Preview: Varsity Cup, Round Two
The second round of this year's Varsity Cup will feature two classic rivalries.
The action will kick off on Monday night with the clash between Maties and UCT from the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch and will be followed by the showdown between NWU-Pukke and UFS-Shimlas in Potchefstroom.
The other two matches will see defending champions UP-Tuks travel to Johannesburg to face last year's wooden spoonists Wits, whilst just down the road UJ will host the 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," he said.
"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.
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 CUT host Peter de Villiers' UWC. The Bellville side slumped to a disappointing defeat to the 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 Fort Hare Blues in Pretoria.
Both teams are coming off wins, with Fort Hare having beaten John Mitchell's UKZN Impi in Durban, so confidence should be high on either side.
The Varsity Young Guns tournament also kicks off on Monday with three matches in the U20 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 Maties Young Guns will take on the 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:
Maties v UCT
Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch - Kick-off: 16.45)
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.
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.
Referees: Daniel Fortuin, Francois Pretorius
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
NWU-Pukke v UFS-Shimlas
(Fanie du Toit Sports Ground, Potchefstroom - Kick-off: 19.00)
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.
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.
Referees: Oregopotse Rametsi, Stefan Geldenhuys
TMO: Willie Vos
UJ v NMMU
(UJ Stadium, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 19.00)
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.
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.
Referees: Jaco van Heerden, Ben Crouse
Wits v UP-Tuks
(Wits Rugby Stadium, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 19.00)
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.
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.
Referees: Tahla Ntshakaza, Jaco Kotze
Varsity Shield fixtures:
CUT v UWC
(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein - Kick-off: 19.00)
TUT v Fort Hare
(TUT Rugby Stadium, Pretoria - Kick-off: 19.00)
Varsity Young Guns fixtures:
Wits Young Guns v UP-Tuks Young Guns
(Wits Rugby Stadium, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 16.45)
UJ Young Guns v NMMU Young Guns
(UJ Stadium, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 16.45)
Maties Young Guns v UCT Young Guns
(Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch - Kick-off: 19.00)