Varsity Cup form XV

As we head into the last round of Varsity Cup league action, Front Row Grunt guest columnist Howie Kahn runs the rule over the form men in the 2012 competition by picking his Team of the Tournament up till now.

15. Dillyn Leyds (UCT):
Leyds has rugby football coursing through his veins and has been a massive shining light in an otherwise disappointing UCT line-up this season. He has scored six tries in six games.

14. Nico Scheepers (Shimlas):
A try-scorer, but also a deadly goalkicker, speedster Scheepers confesses to being happier at fullback but he cracks the nod on the wing in my side for his near faultless performances in a struggling Shimlas side.

13. Joubert Engelbrecht (NWU-Pukke):
The Pukke captain is a specialist inside centre, but his form warrants selection in my side. A superb leader, a strong defender and a great distributor, Engelbrecht has a bright rugby future.

12. Louis Jordaan (Maties):
The unsung hero of the Maties juggernaut, he defends his channel and straightens his backline on attack. What more do you need from an inside centre?

11. Chrysander Botha (UJ):
The leading try-scorer in the competition at present – with an impressive eight tries, just one off Mat Turner’s season record of nine – he is a better player since his World Cup experience for Namibia.

10. Wesley Dunlop (UP-Tuks):
Dunlop just edges out UJ’s Guy Cronjé in my team, given the huge influence he has over Tuks’ gameplan and execution thereof. He was a star man for Tukkies last year, as he captained them to the final, but he seems to have taken his game up a notch this year. He will be missed now he is on Vodacom Cup duty with the Blue Bulls.

9. Rudy Paige (UJ):
You could have the most dominant pack in the world, but without a decent halfback pairing all that hard-earned ball will just go to waste. In Paige and Guy Cronjé, UJ have the best halfback combination. A Super Rugby call-up can not be far off for Paige.

8. Jono Ross (UP-Tuks):
Tuks will miss their captain’s bullocking runs and no-nonsense defence in the run-in to the play-offs, now that he has been called up to the Blue Bulls’ Vodacom Cup team.

7. Helmut Lehmann (Maties – captain):
Last year’s WP Under-21 skipper has been the driving force behind the Maties’ resurgence this year. His performances on the ground, and as captain, have been massive.

6. Johan van Deventer (UJ):
I’m a huge fan of playing two fetchers in a team and I think Van Deventer has been as impressive as Lehmann this year. He will be a key man for UJ in the run-in to the play-offs and beyond.

5. Grant Hattingh (Maties)
He began the season with a bang, scoring a hat-trick against TUT, and he racked up two more tries against UCT with the No.8 jersey on his back.

4. Sebastien des Chaves (UJ):
The giant UJ lock – an SA Under-20 star in 2010 – has been a revelation

3. Os Hamman (Maties):
What more can be said about the Maties powerhouse who delivered such a powerful scrumming performance against the Ikeys on Monday? Powerful (at 130 kilograms), yet skilful, he offers plenty – either as a starter or off the bench.

2. Francois du Toit (UJ):
He just edges out Maties hookers Rob Herring and Gareth Light, both of whom have been superb for the Men in Maroon. Du Toit has been in and out of the UJ side due to provincial commitments, but he remains a major part of their side.

1. Brummer Badenhorst (Maties):
Despite being rotated with Alistair Vermaak on a regular basis this season, Badenhorst has just done enough in his appearances thus far to squeeze in ahead of his Maties teammate.

* Howie Kahn is the Media Manager for the Varsity Cup – visit for more on the tournament.

Wesley Dunlop (Gallo Images)

The semifinalists in the 2012 Varsity Cup may have been confirmed, but where they are to be played is very much in the balance, and those venues will be decided tonight.

Also to be revealed this evening will be the team who ends seventh on the log – A key spot as this team will have to play a promotion relegation match against the team that comes second in the Varsity Shield!

The unbeaten Maties are on top of the log with 27 points from six matches, followed by Tuks on 25 points, UJ on 22 and Pukke on 19 points.

With the top four teams fighting it out for semifinal places, teams five through seven will be fighting to avoid finishing 7th, those being UCT, NMMU, and Shimlas.

TUT will automatically be relegated and replaced the winners of the Varsity Shield.

Varsity Cup fixtures and team line-ups for Monday, March 19:
UCT v UP-Tuks
UCT Rugby Fields (Cape Town)
Kick-off: 5pm (Live on SuperSport One)
UCT: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 Adrian Kritzinger, 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Rayn Smid, 7 Brad Bosman, 6 Ntsolo Setlaba (captain), 5 Levi Odendaal, 4 Graham Knoop, 3 Francois van Wyk, 2 Dayne Jans, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Matt Page, 17 Digby Webb, 18 James Kilroe, 19 Greg Mallett, 20 Nick Farrar, 21 Paul Cohen, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 Mini Bhengu.

UP-Tuks: 15 Hayden Groepes, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Dabeon Draghoender, 11 Courtnal Skousan, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Lohan Jacobs, 8 Jono Janse van Rensburg, 7 Jacques Verwey,  6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Nqubeko Zulu, 4 Mike Williams, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Zane Botha (captain), 1 Vincent Koch.
Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Sthembiso Mlongo, 19 Lee Thompson, 20 Rudi van Rooyen, 21 Fanie Booysen, 22 Gerhardus Kotzee, 23 Basil Short.

UJ v Maties
UJ Stadium (Johannesburg)
Kick-off: 7pm (Live on SuperSport One)

UJ: 15 Worsie Kotze, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Justin St. Jerry, 12 Divan van Zyl, 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Guy Cronjé, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Justin Wheeler (captain), 7 Wendal Wehr, 6 Johan van Deventer, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Jaco Vermeulen, 2 Shaun Malton, 1 Heinrich Terblanche.
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Njabulo Mkize, 18 Marnus van Huyssteen, 19 RJ Liebenberg, 20 Jacques Pretorius, 21 Aubrey McDonald, 22 Luan Steenkamp, 23 Roche van der Westhuizen.

Maties: 15 André Smith, 14 Ryan Nell, 13 Wessel Coetzee, 12 Louis Jordaan, 11 Clearance Khumalo, 10 André Kemp, 9 Donald Stevens, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Helmut Lehmann (captain), 6 Sam Mabombo, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Reniel Hugo, 3 Hein van der Merwe, 2 Alfred Ries, 1 Brummer Badenhorst.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 JP Swanepoel, 19 Nicholas de Jager, 20 Boela Abrahams, 21 Jarryd Buys, 22 Dean Hammand, 23 Os Hamman.

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

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

Shimlas: 15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Stephan van der Merwe, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Franna du Toit, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Erik le Roux, 7 Willie Britz (captain), 6 Armandt Kotze, 5 JC Astle, 4 Joubert Horn, 3 Ian Potgieter, 2 PW van Vuuren, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 JC van Wyk, 17 John-Henry Harris, 18 Lebo Zietsman, 19 Oupa Mohoje, 20 Pieter Rademan, 21 Reinhardt Erwee, 22 Divandré Strydom, 23 Carl van Heerden.

TUT Stadium (Tshwane)
Kick-off: 7pm

TUT: 15 Hagen Mumba, 14 Thabo Mangena, 13 Rikus de Beer, 12 Koos Kotze, 11 Ruan van Loo, 10 Hansie Graaff, 9 Manny Raposo, 8 Wikus Botes (captain), 7 Yves Basiya, 6 Tinus van Wyk, 5 Ewald Maree, 4 Gavin Engelbrecht, 3 Zandre Grobler, 2 Nathi Sethusi, 1 Dandre van der Westhuizen.
Replacements: 16 Juan Kotze, 17 Nico van den Heever, 18 Kapena Joel, 19 Vusi Mbonani, 20 Nico Smuts, 21 Melcolm Griffiths, 22 Quinton van Greunen, 23 Ryno van Rooyen.

NMMU: 15 Gerrit Smith, 14 Mayibuye ‘Beast’ Ndwandwa, 13 Quinton Crocker (vice-captain), 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Eckard Jacobs, 10 Martin du Toit, 9 Anton Verster, 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 Thomasau Forbes, 20 Carl van Niekerk, 21 Bradley Kretzman, 22 Devon Lailvaux, 23 Phillip Nell.

The Varsity Cup log:

Position Team P W D L PD BP Pts
1 Maties 6 6 0 0 122 3 27
2 Tuks 6 5 0 1 115 5 25
3 UJ 6 4 0 2 152 6 22
4 Pukke 6 3 1 2 34 5 19
5 Shimlas 6 2 0 4 -29 3 11
6 NMMU 6 2 0 4 -63 3 11
7 UCT 6 1 1 4 -20 3 9
8 TUT 6 0 0 6 -311 1 1

One Comment

  1. “A Super rugby call up cannot be far off for Paige” – whatever you smoking Mr Khan, don’t pass it on to anyone else. You obviously have not watched this clown over the past 4 years.

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