andrew Beerwinkel.

NMMU Madibaz: 15 Jarryd Buys, 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Michael Bernardt, 12 Andile Jho, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Gavin Hauptfleisch, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Marcel Groenewald, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Christopher Cloete, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Louis Fourie, 3 Dexter Fahey, 2 Jody Reyneke, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain).
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Abongile Mnyaka, 18 Tim Agaba, 19 Wade Elliot, 20 Kayle van Zyl, 21 Devon Lailvaux, 22 Sinakho Mafu, 23 Simon Kerrod.

Referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Oregopotse Rametsi
Source: Rugby365

FNB Varsity Cup: FNB UCT 16, FNB UP Tuks 26

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Defending champions UP-Tuks are the only unbeaten side left in the competition, but they will still have their work cut out for them against a UCT team high on confidence.

Having won their last two games on the road, the Ikeys will be aiming to claim a big scalp in front of their home fans and cement their position in the top four.

As ever the windy conditions on the Green Mile will play a central role, so it could be down to which halfback combination is able to keep their forwards on the front foot.

UP-Tuks have been forced to make a couple of changes to their team, whilst UCT are enjoying some good continuity, so this will not be easy for the visitors.

FNB UCT: 15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Martin Sauls, 12 Nic Holton, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Liam Slatem (captain), 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Vince Jobo, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Jan Uys,3 Digby Webb, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Robin Murray.
Replacements: 16 Chad Soloman, 17 Michael Kennedy, 18 Shaun McDonald, 19 Zakeyo Tinetenda, 20 James Alexander, 21 Huw Jones, 22 Suwilanji Chibale, 23 David Maasch.

FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Dries Swanepoel,12 Ryan Nell, 11 Kefentse Mahlo; 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Carlo Engelbrecht, 8 Reniel Hugo (captain), 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Dennis Visser, 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Andrew Beerwinkel, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Arno van Wyk, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Jono Janse van Rensburg, 19 Leneve Damens, 20 Emile Temperman, 22 Francois Tredoux, 22 Duncan Matthews, 23 Neethling Fouche.

Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Neville Heilbron

 

 

FNB Varsity Cup Round Four

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Just two log points separate the top four teams in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International ahead of Round Four on Monday.

Defending champions FNB UP-Tuks are the only team yet to lose a game this season, and they lead the way but not by much with the chasing pack breathing down their necks.

They will be up against the fourth-placed FNB UCT – who are coming off two big away wins against FNB Maties and FNB NMMU – in the first televised game (live on Supersport One at 16.45) in Cape Town on Monday.

FNB NWU-Pukke and the NMMU Madibaz both suffered their first defeats last week, but they are not far off the pace, which sets up their clash in Port Elizabeth nicely. 

The loss to UCT last week was the Madibaz’ first defeat at home since 2012, so they will be looking to bounce back quickly against a NWU-Pukke side that went down to Maties in Potchefstroom in Round Three.

The Stellenbosch side will be back on home soil on Monday, with bottom-dwellers FNB Wits set to visit the Danie Craven Stadium as they look for their first log points of the season.

Maties got their campaign up and running with their win against NWU-Pukke last week after a disappointing start to the season, so they will be eyeing a bonus-point win against Wits who are still yet to win a Varsity Cup game. 

Both FNB UJ and FNB UFS-Shimlas will be hoping to break into the top four ahead of their clash in Bloemfontein. UFS-Shimlas are down in seventh place on the log, but just three points adrift of the Ikeys who are in fourth place, which shows just how congested the standings are ahead of Monday’s action.

In the Varsity Shield defending champions FNB CUT will be looking to extend their unbeaten run which stretches back to 2012 when they host FNB Fort Hare in Bloemfontein.

Fort Hare have already shown that they will be no pushovers this season by beating the FNB UKZN Impi in Durban, but they will have to produce a special performance if they are to get the better of the high-flying Ixias.

John Mitchell’s UKZN side are coming off a morale-boosting win over Peter de Villiers’ FNB UWC last week and they face the FNB TUT Vikings in Pietermaritzburg. The Vikings suffered their first defeat against CUT last week, so they will be keen to bounce back and put some more distance between themselves and the Impi on the log.

In the FNB Varsity Young Guns competition the FNB UFS-Young Guns will be out to put their narrow defeat to defending champions UP-Tuks behind them when they host Wits in Bloemfontein whilst in Cape Town the Ikeys will be looking for their first win when they face UJ.

The Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship moves into Round Two on Monday, with Steinhoff Oppidani hosting NWU-Pukke outfit Steinhoff Patria in Port Elizabeth and UFS champions Steinhoff Heimat starting their campaign with a clash against Wits’ Steinhoff Humanities in Bloemfontein 

FNB UCT v FNB UP-Tuks

(UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town – Kick-off: 16.45 live on Supersport One)

 

FNB UFS-Shimlas v FNB UJ

(Shimla Park, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 19.00)

FNB Maties v FNB Wits

(Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – Kick-off: 19.00)

 FNB NMMU v FNB NWU-Pukke

(Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth – Kick-off: 19.00 live on Supersport One)

 For more info please visit www.varsitycup.co.za

 

 

FNB Varsity Cup wrap

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FNB Maties bounced back from a disappointing start to the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International to beat FNB NWU-Pukke 31-21 in Potchefstroom.

It was the first win of the competition for the three-time champions, following defeats to FNB NMMU and FNB UCT, whilst it was the first defeat of the season for NWU-Pukke who notched a full house of ten log points from their first two games.

Maties took control of the game early on and raced out to a 21-0 half-time lead, before weathering a NWU-Pukke comeback at the start of the second half and going on to secure the bonus point.

The visitors made a great start to the game with flank Beyers de Villiers crossing the whitewash after breaking from a maul after just four minutes to hand his team the early initiative.

That was followed up soon afterwards by a try from wily centre Johnny Kôtze which put Maties firmly in the driving seat with a 13-0 lead.

The home side needed a response and they launched an extended period of pressure in Maties territory as they looked to hit back, but they could not find a way through the committed defence.

The Stellenbosch side showed great character to soak up the fierce onslaught from their hosts, and they were rewarded just before the half-time break when flyhalf Robert du Preez scored a try which he converted himself.

The home side made a determined start to the second half, and it paid off when big wing Luther Obi burst over after a powerful scrum to reduce Maties’ lead to 21-5.

NWU-Pukke scored another through flank Robey Labuschagne which was converted by Adriaan Engelbrecht, but Maties hit back through Louis Jordaan which sealed the bonus point for the visitors.

The crowd got right behind NWU-Pukke as they looked to fight their way back into contention in the dying stages, and it was replacement scrumhalf Dillon Smit who got over for a late try to give his side a glimpse of hope.

However, two late penalties from the boot of Du Preez ended any thoughts of a comeback victory as Maties held on for a deserved 33-21 victory.

The scorers:

For FNB NWU-Pukke:

Tries: Obi, Labuschagne, Smit

Cons: Engelbrecht 2

For FNB Maties:

Tries: De Villiers, Kôtze, Du Preez, Jordaan

Cons: Du Preez 3

Pens: Du Preez 2

FNB UP-Tuks humbled a plucky FNB UFS-Shimlas side as they eased to a 26-0 victory in a stop-start FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International encounter in Pretoria on Monday.

The visitors showed their willingness to go wide from the get go while the hosts had a more measured approach, testing the UFS-Shimlas back three with up-and-unders and hitting up the ball with strong, direct running.

Line-out throws were an early Achilles heel for both sides in the perfect conditions, with skew throws from Sidney Tobias – son of former Springbok back Errol Tobias – and Jacques du Toit squandering try-scoring opportunities inside the attacking 22.

Tobias finally found his jumper, captain Reniel Hugo, in the 20th minute and flank Roelof Smit was driven over from five metres out as UP-Tuks drew first blood. Flyhalf Tian Schoeman kicked the conversion to make it 8-0.

The visitors remained under the cosh for the majority of the first half and had great difficulty under the high ball. It was only through excellent defence, with captain Joubert Engelbrecht leading by example, and poor execution that UP-Tuks were unable to yield further reward for their territorial dominance.

The hosts butchered several more opportunities, and Schoeman’s missed penalty on the stroke of half-time summed up what was a frustrating first half for the defending champions.

UFS-Shimlas built some welcome momentum shortly after the interval but the heads dropped when flyhalf Gouws Prinsloo bit off too much with his penalty for the line and kicked the ball dead in-goal.

The Free Staters returned to the red zone on the hour mark but after being unable to breach the resolute UP-Tuks defence, Oupa Moheje was penalised for holding on.

A breakaway by fullback Warrick Gelant got UP-Tuks back inside the attacking 22 where another excellent opportunity went begging when replacement Andrew Beerwinkel knocked on in contact  one metre from the line.

UP-Tuks, however, were relentless and were finally rewarded when former IRB Junior World Championship-winning Baby Boks skipper Wiaan Liebenberg crashed over in the 69th minute after 12 phases to put some distance between them and Shimlas.

Schoeman added the conversion and kicked a penalty with five minutes to go, with Hugo having the final say with an intercept try in the last play of the game.

The scorers:

For FNB UP-Tuks:

Tries: Smit, Liebenberg, Hugo

Cons: Schoeman 3
Pen: Schoeman

The FNB Ikey Tigers wrestled back the Monte Taljaard Trophy from their opponents in Port Elizabeth on Monday night, beating the FNB NMMU Madibaz by 26-13 in a hard-fought Varsity Cup, Round Three encounter.

The Monte Taljaard Trophy is played in honour of UCT First XV flank and Grey PE rugby star Monte Taljaard, who tragically passed away in a car accident in September 2008, and UCT’s tenacity away from home – and NMMU’s resilience as hosts – were befitting of the inspirational former Ikeys star.

The Madibaz lifted the trophy for the first time in 2012, winning in dramatic circumstances, with UCT having – up till then – never lost to NMMU in the history of the Varsity Cup, the teams having drawn 5-5 on a windswept Green Mile last year which saw the trophy stay in Port Elizabeth.

Now, however, UCT can take the trophy back home to Cape Town and new coach Kevin Musikanth will be a happy man – having now guided his team to successive away wins over the Maties and the Madibaz after a disappointing opening-round home loss to NWU-Pukke two weeks ago.

The Ikeys scored three tries to two on a windless night in Port Elizabeth, with UCT management member Jonathan Kaplan commenting on Twitter before kick-off: “We are in PE. There is no wind. I waited 30 years as a ref for this special moment… what a beautiful day!!”

Whether the lack of wind benefited UCT remains to be seen, but they started strongly and scored the game’s first try through big flanker Shaun McDonald, flyhalf Dean Grant converting for an 8-0 lead after just five minutes of play in front of a noisy crowd of 7,890.

The visitors held their 8-0 lead going into the first strategy break, but the Madibaz hit back with their first points through a try by outside centre Michael Bernardt, with flyhalf Gavin Hauptfleisch adding the extras.

Worse was to follow for the Ikeys when try-scorer McDonald was carded for repeated infringements in the build-up to half-time, but UCT thought little of their one-man deficit when speedster Lihleli Xoli crossed for a valuable try a minute before half-time.

Grant made no mistake with his second conversion attempt of the night as the Ikeys led 16-8 at half-time, the UCT No.10 then extending his team’s lead in the 50th minute with a penalty goal as the Madibaz lost hooker Martin Ferreira to the sin bin.

UCT soon had a player joining Ferreira in the naughty chair and the hosts were rewarded when scrumhalf Daniel Acker scored but flyhalf Hauptfleisch missed the conversion to leave his team trailing 13-18 going into the final quarter.

The teams were soon back to their full complement of players, meaning a tense finish to the match as the hosts chased yet another come-from-behind victory – as they did in Johannesburg against FNB UJ last Monday.

However, the Ikeys held on in the closing stages, despite a massive onslaught from the Madibaz. A last-minute Richard Stewart intercept try, with NMMU having camped in UCT’s 22 for some five minutes, eventually brought about the final whistle and a famous away win for the Ikeys – crucially also denying their hosts a losing bonus point.

For UCT, flyhalf Dean Grant once again impressed with an 11-point haul and good kicking out of hand, whilst hard-working No.7 flanker Jason Klaasen walked off with the official Man of the Match Award as the Ikeys moved up to fifth place on the log – just behind the Madibaz on points’ difference.

The scorers:

For the FNB NMMU Madibaz:

Tries: Bernardt, Acker

Con: Hauptfleisch

For the UCT Ikey Tigers:

Tries: McDonald, Xoli, Stewart

Cons: Grant 3

Pen: Grant

FNB UJ scored four tries to beat local rivals FNB Wits 32-15 and notch their first victory of the season in Johannesburg on Monday night.

The home team simply made better use of their opportunities to earn a bonus-point victory against a spirited Wits outfit that is still looking for their first win in the competition.

Wits made a promising start to the game, forcing UJ to play from their own half in the opening exchanges, and it was the visitors who got on the scoreboard first through a penalty from scrumhalf Matthew Torrance.

They kept the pressure on and were soon on the attack again in the UJ 22 where flank JP Jonck came within inches of scoring but a double movement meant that UJ got away with it.

Having soaked up that early pressure UJ launched an attack of their own, and after working their way into the right corner the ball was spun wide to wing Michael Haznar who got over in the corner to put his team 8-2 up.

Wits looked for a response and hammered away at the UJ defence, but the home team stood firm and managed to clear their lines without conceding any more points to leave them with a six-point advantage in the first strategy break.

Wits were determined to make their dominance count, but crucial errors saw their attacking forays break down too often as UJ managed to keep them at bay.

Their hosts made them pay and gave them a lesson in finishing as well when some good handling in midfield saw centre Jacques Nel cross for their second try.

UJ would take a comfortable 24-2 lead into the half-time break, with flank Tiaan MacDonald crashing over for their third try from a powerful driving maul and fullback Marais Schmidt slotting his third conversion.

Wits started the second half with purpose as they looked for a way back into the game, and they were finally rewarded when replacement Jason Fraser ran a good angle to score their first try just before the second strategy break.

 

UJ were hunting for their bonus-point try and came close with a driving maul, but a turnover and breakaway by Wits wing Jacques Erasmus put his side right back on the attack, with Jonck eventually forcing his way over for a try which cut UJ’s lead to 24-15.

A powerful driving maul put UJ back on the front foot in the Wits 22, and it was not long before MacDonald got over for his second try which earned them the bonus point.

To their credit Wits played hard until the final whistle, but could not add to their tally and are still looking for their first log points this season.

The scorers:

For FNB UJ:

Tries: Haznar, Nel, MacDonald 2

Cons: Schmidt 3

For FNB Wits:

Tries: Fraser, Jonck

Con: Torrance

Pen: Torrance

 

Varisty Cup: Round 3

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Varisty Cup LogoThree teams remain unbeaten in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International, and they will all be on home turf in Round Three on Monday.

FNB NWU-Pukke lead the way after claiming bonus-point victories in both their matches, and they will host a desperate FNB Maties side that have just a single bonus point to show for their efforts so far this season.

The three-time champions are coming off a demoralising defeat to Cape rivals FNB UCT in front of their home crowd in Stellenbosch and now face a tough follow-up assignment against the well-drilled NWU-Pukke outfit in Potchefstroom.

That victory over their old foes has given the Ikeys plenty of heart, but they will also have their work cut out for them when they travel to Port Elizabeth to try and win the Monte Taljaard trophy back from FNB NMMU.

The Madibaz’s dramatic victory over FNB UJ last week has them sitting just one point adrift of log-leaders NWU-Pukke, so they will be confident of being able to keep the trophy for one more year.

The Monte Taljaard Trophy is played in honour of UCT First XV flank and Grey PE rugby star Monte Taljaard, who tragically passed away in a car accident in September 2008.

The Madibaz lifted the trophy for the first time in 2012, winning in dramatic circumstances, with UCT having – up till then – never lost to NMMU in the history of the Varsity Cup, and the teams drew 5-5 on a windswept Green Mile last year which saw the trophy stay in Port Elizabeth.

Defending champions FNB UP-Tuks are the only other team yet to lose a game this season, following up their draw against UJ with a ruthless demolition of FNB Wits last week, but they face a somewhat trickier hurdle in the form of FNB UFS-Shimlas this week.

UP-Tuks coach Pote Human has named an unchanged side from the combination that put Wits to the sword last week, but they should face a fiercer test from a UFS-Shimlas team that managed to score four tries despite going down to NWU-Pukke last week.

UFS-Shimlas captain Elandre Huggett has been ruled out for the rest of the competition due to injury, and new skipper Joubert Engelbrecht faces a demanding first outing in charge in a game that will be televised live on Supersport One from Pretoria.

The early televised match will see UJ and Wits both looking for their first victory of the season in the Johannesburg derby. Having drawn one match before losing the other in the final movement of the game, UJ will be looking for an emphatic performance to get their campaign up and running properly.

Wits are still looking for their first win in the competition, and coach Andy Royle has called for them to put the heavy defeat to UP-Tuks behind them and focus on upsetting their neighbours.

In the Varsity Shield former international coaches Peter de Villiers and John Mitchell will go head-to-head in the clash between FNB UWC and FNB UKZN in Bellville, whilst in Pretoria FNB TUT and FNB CUT will both be bidding to maintain their unbeaten records.

Mithcell’s UKZN Impi are the only team that is yet to have won a game this season, and De Villiers’ UWC are coming off consecutive defeats themselves so it should be a hard-fought clash as both teams seek to avoid falling off the pace set by the likes of the TUT Vikings and CUT Ixias.

After the opening round last week the FNB Varsity Young Guns competition continues, with defending champions UP-Tuks looking to add to their resounding 137-2 victory over Wits when they take on the ever-competitive UFS Young Guns side in a curtain-raiser to the Varsity Cup game.

The early match in Port Elizabeth will see both NMMU and the UCT Young Guns look to bounce back from defeats in the opening round last week.

The Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship starts on Monday, with on match in each of the pools sponsored by Hertz and Hi-Fi Corporation. Steinhoff Majuba from UJ will host local rivals Steinhoff Humanities from Wits and in Port Elizabeth it will be NMMU side Steinhoff Oppidani up against Steinhoff Medies from Maties.

 

FNB UJ v FNB Wits

(UJ Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 16.45 live on Supersport One)

 

FNB UJ: 15 Marais Schmidt, 14 PJ Walters, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Michael Haznar, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Jacques Pretorius (captain), 8 Rhynaard van Wyk, 7 Dylan Peterson, 6 Tiaan MacDonald, 5 David Antonites, 4 Jeremy Jordaan, 3 Van Zyl Botha, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Wiseman Kamanga.

Replacements: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Devon Martinus, 18 Shane Kirkwood, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Lukas van Zyl, 21 Juan Kotze, 22 Peter Morton, 23 Hendrik Bredenkamp.

 

FNB Wits: 15 Ruhan Nel, 14 Jacques Erasmus, 13 Nkuli Gamede, 12 Mandla Dube, 11 Joshua Jarvis, 10 Ashlon Davids, 9 Mathew Torrance, 8 Senna Esterhuizen, 7 J.P. Jonck, 6 Peter van Biljon, 5 Rendani Ramovha, 4 Devin Montgomery (captain), 3 Gideon Muller, 2 Ashley Kohler, 1 Hannes Ludick.

Replacements:  16 James Marx, 17 Kyle Wood, 18 Conor Brockschmidt, 19 Thato Mavundla, 20 Divan Ferguson, 21 Ish Nkolo, 22 Jason Fraser, 23 Kelly Ferdinand.

 

Referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Eduan Nel

TMO: Johan Greeff

 

FNB UP-Tuks v FNB UFS-Shimlas

(Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria – Kick-off: 19.00 live on Supersport One)

 

FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Warrick Gelant; 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Ryan Nell, 11 Kefentse Mahlo; 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Carlo Engelbrecht; 8 Rudolph Smith, 7 Wiaan Liebenberg, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Reniel Hugo (captain), 4 Dennis Visser, 3 Basil Short, 2 Sidney Tobias, 1 Juan Schoeman.

Replacements: 16 Corniel Els; 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Jannes Kirsten, 19 Leneve Damens, 20 Emile Temperman; 22 Francois Tredoux, 22 Jacques Rossouw, 23 Andrew Beerwinkel.

 

FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Mapuhta Dolo, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht (captain), 11 Sethu Tom, 10 Gouws Prinsloo, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Neill Jordaan, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Neil Claassen, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Rudolf Botha.

Replacements: 16 Gideon Bruwer, 17 Franco van der Merwe, 18 Fanie van der Walt, 19 Johan van der Hoogt, 20 Kay-Kay Hlongwane, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 Divandré Strydom, 23 Justin Pappin.

 

Referees: Tahla Ntshakaza, Gerrie de Bruin

TMO: Willie Roos

 

FNB NWU-Pukke v FNB Maties

(Fanie du Toit Stadium, Potchefstroom – Kick-off: 19.00)

 

FNB Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Clearance Khumalo, 13 Mark Hodgskiss, 12 Johnny Kôtze, 11 Caleb Smith, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jean Nel, 8 Tertius Daniller (captain), 7 Helmut Lehmann, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Nicol Heyns, 2 Freddie Kirsten, 1 Niel Oelofse.

Replacements: 16 Charl de Villiers, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Renier Ehlers, 19 Lungelo Chonco, 20 Louis Nel, 21 Chris Smith, 22 Louis Jordaan, 23 Liam Hendricks.

 

FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno SMith, 14 Edmar Marais, 13 Sylvain Mahuza, 12 Adriaan Engelbrecht, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Tiaan Dorfling (captain), 8 Rhyk Welgemoed, 7 Henro-Pierre Swart, 6 Robey Labuschagne, 5 Francois Robbertse, 4 Peet van der Walt, 3 Elardus Venter, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Johan Smith.

Replacements: 16 Jacques Vermaak, 17 Mashudu Malefa, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Juan Language, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Johan Deysel, 22 Lucian Cupido, 23 Lhlanhla Ngoama.

 

Referees: Christie du Preez, Lesego Legoete

 

FNB NMMU v FNB UCT

(Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth – Kick-off: 19.00)

 

FNB NMMU Madibaz: 15 Donovan Marais, 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Michael Bernardt, 12 Andile Jho, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Gavin Hauptfleisch, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Timothy Agaba, 7 Wade Elliot, 6  Christopher Cloete, 5 Louis Fourie, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain).

Replacements: 16 Jody Reyneke, 17 Abongile Mnyaka, 18 Matthew Tweedle, 19 Andre Barnard, 20 Ivan Ludick, 21 Stefanus Booysen, 22 Ayabula Dlepu, 23 Marzuq Maarman.

 

FNB UCT: 15 Martin Sauls, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Nic Holton, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Liam Slatem (captain), 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Shaun McDonald, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Jan Uys, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Chad Soloman, 1 Joel Carew.

Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Michael Kennedy, 18 GVince Jobo, 19 Zakeyo Tinetenda, 20 James Alexander, 21 Ross Jones-Davies, 22  Suwilanji Chibale, 23 David Maasch.

 

Referees: Francois Pretorius, Rodney Bonaparte

 

 

Varisty Cup Round 2 Results

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Log-leaders FNB NWU-Pukke were the only home side to secure victory in an exciting second round of action in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.

The team from Potchefstroom kept their spot at the top of the standings with another bonus-point win against old rivals FNB UFS-Shimlas, on a night which saw the other three home teams all go down.

FNB NMMU Madibaz followed up their big win against FNB Maties last week with a dramatic victory over FNB UJ in Johannesburg, with last week’s five-try hero Chris Cloete sealing victory with a try in the last minute from a driving maul.

Defending champions FNB UP-Tuks cruised to a comfortable 53-8 victory over FNB Wits which saw them outscore their hosts by seven tries to one, and in the early game FNB UCT handed three-time champions Maties their second consecutive defeat.

After two bonus-point wins it is NWU-Pukke that set the pace after two rounds, with five tries in the second half seeing them romp to victory over a UFS-Shimlas side that will have to be content with a single bonus point for scoring four tries of their own.

Coach Robert du Preez’s team based their win on set-piece dominance in what was always going to be a highly physical encounter between two old foes.

The Madibaz left it to the last possible second to snatch victory over UJ, with Cloete crashing over just seconds before the full-time siren sounded to break UJ hearts in Johannesburg.

The defeat leaves UJ winless after the first two rounds, following their draw with UP-Tuks last week, whilst the win on the road underlines NMMU’s title credentials after they started the competition in style with a big win over Maties in Port Elizabeth.

Maties will have to do some serious soul-searching after slumping to their second consecutive defeat which was UCT’s second ever win against them in the Varsity Cup and their first in Stellenbosch.

The Ikeys bounced back superbly from their opening defeat to NWU-Pukke, scoring four tries in a dominant display that leaves Maties at an unfamiliar end of the standings.

The woes continued for Wits, who are still yet to win their first game in the competition in their second season, as UP-Tuks steamrolled them with a seven-try performance in Johannesburg.

The visitors took an early lead, but they would not get any more points as UP-Tuks delivered a clinical performance to get their campaign up and running after their stutter against UJ last week.

In the Varsity Shield defending champions FNB CUT defeated Peter de Villiers’ FNB UWC 30-8 in a tidy performance in Bloemfontein whilst TUT made it two wins from two games with a 42-34 victory over the FNB Fort Hare Blues in Pretoria.

The Varsity young Guns competition also kicked off on Monday night, with defending champions UP-Tuks showing why they have yet to lose a game in two years of the Under-20 competition with a resounding 137-2 win over an outclassed Wits side.

In the other Young Guns games Steinhoff Maties Juniors swept aside their counterparts from UCT 42-0 and UJ beat NMMU 40-16 in Johannesburg.

 

Varisty Cup Round 2

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The second round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International will feature two classic rivalries which will both be televised live on Supersport.

The action will kick off on Monday night with the clash between FNB Maties and FNB UCT from the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch and will be followed by the showdown between FNB NWU-Pukke and FNB UFS-Shimlas in Potchefstroom, with both matches broadcast live on Supersport One.

The other two matches will see defending champions FNB UP-Tuks travel to Johannesburg to face last year’s wooden spoonists FNB Wits, whilst just down the road FNB UJ will host the FNB NMMU Madibaz.

The Cape derby is always a memorable occasion, and with both teams losing heavily in their opening games last week there should be no lack of intensity in front of a packed crowd in Stellenbosch.

Although disappointed with his team’s poor second-half performance against NWU-Pukke on the Green Mile last week, Ikey Tigers coach Kevin Musikanth knows there is still a long way to go in the competition and is keeping a positive mindset ahead of their trip to face the old enemy.

“Rugby competitions are not only about one game, much like boxing, it is not about the first round,” he said.

Maties coach Chris Rossouw has made no excuses for his team’s first-ever loss to the Madibaz last week, and he knows that expectations will be high as they look to bounce back in their first home game of the season.

It will be a completely different story in Potchefstroom, with both NWU-Pukke and UFS-Shimlas coming off impressive wins in the opening round.

NWU-Pukke’s big win in Cape Town saw them take top spot on the standings, and they will be hoping to build on that in their first home game against their rivals from Bloemfontein.

UFS-Shimlas coach Michael Horak is expecting the home side to come hard at his team in an attempt to disrupt their free-flowing style.\

“Pukke are a very physical side, they’ll back themselves to target our breakdown and spoil our ball. We’ve got to look after our ball in order for us to set up multi-phase rugby and move around a little and hopefully score some tries,” he said.

In Johannesburg the NMMU Madibaz will want to follow up their win against Maties last week with another big effort against a UJ outfit that held UP-Tuks to a fighting draw in Pretoria.

The Madibaz ran in six tries against Maties in Port Elizabeth, but their challenge is to show that they can be just as devastating on the road against a disciplined UJ team.

After being held to a draw at home last week, UP-Tuks will be out to prove a point and rack up a convincing win over Wits who are yet to win a Varsity Cup game.

Wits showed good fighting spirit to score three tries against UFS-Shimlas in Bloemfontein last week, but they were let down by a limp start to the match and coach Andy Royle knows they will have to fire from the first whistle if they are to challenge the defending champions.

In the Varsity Shield it will be a replay of last year’s final as two-time champions FNB CUT host Peter de Villiers’ FNB UWC. The Bellville side slumped to a disappointing defeat to the FNB TUT Vikings at home last week so they will want to underline their title ambitions by bouncing back to beat the Ixias on their home turf.

The Vikings finished last in the Varsity Shield last year, and after a morale-boosting win in their first game last week they will take on the FNB Fort Hare Blues in Pretoria.

Both teams are coming off wins, with Fort Hare having beaten John Mitchell’s FNB UKZN Impi in Durban, so confidence should be high on either side.

The FNB Varsity Young Guns tournament also kicks off on Monday with three matches in the Under-20 competition which will all mirror the senior Varsity Cup matches.

In Johannesburg Wits will host two-time champions UP-Tuks who are yet to lose a Young Guns game and UJ will face NMMU, with both matches being played as curtain-raisers to the Varsity Cup matches.

Things will be slightly different in Stellenbosch where the Steinhoff Maties Young Guns will take on the FNB UCT Trojans after the big derby between the senior teams at the Danie Craven Stadium.

All of the teams and match details for Monday, February 10:

FNB Maties v FNB UCT

(Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – Kick-off: 16.45 (ive on Supersport One)

FNB Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Clearance Khumalo, 13 Mark Hodgskiss, 12 Johnny Kôtze, 11 Caleb Smith, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Nel, 8 Tertius Daniller (captain), 7 Lungelo Chonco, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Brendon Pitzer, 2 Freddie Kirsten, 1 Niel Oelofse.

Replacements: 16 Charl de Villiers, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Ian Groenewald, 19 Justin Benn, 20 Jean Nel, 21 Chris Smith, 22 Louis Jordaan, 23 Liam Hendricks.

FNB UCT: 15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Guy Schwikkard, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Liam Slatem (captain), 8 Vince Jobo, 7 Shaun McDonald, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Jan Uys, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Joel Carew.

Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 David Maasch, 18 Guy Alexander, 19 Zakeyo Tinetenda, 20 James Alexander, 21 Martin Sauls, 22 David Strachan, 23 Robin Murray 

FNB NWU-Pukke v FNB UFS-Shimlas

(Fanie du Toit Sports Ground, Potchefstroom – Kick-off: 19.00 Live on Supersport One)

FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Edmar Marais, 13 Jaap Pienaar, 12 Adriaan Engelbrecht, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Tiaan Dorfling (captain), 8 Juan Language, 7 Henro-Pierre Swart, 6 Rhyk Welgemoed, 5 Francois Robbertse, 4 Peet van Der Walt, 3 Elardus Venter, 2 Armand van Der Merwe, 1 Mashudu Mafela.

Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Robey Labuschagne, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Rhyno Smith, 22 Lucian Cupido, 23 Lhlanhla Ngoama.

FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Maphutha Dolo, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Sethu Tom, 10 Gouws Prinsloo, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Neill Jordaan, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Neil Claasen, 4 Fanie van der Walt, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Elandré Huggett (captain), 1 Rudolf Botha.

Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Gideon Bruwer, 18 Johan van der Hoogt, 19 Gerhard Oivier, 20 Kay-Kay Hlongwane, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 Divandré Strydom, 23 Justin Pappin.

FNB UJ v FNB NMMU

(UJ Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 19.00)

FNB UJ: 15 Marais Schmidt, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Robert de Bruyn, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Jacques Nel, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Jacques Pretorius (captain), 8 Kobus Porter, 7 Victor Seketekete, 6 Tiaan MacDonald, 5 David Antonites, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Van Zyl Botha, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Wiseman Kamanga.

Replacements: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Devon Martinus, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 Dylan Peterson, 20 Lukas van Zyl, 21 Juan Kotze, 22 PJ Walters, 23 Hendrik Bredenkamp.

FNB NMMU Madibaz: 15 Donovan Marais, 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Michael Bernardt, 12 Andile Jho, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Gavin Hauptfleisch, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Timothy Agaba, 7 Marcel Groenewald, 6 Christopher Cloete, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Dexter Fahey, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain).

Replacements: 16 Greg Bauer, 17 Nicolas Roebech, 18 Louis Fourie, 19 Wade Elliot, 20 Ivan Ludick, 21 Stefanus Booysen, 22 Ayabula Dlepu, 23 Simon Kerrod.

FNB Wits v FNB UP-Tuks

(Wits Rugby Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 19.00)

FNB Wits: 15 Ruhan Nel, 14 Wilton Petersen, 13 Divan Ferguson, 12 Mandla Dube, 11 Joshua Jarvis, 10 Ashlon Davids, 9 Matt Torrance, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 JJ Breet, 6 JP Jonck, 5 Rinus Bothma, 4 Devin Montgomery (captain), 3 Gideon Muller, 2 Ashley Kohler, 1 Kyle Wood.

Replacements: 16 Peter van Biljon, 17 James Marx, 18 Rendani Ramovha, 19 Thato Mavundla, 20 Senna Esterhuizen, 21 Nkuli Gamede, 22 Ish Nkolo, 23 Ferdinand Kelly.

FNB UP-Tuks:15 Warrick Gelant; 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Ryan Nell, 11 Kefentse Mahlo; 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Carlo Engelbrecht; 8 Rudolph Smith, 7 Wiaan Liebenberg, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Reniel Hugo (captain), 4 Dennis Visser, 3 Basil Short, 2 Sidney Tobias, 1 Juan Schoeman.

Replacements: 16 Corniel Els; 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Jannes Kirsten, 19 Leneve Damens, 20 Emile Temperman; 22 Francois Tredoux, 22 Jacques Rossouw, 23 Andrew Beerwinkel.

 

Varsity Cup: Ikey Tigers 24 NWU Pukke 47

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The FNB NWU-Pukke opened their 2014 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International campaign in clinical fashion as they beat the FNB Ikey Tigers by 47-24 at the Green Mile on Monday.

The Men from Potchefstroom made a mockery of the notoriously windy conditions in Cape Town, as they built on their 21-16 half-time lead to run in four second-half tries as they played into the wind.

It was FNB UCT who made all the early running as the hosts, and 2011 champions, powered into an early 16-0 lead – using their opportunities well into the breeze.

The wind on the Green Mile is always a factor but the hosts launched two brilliant counter-attacks against the wind in the lead-up to their tries; the first counter by right-wing Richard Stewart and later by wing partner Liheli Xoli.

UCT’s opening tries were scored by fullback Ross Jones-Davies and powerful flanker Shaun McDonald – both expertly converted by new flyhalf Dean Grant – as the hosts showed they meant business by going 16-0 up.

However, the visitors absorbed all the early pressure and launched a fightback as the game reached the half-hour mark. Pukke’s kicking game kept them in the opposition’s half, as the Ikeys were guilty of trying to play too much rugby against the wind and forcing a few passes.

First NWU-Pukke No.8 Juan Language crashed over from a rolling maul and then fullback Sylvian Mahuza finished well from a clinical Pukke counter attack – and some poor first-time tackling by UCT – to put his team within touching distance at just 13-16 down.

That deficit soon became an advantage when the impressive Mahuza finished brilliantly from close-range, leaving a would-be defender in his wake with some nifty footwork.

Scrumhalf and captain Tiaan Dorfling converted from wide out and Pukke neared half-time with a 21-16 advantage – knowing, however, that they would have to play the second half into the wind.

UCT made the advantage – of having the wind at their backs – count early on when Jones-Davies collected his own chip ahead from close-range to dive over for his second try. Grant converted and the Ikeys ran back to halfway – ahead by 24-21.

However, that is where it ended for the hosts as Pukke showed great resolve to hit back less then five minutes later when their SA Under-20 flyer Luther Obi ran in strongly on the right-hand side.

Dorfling could not convert their fourth try – as Pukke grabbed a try bonus point – but at 26-24 up the match was still in the balance, although from that point onwards (as the game neared the 50-minute mark) Pukke kept hold of the ball and denied UCT possession and, with it, the advantage of having the wind behind them.

The Ikeys then suffered a double blow just before the start of the final quarter when the visitors scored a try under the posts through replacement forward Philip de Wet – which Dorfling converted for a 34-24 lead – but worse was to follow right afterwards when Ikeys reserve Jason Klaasen was sin-binned.

Klaasen’s absence was not felt on the scoreboard, but it meant more work for his teammates and, as a result, tired the Ikeys out ahead of the final ten minutes – as the visitors continued to boss the possession stakes.

Pukke were then able to rub further salt into their wounds by scoring two more tries – through lock Francois Robbertse and replacement forward Daniel Jordaan. Dorfling converted Robbertse’s try as they neared the 50-point mark, the visitors finishing with seven tries to UCT’s three – a statistic which is tough to argue against.

The scorers:

For FNB UCT:
Tries:
Jones-Davies 2, McDonald
Cons: Grant 3

For FNB NWU-Pukke:
Tries:
Language, Mahuza 2, Obi, De Wet, Robbertse, Jordaan
Cons: Dorfling 4

Varsity Cup: MNNU 45 Maties 29

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The FNB NMMU Madibaz avenged their semifinal defeat to Maties last year by beating the three-time Varsity Cup champions 45-29 in Port Elizabeth.

It was the perfect start to the tournament for the Eastern Cape side, as they ran in six tries to claim a comprehensive bonus point victory and leave the visitors stunned.

Openside flank Chris Cloete got over for an incredible five tries – with four coming from driving mauls – and although they conceded four tries themselves it was a dominant performance that will serve as a ominous warning for the rest of the teams in the competition.

The home side made a strong start, surging into the Maties 22 with purpose, and captain Roy Godfrey was rewarded for his decision to kick for the corner when flank Christopher Cloete crashed over for the opening try from a driving maul.

That gave NMMU an early 5-0 lead as the visitors battled to get their hands on the ball, and it was not long before Cloete had made it a double from another driving maul.

The touchline conversion from flyhalf Gavin Hauptfleisch split the uprights to give the Madibaz a healthy 13-0 lead, leaving the Maties firmly on the back foot from the outset.

The team from Stellenbosch managed to string some attacking phases together as they moved into the opposition 22, but NMMU’s defence held up well to keep them scoreless at the first strategy break.

Maties continued their onslaught in Madibaz territory after the break, which resulted in one of the two referees having a chat with Godfrey about his team’s discipline, but there was still no way through for Maties who could not find the finishing touch.

Instead it was NMMU that scored next, with big No.8 Tim Agaba showing some impressive footwork to step through the Maties defence and cruise over for a great try that inflated his side’s lead to 21-0.

They took that lead into the half-time break, leaving Maties with it all to do in the second half after being thoroughly outplayed in the opening 40 minutes.

Maties started the second half with purpose as they looked for a way back into the match, but they lacked the penetration to make the home side pay and the Madibaz showed them how it is done when Cloete crashed over for his hat-trick try from another driving maul.

The touchline conversion from Hauptfleisch made it 29-0, leaving Maties staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat in the opening round.

The visitors finally responded with a try of their own through centre Mark Hodgskiss who dotted down under the poles after a period of sustained pressure to get his team on the board.

However, NMMU struck back immediately through the prolific Cloete who crashed over for his fourth try to give them a formidable 37-8 advantage in the second strategy break.

Maties suffered a further setback shortly afterwards when replacement flank Lungelo Chonco was shown a yellow card for collapsing a maul, and Cloete was on hand to crash over for his fifth try which extended the lead to 45-8.

The visitors responded with three late tries from wing Clearance Khumalo, replacement lock Renier Ehlers and Hodgkiss who dived over in the last minute to salvage a bonus point for his side.

The scorers:

For FNB NMMU Madibaz:
Tries: Cloete 5, Agaba
Cons: Hauptfleisch 5

For FNB Maties:
Tries: Hodgskiss 2, Khumalo, Ehlers
Cons: Smith, Du Preez 2