Play-off pressure building

Sun, 15 Mar 2015 13:47
Large up tuks varsity cup

VARSITY CUP PREVIEW: The pressure will be on in the penultimate round of the Varsity Cup on Monday before the competition heads into the play-offs.

The pressure will be on in the penultimate round of the Varsity Cup on Monday before the competition heads into the play-offs.

With six teams still in the hunt for a place in the semifinals, Round Six could have a major influence on the final log positions and play-off venues this year.

Log-leaders UP-Tuks face fourth-placed UJ in a high-stakes Gauteng derby in Johannesburg, while the other big game will see the unbeaten UFS-Shimlas host defending champions UCT in Bloemfontein.

The other two matches will involve teams in the bottom half of the standings, with NWU-Pukke looking to move into the top four with an away win against newcomers CUT and three-times champions Maties hoping to keep their play-off hopes alive when they host NMMU-Madibaz.

The Stellenbosch side have only missed out on the semifinals once in 2011, and they will know that defeat to the seventh-placed Madibaz will take their fate out of their hands.

Maties showed good character to fight back and beat UJ for their first win of the season in Round Five, but they will face an NMMU side that will be desperate to salvage something from a disappointing campaign.

In Bloemfontein the CUT Ixias will want to be more competitive after suffering five heavy defeats so far, but have their work cut out for them against a hungry NWU-Pukke side, while across town UFS-Shimlas will be looking to extend their unbeaten streak against a confident Ikeys team coming off a big win in Potchefstroom.

The final match of the evening will be in Johannesburg where UJ will be out to prove their play-off credentials at home against a rampant UP-Tuks side that has their eye on a home semifinal.

In the Varsity Shield, the top two teams will do battle when unbeaten Wits host UKZN in Johannesburg, while UWC's slim chances of catching them rest on their clash with TUT in Bellville.

The winner in Johannesburg will go to the top of the standings, and the equation is simple for UWC who have to win their last three games to have any hope of sneaking into the final.

There will be a replay of last year's epic Varsity Young Guns final on Monday when defending champions UFS take on the only other team to have won the title in UP-Tuks, while CUT face UJ in Bloemfontein and the Junior Maties host NMMU in Stellenbosch.

There will be just two matches in the Koshuisrugby Championship with Medies up against Stallions in a curtain-raiser to the main game in Stellenbosch and Bastion up against three-time champions Vishuis in Johannesburg.

All of the Round Six match details

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

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

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

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

Maties v NMMU
(Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – Kick-off: 18.30)

Maties: TBC

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

Referees: Quinton Immelman, Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

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

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

NWU-Pukke: TBC

Referees: Francois Pretorius, Rodney Boneparte
Assistant referees: Local

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

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 Raeez Salie, 18 Griffith van Wyk, 19 Wiaan Conradie, 20 Hilton Mudarika, 21 James Campbell, 22 Dominic Kroezen, 23 Brandon Landsberg.

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

Referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Tahla Ntshakaza
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Johan Greeff

Varsity Shield

UWC v TUT
(UWC Sports Stadium, Bellville – Kick-off: 18.30)

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

Varsity Young Guns

Junior Maties v NMMU Young Guns
(Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – Kick-off: 14.00)

UFS Young Guns v UP-Tuks Young Guns
(Shimla Park, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 14.15)

CUT Young Guns v UJ Young Guns
(CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kick-off: 16.00)

Koshuisrugby Championship

Medies v Stallions
(Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – Kick-off: 16.15)

Bastion v Vishuis
(UJ Stadium, Johannesburg – Kick-off: 16.45)