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Tuks brace for College 'cracker'

ROUND FOUR PREVIEW: Tuks coach Dewey Swartbooi has highlighted the all-round threat of the Varsity Shield newcomers ahead of the top-of-the-table clash in Pretoria this Friday.

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As expected, Tuks have won all of their fixtures since dropping down to the Varsity Shield – and by significant margins.

After thumping UFH 36-0 in the tournament opener, they romped to a 61-10 win against CPUT.

More recently, they secured a 40-17 victory against WSU in the Eastern Cape.

And yet, they’re not the only team that’s caught the eye with their dominant results and style of play.

Shield newcomers Varsity College have claimed three consecutive bonus-point wins, and are ranked second in the standings.

Tuks lead the log by their superior points-difference.

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Last week, Varsity College coach Jeremy McLaren stated that his side has been building towards a showdown with Tuks for some time.

Varsity College has powered its way to a series of one-sided results and has some momentum heading into the big clash in Pretoria.

To say that these teams have been dominant in recent fixtures would be a gross understatement.

Tuks have racked up 137 points in three games, while Varsity College has been similarly impressive, winning each of their matches by 19 points or more.

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Tuks coach Dewey Swartbooi told @Rugby365com that his charges are ready for a different type of challenge this Friday.

“It’s going to be a cracker,” he said.

“Before this week, I hadn’t put a lot of thought into Varsity College.

“No disrespect to them, we’ve just been focusing on each game as it comes.

“Now we’re starting to analyse them, and it’s clear that they are a well-balanced side that is well-coached.

“The results make for compelling reading, as they’re not three-from-three and second on the log for nothing.”

As McLaren pointed out, all the pressure is on Tuks heading into this match.

When this was put to Swartbooi, he insisted that his charges would rise to the occasion.

Varsity Shield Round Four fixtures

“It’s a home game, which makes the equation even more straightforward.

“We have to win, regardless of who we are playing.

“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves after winning three games, and we’re not taking them lightly.

“We will be ready for that clash.

“That ‘final’ mentality won’t change.

“We’re not worrying about calculations and log positions at this stage, it’s just about treating every game as a must-win.

“We’ve been building, and now is not the time to go away from what we know.

“I think that College will come into this game with the same attitude.

“It’s going to be a tight one, though.”

Varsity College believes that they have the forwards to unsettle Tuks, who are traditionally strong up front.

“The set-piece battles may well shape the flow of the contest.

“WSU gave us a good test up front last week,” said Swartbooi.

“They scored a maul try against us, so there’s work to do in that department ahead of the next game.

“From what I’m hearing, College have a big pack and a good set piece, so we’ll have to meet that challenge head-on.

“Their backs are dangerous too, and as the stats suggest, it’s a well-balanced side that scores a lot of points while not giving too many away.

“We’re expecting one helluva battle on Friday.”

@rugby365com

Varsity Shield standings after three rounds

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