Preview: Varsity Cup, Round Six
There remains just one unbeaten side in the competition and they will once again be expected to thrive in the Mother City. Maties have been dominant since the beginning of the competition and have flourished under the guidance of coach Hawies Fourie.
The log leaders are in action in the final match of the day, against defending champions UFS-Shimlas – who are coming off the back of their first defeat in 14 matches – in a top of the table clash.
Shimlas, currently second on the log, will be looking to narrow the gap on the runaway leaders with a victory while a win for Maties guarantees them top spot.
The Round opens up with an interesting encounter as a resurgent UP-Tuks face the unpredictable NMMU-Madibaz. Just five points separates the sides and the Madibaz will certainly be highly confident after they showed plenty of character to blow UCT-Ikeys away in Round Five.
Tuks are showing glimpses that they are approaching their best form after making light work of CUT-Ixias.
UJ will without a doubt be the favourites in their match against a struggling Ikeys side, who are yet to taste a Cup victory under coach Hanyani Shimange. The Cape side would want to impress in front of their home fans and give coach Shimmy something to smile about.
However, UJ smashed Shimlas in Round Five and will want to make another statement as they look to climb up the ladder. The Johannesburg students are currently in third place, just two points behind second-placed Shimlas.
The other match of the round sees NWU-Pukke face another tournament struggler CUT-Ixias. The Ixias claimed a morale-boosting victory over UCT earlier in the competition, however, the wind was knocked out of their sails this week when it was revealed that they fielded an ineligible player in the opening round.
This resulted them being docked two points, to now slip to the foot of the table.
Pukke will not only eye maximum points but also a big winning margin to at least solidify their fourth place and become a shoe-in for the knockout phase of the competition.
All Thursday's action!
UP-Tuks v NMMU-Madibaz
(Cape Town Stadium, Kick-off: 13.00, 11.00 GMT)
UP-Tuks: 15 Duncan Matthews, 14 Riaan Britz, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Adrian Maebane, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Clyde Davids, 7 Luke van der Smit, 6 Ruan Steenkamp (captain), 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Aston Fortuin, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Replacements: 16 Jan Enslin, 17 Du Toit Genis, 18 Pieter Janse van Vuren, 19 Gerrit Engelbrecht, 20 Carlo Engelbrecht, 21 Tinus de Beer, 22 Keanan van Wyk, 23 Justin Forwood.
NMMU-Madibaz: 15 Lindelwe Zungu, 14 Ivon-John du Preez, 13 Keanu Vers, 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Khaya Malotana, 10 Simon Bolze, 9 Sibusiso Ngcokovane, 8 Junior Pokomela, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Stephanus Nieuwoudt, 5 Gerrit Huisamen, 4 Elandre van der Merwe, 3 Nemo Roelofse, 2 Warrick Venter, 1 Nicolaas Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Jedwyn Harty, 17 Marzuk Maarman, 18 Jayson Reinecke, 19 Henry Brown, 20 Luvo Classen, 21 Thomas Kean, 22 Andile Jho, 23 Ronald Beyl.
Referee: Jaco Kotze
UCT-Ikeys v UJ
(Cape Town Stadium, Kick-off: 15.00, 13.00 GMT)
UCT-Ikeys: 15 Gerard Pieterse, 14 Bradley Janse van Rensburg, 13 Justin Heunis, 12 Lihleli Xoli, 11 Nathan Nel, 10 Thomas Bednall, 9 Steven Wallace, 8 Guy Alexander, 7 Luke Stringer, 6 Olwethu Hans, 5 Duncan Saffy, 4 Mark Prior, 3 David Maasch, 2 Keagan Timm, 1 Joel Carew.
Replacements: 16 Struan Murray, 17 Msizi Zondi, 18 Alva Senderayi, 19 Nyasha Tarusenga, 20 Dylan Tidbury, 21 Rob Anderson, 22 Suwi Chibale, 23 Samuel Theron.
UJ: 15 Ronald Brown, 14 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 13 Bradley Moolman, 12 Robert de Bruyn, 11 Caswell Khoza, 10 Divan Nel, 9 Devon Mare, 8 Jakobus Porter, 7 Etiienne Oosthuizen, 6 Wian Conradie, 5 David Antonites, 4 FP Pelser, 3 Nico Du Plessis, 2 Johannes Snyman, 1 Siyakubonga Nzuzo.
Replacements: 16 Emmanuel Morowane, 17 Kyle Kruger, 18 Jeremy Jordan, 19 Frederik Bezuidenhout, 20 Hilton Mudariki, 21 Peter John Walters, 22 Andries Oosthuizen, 23 Waldo Weideman.
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe
NWU-Pukke v CUT-Ixias
(Cape Town Stadium, Kick-off: 17.00, 15.00 GMT)
NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Johan Deysel, 12 Hendrik Marais, 11 Lucian Cupido, 10 Bernhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Malherbe Swart, 8 Marno Redelinghuys, 7 Loftus Morrison, 6 Jeandre Rudolph, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Christiaan Liebenberg, 3 Dewald Dekker, 2 Louis Van Der Westhuizen, 1 Mashudu Mafela
Replacements: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Mogau Mabokela, 18 Ruan Venter, 19 Jaco Jordaan, 20 Chriswill September, 21 AK Nela, 22 Elden Schoeman, 23 Bartholomeus le Roux
CUT-Ixias: 15 Meyer van Tonder, 14 Mauro Bucachane, 13 Ruan Wasserman, 12 Johan Nel, 11 Mosego Toolo, 10 Darron Baron, 9 Marius Grobler, 8 Jasper Wiese (captain), 7 Vincent Maruping, 6 Rayno Nel, 5 SJ Roux, 4 Wikus Davis, 3 Gunter J v Vuuren, 2 Cameron van Heerden, 1 Juan Volkwyn.
Replacements: 16 Len Noort, 17 Gerhard Baard, 18 Sylvester Makakole , 19 Junior Burger, 20 Olwethu Ndakisa, 21 Titsetso Madonsela, 22 Johann Grundling, 23 George Marich
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Maties v UFS-Shimlas
(Cape Town Stadium, Kick-off: 19.00, 17.00 GMT)
Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Paul Streicher, 12 Braam Venter, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Ernst Stapelberg, 9 Remu Malan, 8 Kobus van Wyk, 7 Janco Venter, 6 Saud Abrahams, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 JE van der Merwe, 2 Freddie Kirsten, 1 Niel Oelofse.
Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Johan Momsen, 19 Justin Moberly, 20 Bjorn Bernardo, 21 Christopher Smith, 22 Jason Worral, 23 Boeta Kleinhans.
UFS-Shimlas: 15 Frederick Mason, 14 Mosolwa Mafuma, 13 Stephan Janse Van Rensburg, 12 Arthur Williams, 11 Maqina Vuyani, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 8 Murray Bondesio, 7 Neil Claassen, 6 Musa Mahlasela, 5 Boela Venter, 4 Nicolaas Immelman, 3 Chase Morison, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Teunis Nieuwoudt.
Replacements: 16 Marco Klopper, 17 Gert Kotze, 18 Ntokozo Vidima, 19 Wilhelm Kotzenberg, 20 Renier Botha, 21 Renaldo Meyer, 22 Apiwe Dinga, 23 Dolph Botha
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni