Varsity Cup Preview: Round Two
The second round of the 2012 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International gets underway on Monday and, as usual, we can look forward to four matches - each with a different twist.
Monday's first televised match, the Pretoria Derby in Tshwane (kick-off 5pm), will also double up as something of a revenge fixture; FNB Tuks no doubt still smarting from last season's shock home defeat at the hands of FNB TUT.
TUT won 46-34 in a match which was turned on its head by a first-half yellow card to Tuks centre Jean du Plessis - allowing the visitors to fight back from 0-19 and 7-27 down to record their most famous Varsity Cup win ... a victory which also proved to be their only bit of success in an otherwise disappointing 2011 season.
Current form, however, would suggest a Tuks win - last year's losing finalists having recorded an impressive 23-8 opening day win over FNB UJ. TUT, meanwhile, suffered a heavy 2-52 defeat away to the FNB Maties on the same night.
The Maties were in no mood for charity against TUT, running in seven tries to nil at their Danie Craven fortress, the Men in Maroon showing that they mean business after giving up their title last year after three successive wins.
The Stellenbosch roadshow will move to Potchefstroom this week, where they will be hosted by the reigning National Club Championships winners, FNB NWU-Pukke, who shocked the Maties in the semi-final of that tournament in September of last year. It is arguably the game of the week and will be televised live on SuperSport One at 7pm.
Pukke kicked-off their 2012 campaign with a workmanlike four-try win over FNB NMMU - although they will be disappointed with their second-half showing, which saw them finish scoreless in the second forty minutes. (They led 26-8 at half-time, before eventually winning 26-16 in Port Elizabeth.)
"They'll be confident with that win (over us in the Club Champs) in mind," warned Maties head coach Chean Roux in conversation with varsitycup.co.za.
"That said, the Varsity Cup is an age-group competition, so there's that unknown factor. But I've got confidence in my players and if we stick to our plans we will have a chance (of winning)."
The match in Johannesburg, between FNB UJ and FNB UCT, will see the top two league teams from last year go head-to-head - with both sides hoping to pick up a first win in 2012.
UJ went down away to Tuks, but the Ikeys will still be smarting after their very disappointing 10-38 defeat - at home - to the FNB Shimlas.
Both universities have announced powerful line-ups, with UJ recalling fit-again Namibian World Cup star Worsie Kotze (at fullback) and UCT being able to call upon influential flanker Don Armand, who was part of the Stormers' pre-season plans, and centre Tiger Bax who missed the Shimlas match due to injury.
Interestingly, UCT are yet to lose a Varsity Cup match to UJ in Johannesburg, but the Men in Orange will take plenty of confidence from their 34-22 win in Cape Town last season. A result which helped UJ top the log, before losing - at home - in the semifinals to their bogey side, Tuks.
With the Ikeys scratching around for a first win, the team that beat them last week, Shimlas, will be very confident when the Madibaz arrive in Bloemfontein this weekend.
The Shimlas were made to work hard for victory the last time these two sides met (the Men from Bloemfontein won 17-13 last year), but it should be a different story at home for Lappies Labuschagnè's charges - the Cheetahs flanker shaping up as the key man yet again for his team after his Man of the Match display against UCT.
Meanwhile, Monday will see the 2012 Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championships get underway, meaning that all four Varsity Rugby competitions are now on the go - all at once!
The first Koshuisrugby fixtures of the season will see Steinhoff Monitor (TUT) play host to Steinhoff Mopanie (Tuks) and Steinhoff Bastion (UJ) will entertain the Steinhoff Cobras (UCT).
There are also Young Guns fixtures on Monday, with first-ever appearances for the Under-20 sides of TUT, Tuks, Pukke and Maties (TUT v Tuks and Pukke v Maties), whilst the Varsity Shield continues with FNB UWC hosting FNB UKZN and defending champions FNB CUT taking on FNB Fort Hare.
Varsity Cup fixtures and team line-ups for Monday, February 13:
FNB TUT vs. FNB Tuks
TUT Stadium (Tshwane)
Kick-off: 5pm (Live on SuperSport One)
TUT: 15 Hagen Mumba, 14 Craig Pheiffer, 13 Rikus de Beer, 12 Brahm du Preez, 11 Ruan van Loo, 10 Hansie Graaff, 9 Nico Smuts, 8 Wikus Botes, 7 Yves Basiya, 6 Ryno Coetzee, 5 JJ Breett, 4 Gavin Engelbrecht, 3 Dandre van der Westhuyzen, 2 Johan Pieterse (captain), 1 Coert van Gerve.
Replacements: 16 Zandre Grobler, 17 Nico van den Heever, 18 Peter Matthews, 19 Ryno Lopes, 20 Melcolm Griffiths, 21 Craig van Rooi, 22 Thabo Mangena, 23 Nathi Sethusse.
Tuks: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Dabeon Draghoender, 11 Hayden Groepes, 10 Wesley Dunlop, 9 Lohan Jacobs, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques Verwey, 6 Okkie Kruger, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Mike Williams, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Jacques Momberg, 1 Sabelo Nhlapo.
Replacements: 16 Chris Crous, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lean Schwartz, 19 Jono Janse van Rensburg, 20 Clayton Stewart, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Riaan Britz, 23 Basil Short.
FNB Pukke vs. FNB Maties
Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds (Potchefstroom)
Kick-off: 7pm (Live on SuperSport One)
Pukke: 15 SW Oosthuizen, 14 Andrew van Wyk, 13 Hennie Scorbinski, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht (captain), 11 Joe Seerane, 10 Gerhard Nortier, 9 Tiaan Dorfling, 8 Juan 'Spanner' Pretorius, 7 Ernie Strydom, 6 Philip de Wet, 5 Victor Kruger, 4 Siyanda Ndlovu, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 JC Oberholzer, 1 Henry Scharneck.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Zander de Kock, 18 Lodewyk Uys, 19 Siya Mdaka, 20 Andries Botha, 21 Ruan Jacobs, 22 Terswin Raubenheimer, 23 Mashudu Mafela.
Maties: 15 Ryan Nell, 14 Dean Hammond, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Louis Jordaan, 11 Tythan Adams, 10 André Kemp, 9 Boela Abrahams, 8 JP Swanepoel, 7 Helmut Lehmann (captain), 6 Sam Mabombo, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Grant Hattingh, 3 Hein van der Merwe, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Gareth Light, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Reniel Hugo, 19 Nicolas de Jager, 20 Donald Stevens, 21 André Smith, 22 Wessel Coetzee, 23 Mike De Neuilly-Rice.
FNB UJ vs. FNB UCT
UJ Stadium (Johannesburg)
UJ: 15 Worsie Kotze, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Luan Steenkamp, 12 Divan van Zyl, 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Guy Cronjé, 9 Rudi Paige, 8 Justin Wheeler (captain), 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Johan van Deventer, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Jaco Vermeulen, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Ruan Dreyer.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Niabulo Mkize, 18 Marnus van Huyssteen, 19 Dylan Peterson, 20 Jacques Pretorius, 21 Justin St. Jerry, 22 Aubrey McDonald, 23 Heinrich Terblanche.
UCT: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 Adrian Kritzinger (vice-captain), 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Greg Mallett, 7 Don Armand, 6 Ntsolo Setlaba (captain), 5 Levi Odendaal, 4 James Kilroe, 3 Adriaan Botha, 2 Matt Page, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Dayne Jans, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Rayn Smid, 19 Zandy Macdonald, 20 Nick Farrar, 21 Michael Morris, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 Bonga Bhengu.
FNB Shimlas vs. FNB NMMU
Xerox Shimla Park (Bloemfontein)
Shimlas: 15 Shaun Davids, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Cameron Jacobs, 12 Rynhardt Erwee, 11 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 10 Erick Colyn, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Fanie van der Walt, 7 Oupa Nohoje, 6 Pieter Labuschagnè (captain), 5 JC Astle, 4 Joubert Horn, 3 Ian Potgieter, 2 PW van Vuuren, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 JC van Wyk, 17 Kevin Stevens, 18 Wilken Heyns, 19 Armand Koster, 20 Pieter Rademan, 21 Franna du Toit, 22 Earl Snyman, 23 Carl van Heerden.
NMMU: 15 Gerrit Smith, 14 Mayibuye Ndwandwa, 13 Quinton Crocker, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anton Verster, 10 Martin du Toit, 9 Charlie Purdon, 8 Jaco Swanepoel (captain), 7 André Goosen, 6 Ulrich Pretorius, 5 Louis Fourie, 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Ross David-Anderson, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey.
Replacements: 16 Kobus Greeff, 17 Gareth Hartley, 18 Schalk Oelofse, 19 Thomasau Forbes, 20 Marlin Ruiters, 21 Bradley Kretzman, 22 Devon Lailvaux, 23 Phillip Nel.
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