Star studded Tuks look to bounce back

Tuks and UJ will be looking for some Blitzbok “bouncebackability” tonight after defeats in the first round of the Varsity Cup.

Tuks fell short against Pukke in Potchefstroom last week, and coach Nollis Marais is under no illusions about the importance of their clash with the Ikeys in a replay of the 2011 final, which will be televised.

UCT come off from a draw against the Madibaz in hurricane infested Cape Town, and with Baby Bok skipper Wiaan Liebenberg leading a star-studded Tuks side, the Ikey Tigers will certainly have their hands full in Pretoria.

UJ will host a confident Pukke side as they attempt to put their defeat to Maties behind them and play the kind of rugby that has made them one of the most consistent sides in the competition in recent years. The Johannesburg side failed to score a single point after half-time in a windy Stellenbosch last week, though.

Both Maties and Shimlas recorded bonus-point victories last week, so they will both be pretty confident ahead of their clash in Bloemfontein.

Shimlas dismantled newcomers Wits last week to get their season off to a flying start, but Maties will present an altogether different challenge and as a result have called on the expertise of Springbok prop Os du Randt, who has been working with the Shimlas pack. With Os Hamman starting at tighthead for the men in maroon, this is probably the closest we will come to an epic “Os vs Os” encounter …

Wits will again have their work cut out for them against the Madibaz, who will be intent on building on their gutsy draw in Cape Town. Coach Brent Janse van Rensburg believes that his team can improve on that performance by 50% and has called for a polished display against the newcomers who are still trying to find their feet in the competition.

Varsity Cup fixtures and team line-ups:

Tuks v UCT, Tuks Rugby Stadium – 4.45pm (TV)
Tuks: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Vainon Willis, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Christopher Bosch, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Lohan Jacobs, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Wiaan Liebenberg (captain), 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Mike Williams, 3 Hencus van Wyk, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Bench: 16 Zane Botha, 17 Sabelo Nhlapo, 18 Schalk van Heerden, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 Danie Faasen, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Sampie Mastriet.

UCT: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 Nick Holton, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Ross Jones-Davies, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Josh Katzen, 7 Ntsolo Setlaba, 6 Kyle Kriel, 5 Levi Odendaal (captain), 4 James Kilroe, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Sti Sithole.
Bench: 16 Derek Asbun, 17 Digby Webb, 18 Bradley Bosman, 19 Jason Klaasens, 20 Rick Schroeder, 21 David Ambunya, 22 Paul Cohen, 23 Oliver Kebble.

Referee: Tiaan Jonker

Shimlas v Maties, Shimla Park – 7pm

Shimlas: 15 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 14 Dolo Maphutha, 13 Reinhardt Erwee, 12 Thys Smit, 11 JJ de Klerk; 10 Franna du Toit, 9 Kevin Luiters; 8 Erik le Roux, 7 Teboho Mohoje (captain), 6 Freddie Ngoza, 5 JC Astle, 4 Fanie van der Walt, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Elandre Hugget, 1 Charles Marais.
Bench: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Henco Venter, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Hlanlha Hlongwane, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 Divandre Strydom, 23 Carl van Heerden.

Maties: 15 Ryan Nell, 14 Clearence Khumalo, 13 Mark Hodgkiss, 12 Louis Jordaan, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Dean Grant, 9 James Alexander, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jurg Streicher, 6 Helmut Lehmann (captain), 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 3 Os Hamman, 2 Neethling Gericke, 1 Alister Vermaak.
Bench: 16 Charl de Villiers, 17 Niel Oelofse, 18 Reuben Johannes, 19 Lungelo Chonco, 20 Jean Nel, 21 JH Potgieter, 22 Craig Barry, 23 Brendan Pitzer.
Referee: Jaco Kotzer

UJ v Pukke, UJ Stadium – 7pm

UJ: 15 Kobus De Kock, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Bradley Moolman, 12 Divan Van Zyl, 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Guy Cronje, 9 Jacques Pretorius, 8 RJ Liebenberg, 7 Justin Wheeler (captain), 6 Steph De Witt, 5 David Antonites, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 2 AJ Le Roux, 1 Wiseman Kamanga.
Bench: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Wessel Du Rand, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 Kobus Porter, 20 Lukas Van Zyl, 21 Luan Steenkamp, 22 PJ Walters, 23 Njabulo Mkize.

Pukke: 15 Hoffman Maritz, 14 Rowayne Beukman, 13 Hennie Skorbinski, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Gerhard Nortier, 9 Tiaan Dorfling, 8 SJ Niemand, 7 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 6 Marcel Groenewald, 5 Victor Kruger (captain), 4 Solly Sotsaka, 3 Herman Basson, 2 JC Oberholzer, 1 Martin Dreyer.
Bench: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Arno Ebersohn, 18 Danie Jordaan, 19 Molotsi Bouwer, 20 Pieter Smith, 21 Sylvian Mahuza, 22 Wynand Olivier, 23 Elardus Venter.
Referee: Lihan Pretorius

NMMU v Wits, NMMU Stadium – 7pm (TV)
NMMU: 15 Jarred Buys, 14 Mayibuye Ndwandwa, 13 Gerhardus Smith, 12 Xolani Mnisi, 11 Logan Basson, 10 Justin Van Staden, 9 Dwayne Kelly, 8 Marius Oosthuizen, 7 Ulrich Pretorius, 6 Simphiwe Shabangu, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Louis Fourie, 3 Dexter Fahey, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain).
Bench: 16 Albertus De Swardt, 17 Brenden Olivier, 18 Schalk Oelofse, 19 Stefan Willemse, 20 Lesley-Dean Luiters, 21 Hermanus van Lill, 22 Lonwabo Ntleki, 23 Elrich Kock.
Wits: 15 Greg Blom, 14 Jacques Erasmus, 13 Kayde Fisher, 12 Jared Meyer, 11 Riaan Arends, 10 Latiume Fosita, 9 Mathew Torrance, 8 Carel Greef, 7 Charles Baggot, 6 Thato Mavundla, 5 Rinus Bothma, 4 Devin Montgomery (captain), 3 Phakamilu Zuma, 2 Piers Cooper, 1 Hannes Ludik
Bench: 16 Rory Anderson, 17 Wandile Lupuwane, 18 Shai Korb, 19 Katlego Ntsie, 20 Josh Durbach, 21 Michael Sephton-Poultney, 22 Mandla Dube, 23 Katlego Kgama

Referee: Rodney Bonaparte

Varsity Shield fixtures:

CUT v Fort Hare, CUT Rugby Stadium- 7pm
UWC v UKZN, UWC Sports Stadium – 7pm