Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears


Maties assured, the rest scrap

Maties are basically assured of top spot, but 5 other teams remain in the running for a Varsity Cup quarter final, with that battle commencing on Monday night.  

Log-leaders Maties can secure top spot – and home advantage in the play-offs – if they continue their unbeaten run when they take on the hapless Wits in Johannesburg, but it will be the two televised games that should have everyone on the edge of their seats.

Pukke will face fourth-placed NMMU in what is sure to be an intense clash in Potchefstroom as both sides look to put some pressure on the top three teams.

The Madibaz are riding high on confidence after a big victory over UJ last week, but they are still searching for their first away win of the season, and will meet some stubborn resistance in the form of a Pukke side looking to bounce back from their loss to Shimlas.

The trans-Jukskei derby between UJ and defending champions Tuks in Johannesburg should be just as hard-fought with the two teams separated only by points-difference. Tuks got their campaign back on track last week with a resounding win over Wits, but they face a sterner test in the form of UJ, who will be hurting after their second defeat of the season last week.

In Bloemfontein, Shimlas will be out to keep their play-off hopes alive with a full-house of log points against the Ikeys, no doubt desperate for that first victory of what has been a frustrating season.The Free State side showed what they are capable of in their convincing victory over Pukke last week, and they will want more of the same as they look for a late surge up the standings.

Fixtures and team line-ups – Monday, March 11

Pukke v NMMU, Fanie du Toit Sports Ground – 4.45pm (TV)

Pukke: 15 Hoffman Maritz, 14 SW Oosthuizen, 13 Sylvian Mahuza, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Justin Botha, 9 Tiaan Dorfling, 8 SJ Niemand, 7 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 6 Molotsi Bouwer, 5 Victor Kruger (captain), 4 Danie Jordaan, 3 Martin Dreyer, 2 JC Oberholzer, 1 Arno Ebersohn.

Bench: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Mashudu Mafela, 18 Solly Sotsaka, 19 Robey Labuschagne, 20 Jaco Grobler, 21 Rowayne Beukman, 22 Wynand Olivier, 23 Herman Basson.

NMMU: 15 Jarred Buys, 14 Logan Basson, 13 Hermanus van Lill, 12 Xolani Mnisi, 11 Gerhardus Smith, 10 Justin Van Staden, 9 Dwayne Kelly, 8 Timothy Agaba, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Albertus de Swardt, 5 Mzwanale Zito, 4 Louis Fourie, 3 Gareth Hartley, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain).

Bench: 16 Francois Coetzer, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Ferdinand Gerber, 19 Ulrich Pretorius, 20 Simphiwe Shabangu, 21 Devon Lailvaux, 22 Lesley-Dean Luiters, 23 Dexter Fahey.

Referee: Quinton Immelman

UJ v Tuks, UJ Stadium – 7pm (TV)

Tuks: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Vainon Willis, 13 Piet Lindeque, 12 Handre Pollard, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Danie Faasen, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Mike Williams, 3 Basil Short, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Juan Schoeman.

Bench: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Christoph Gouws, 18 Schalk Van Heerden, 19 Wesley Kotze, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Christopher Bosch, 22 Riaan Britz, 23 Sabelo Nhlapo.


Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge

Shimlas v UCT, Shimla Park – 7pm

Shimlas: 15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Maphutha Dolo, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Stephan van der Merwe, 11 Divandre Strydom, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Erik le Roux, 7 Teboho Mohoje (captain), 6 Henco Venter, 5 JC Astle, 4 Fanie van der Walt, 3 Carl van Heerden, 2 Elandre Hugget, 1 Charles Marais.

Bench: 16 JC van Wyk, 17 Nick Schonert, 18 Lebo Zietsman, 19 Freddie Ngoza, 20 Hlanlha Hlongwane, 21 Sethu Tom, 22 Francois du Toit, 23 Luan de Bruin.

UCT: 15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Dylan Sage, 12 Tiger Bax, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dillyn Leyds, 9 Liam Slatem (captain), 8 Joshua Katzen, 7 Jason Klaasen, 6 Derek Asbun, 5  James Kilroe, 4 Kyle Kriel, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Oliver Kebble.

Bench: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Johannes de Klerk, 19 Bradley Bosman, 20 Rick Schroeder, 21 Paul Cohen, 22 Justin Coles, 23 Digby Webb.

Referee: Lusanda Jam

Wits v Maties, Wits Rugby Stadium – 7pm

Wits: 15 Michael Sephton-Poultney, 14 Jacques Erasmus, 13 Kayde Fisher, 12 Mandla Dube, 11 Riaan Arends, 10 Kyle Peyper, 9 Mathew Torrance, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 Rinus Bothma, 6 Carel Greef, 5 Charles Baggot, 4 Devin Montgomery (captain), 3 Phakamilu Zuma, 2 Katlego Kgame, 1 Ferdinand Kelly.

Bench: 16 Rory Anderson, 17 Thato Mavundla, 18 Peter van Biljon, 19 Shai Korb, 20 Joshua Durbach, 21 Greg Blom, 22 Nkuli Gamede, 23 Hannes Ludik.

Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Clearance Khumalo, 13 Mark Hodgkiss, 12 Ryan Nell, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Andries Truter, 8 Reniel Hugo, 7 Helmut Lehmann (captain), 6 Beyers de Villers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Os Hamman, 2 Charl de Villiers, 1 Alister Vermaak.

Bench: 16 Brianton Boysen, 17 Hein van der Merwe, 18 Jurg Streicher, 19 Lungelo Chonco, 20 James Alexander, 21 JH Potgieter, 22 Dean Hammond, 23 Brendan Pitzer.

Referee: Lesego Legoete

Varsity Shield fixtures – Monday, March 11

TUT v UFH, TUT Stadium – 7pm

CUT v UKZN, CUT Rugby Stadium – 7pm

Author: Tank

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


  1. Tank, Province signed quite a few school boys from over the country last year. I know Paul Jordaan’s little brother and the nr 8 and nr 10 from Bulls Craven week. Any idea why we dont see these guys in Varsity or Vodacom Cup sides?

    • Hi Charl. Perhaps spending time in the academy first? And then blooded in the U19 or U20 sides?

      • Do the academy play any games during the year before the u19/20 season starts? Would love to go watch them play.