Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears

Maties vs Tuks a spicy meatball!

Stellenbosch is the place to be this evening …

Maties and Tuks go head-to-head at the Danie Craven Stadium – and it is top spot on the Varsity Cup log that is up for grabs …

Tuks beat Maties 27-13 in Pretoria, last year, but the last time these two sides met at the Danie Craven (2010), the Maties smashed the Men from Pretoria 64 points to 17.

Coach Chean Roux is happy to be playing this massive game at home and he is expecting a well-drilled and hungry Tuks side to show up at a jam-packed Coetzenburg.

“Like the Bulls, and because of the Heyneke Meyer influence (last year), we will be expecting a few box kicks and certain ‘Bulls-type’ aspects of play,” said the Maties boss.

“First up, you always want to win your home games. Secondly, it’s not about winning records … or four-try bonus points. I’ve always said if you win all your games you should stay top of the log and we want to be at the top of the log before the sharp end of the season gets underway.”

But Tuks coach Nollis Marais had a slightly different view this week to Roux, saying: “They’re our baptism of fire (of the season) – that’s for sure. And I’m sure they’ll be looking to avenge last year’s loss to us. That said, they will have to get past us to remain unbeaten, so I’m expecting one helluva tussle.”

Sadly, the match is not on the goggle box as the TV schedule was done last year, and is based on giving each of the varsities exposure based on their performance in the tournament the previous year …

Today’s two televised matches will see the Madibaz take on the Ikeys (at 5pm) for the Monte Taljaard trophy – to honour that exceptional young man who lost his life in a car crash two years ago, and Shimlas vs UJ at 19h10.

The Shimlas (in fourth place on the standings) can ill-afford a third loss in a row – especially with Pukke (fifth) and UCT (sixth) snapping at their heels on the log.

Other action on Monday will see Pukke entertain TUT – the only winless side in the competition – as the Men from Potchefstroom, like Intervarsity rivals Shimlas, look to bounce back from two losses in a row.

Tonight’s Varsity Cup fixtures, team line-ups and predictions:

Xerox NMMU Stadium (Port Elizabeth)
Kick-off: 5pm (Live on SuperSport One)

My prediction: UCT by 24

NMMU: 15 Gerrit Smith, 14 Mayibuye Ndwandwa, 13 Quinton Crocker (vice-captain), 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anton Verster, 10 Martin du Toit, 9 Charlie Purdon, 8 Jaco Swanepoel (captain), 7 André Goosen, 6 Ulrich Pretorius, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Dexter Fahey, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey.
Replacements: 16 Kobus Greeff, 17 Gareth Hartley, 18 Timothy Agaba, 19 Jaco Otto, 20 Marlin Ruiters, 21 Bradley Kretzman, 22 Devon Lailvaux, 23 Phillip Nel.

UCT: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 Michael Morris, 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Rayn Smid, 7 Zandy Macdonald, 6 Ntsolo Setlaba (captain), 5 Levi Odendaal, 4 Don Armand, 3 Francois van Wyk, 2 Dayne Jans, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Adriaan Botha, 18 Brad Bosman, 19 Greg Mallett, 20 Ricky Schroeder, 21 Paul Cohen, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 Digby Webb.


Shimlas v UJ
Xerox Shimla Park (Bloemfontein)
Kick-off: 7pm (Live on SuperSport One)

My prediction: UJ by 9

Shimlas: 15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Cameron Jacobs, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Earl Snyman, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Rynhardt Erwee, 9 Pieter Rademan, 8 Willie Britz (captain), 7 Fanie van der Walt, 6 Freddie Ngoza, 5 JC Astle, 4 Joubert Horn, 3 Ian Potgieter, 2 Michael van Vuuren, 1 Charles Marais.

Replacements: 16 JC van Wyk, 17 John-Henry Harris, 18 Wilken Heyns, 19 Armand Koster, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Franna du Toit, 22 Erick Colyn, 23 Stephan Kotze.

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 Shaun Malton, 1 Ruan Dreyer.

Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Njabulo Mkize, 18 Marnus van Huyssteen, 19 RJ Liebenberg, 20 Jacques Pretorius, 21 Justin St. Jerry, 22 Aubrey McDonald, 23 Heinrich Terblanche.


Maties v Tuks
Danie Craven Stadium (Stellenbosch)
Kick-off: 7pm

My prediction: Maties by 7

Maties: 15 André Smith, 14 Ryan Nell, 13 Wessel Coetzee, 12 Louis Jordaan, 11 Dean Hammand, 10 André Kemp, 9 Donald Stevens, 8 Tertius Daniller, 7 Helmut Lehmann (captain), 6 Sam Mabombo, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Grant Hattingh, 3 Os Hamman, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Alistair Vermaak.

Replacements: 16 Gareth Light, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Reniel Hugo, 19 JP Swanepoel, 20 Boela Abrahams, 21 Jarryd Buys, 22 Clearance Khumalo, 23 Hein van der Merwe.

UP-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 Zane Botha, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Sthembiso Mlongo, 19 Lean Schwartz, 20 Clayton Stewart, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Riaan Britz, 23 Basil Short.


Pukke v TUT
Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds (Potchefstroom)
Kick-off: 7pm

My prediction: Pukke by 22

Pukke: 15 Malan van der Merwe, 14 Andrew van Wyk, 13 Ruan Jacobs, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht (captain), 11 Joe Seerane, 10 Gerhard Nortier, 9 Tiaan Dorfling, 8 Ernie Strydom, 7 Philip de Wet, 6 Siya Mdaka, 5 Victor Kruger, 4 Lodewyk Uys, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Marius Fourie, 1 Henry Scharneck.
Replacements: 16 JC Oberholzer, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Danie Jordaan, 19 Juan ‘Spanner’ Pretorius, 20 Andries Botha, 21 SW Oosthuizen, 22 Terswin Raubenheimer, 23 Mashudu Mafela.

TUT: 15 Hagen Mumba, 14 Rikus de Beer, 13 Hansie Graaff, 12 Brahm du Preez, 11  Ruan van Loo, 10 Melcolm Griffiths, 9 Manny Raposo, 8 Wikus Botes (captain), 7 Yves Basiya, 6 Ryno Coetzee, 5 Ewald Maree, 4 Gavin Engelbrecht, 3 Zandre Grobler, 2 Nathi Sethusi, 1 Dandre van der Westhuyzen.
Replacements: 16 Coert van Gerve, 17 Nico van den Heever, 18 Joel Kapena, 19 Peter Matthews, 20 Nico Smuts, 21 Quinton van Greunen, 22 Craig van Rooi, 23 Ryno van Rooyen.

Now to actually go and enter my scores on SuperBru, unlike last week!!!

Author: Tank

Ex WP prop with a fair amount of experience in all things media ...

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