Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears

Monday night revenge?

Will it be revenge for both Tukkies and Maties in tonight’s second round of the Varsity Cup, or two more upsets for TUT and Pukke?

Sweet revenge I say …

Tukkies will still be smarting from last season’s shock home defeat at the hands of TUT, while the Maties will be wanting to hit back at the Pukke after losing to them in the Club Champs semi final last year …

TUT beat Tukkies 46-34 in a match which was turned on its head by a first-half yellow card to centre Jean du Plessis – allowing the visitors to fight back from 7-27 down to record their most famous Varsity Cup win… a victory which also proved to be their only bit of success in an otherwise disappointing 2011 season.

With Tukkies having recorded an impressive 23-8 opening day win over UJ last week, and TUT being taken to the cleaners by Maties, I see more pain for the TUT boys.

The maroon clad marauders head to Potchefstroom in search of their revenge against the reigning National Club Champions, Pukke, who kicked-off their 2012 campaign with a steady if unspectacular win over the Madibaz. Last year was horrific on every front for the Maties … and I do not see that happening again …

UJ vs the Ikeys in Joburg sees the top two league teams from last year seeking their first win of 2012! Both sides have announced powerful line-ups, with UJ recalling fit-again Namibian World Cup star Worsie Kotze (at fullback) and UCT calling up flanker Don Armand, who was part of the Stormers’ pre-season plans, and centre Tiger Bax who missed the Shimlas match due to injury.

In the final match of the evening, Shimlas, who hammered champs Ikeys last week, should have no issues dispatching the ever hapless Madibaz in Bloemfontein.

Fixtures and line-ups for Monday, February 13:

TUT v Tukkies
TUT Stadium (Tshwane)
Kick-off: 5pm (Live on SS1)

My prediction: Tukkies by 18

TUT: 15 Hagen Mumba, 14 Craig Pheiffer, 13 Rikus de Beer, 12 Brahm du Preez, 11 Ruan van Loo, 10 Hansie Graaff, 9 Nico Smuts, 8 Wikus Botes, 7 Yves Basiya, 6 Ryno Coetzee, 5 JJ Breett, 4 Gavin Engelbrecht, 3 Dandre van der Westhuyzen, 2 Johan Pieterse (captain), 1 Coert van Gerve.
Replacements: 16 Zandre Grobler, 17 Nico van den Heever, 18 Peter Matthews, 19 Ryno Lopes, 20 Melcolm Griffiths, 21 Craig van Rooi, 22 Thabo Mangena, 23 Nathi Sethusse.

Tukkies: 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 Chris Crous, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lean Schwartz, 19 Jono Janse van Rensburg, 20 Clayton Stewart, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Riaan Britz, 23 Basil Short.


Pukke v Maties
Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds (Potchefstroom)
Kick-off: 7pm (Live on SS1)

My prediction: Maties by 26

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

Maties: 15 Ryan Nell, 14 Dean Hammond, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Louis Jordaan, 11 Tythan Adams, 10 André Kemp, 9 Boela Abrahams, 8 JP Swanepoel, 7 Helmut Lehmann (captain), 6 Sam Mabombo, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Grant Hattingh, 3 Hein van der Merwe, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Gareth Light, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Reniel Hugo, 19 Nicolas de Jager, 20 Donald Stevens, 21 André Smith, 22 Wessel Coetzee, 23 Mike De Neuilly-Rice.


UJ Stadium (Johannesburg)
Kick-off: 7pm

My prediction: UCT by 9

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 Francois du Toit, 1 Ruan Dreyer.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Niabulo Mkize, 18 Marnus van Huyssteen, 19 Dylan Peterson, 20 Jacques Pretorius, 21 Justin St. Jerry, 22 Aubrey McDonald, 23 Heinrich Terblanche.

UCT: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 Adrian Kritzinger (vice-captain), 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Greg Mallett, 7 Don Armand, 6 Ntsolo Setlaba (captain), 5 Levi Odendaal, 4 James Kilroe, 3 Adriaan Botha, 2 Matt Page, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Dayne Jans, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Rayn Smid, 19 Zandy Macdonald, 20 Nick Farrar, 21 Michael Morris, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 Bonga Bhengu.


Shimlas v NMMU
Xerox Shimla Park (Bloemfontein)
Kick-off: 7pm

My prediction: Shimlas by 36

Shimlas: 15 Shaun Davids, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Cameron Jacobs, 12 Rynhardt Erwee, 11 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 10 Erick Colyn, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Fanie van der Walt, 7 Oupa Nohoje, 6 Pieter Labuschagnè (captain), 5 JC Astle, 4 Joubert Horn, 3 Ian Potgieter, 2 PW van Vuuren, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 JC van Wyk, 17 Kevin Stevens, 18 Wilken Heyns, 19 Armand Koster, 20 Pieter Rademan, 21 Franna du Toit, 22 Earl Snyman, 23 Carl van Heerden.

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

Hier is krag ...

Congrats to Wendy Donaldson who currently leads the Front Row Grunt pool on SuperBru, with 6.5 points from last week’s matches – she got all 4 games right, along with a margin, GSP and half bonus point … I am hacking in 85th place after getting it hoplessly wrong on the Ikeys vs Shimlas game …

Author: Tank

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


  1. Mmmmm…glad to see your predictions are just as shocking as mine!!! Does hansie perhaps have any hand in the results tonight???

    • Terrible from me … Not sure anyone could have predicted the Madibaz win, and to be honest, I am not hugely surprised by the UJ win, but thought the Ikeys might switch on this week. Thought Maties would be much better though ….

  2. Hi Tank, I think the playing field is more even this year, which is a good thing: better competition amongst the teams, with not too many runaway victories (except where TUT is involved)… I have to admit UCT’s performance is a huge disappointment. They are going to battle to make the play-offs, let alone the finals. I know the Varsity Cup is not won in Feb Tank, but things are looking bleak. Having said that, I think there’ll be a Western Cape varsity team in the finals !!

    • Playing field definitely more even this year … Varsities have realised the value attached to doing well in the tournament … And as such have thrown some money (or bursaries) at the players … Also surprised at the Ikey start to the tournament … reality of being defending champs is hitting hard …