Varsity Cup – The decider!

A fun Varsity Cup evening awaits as not only will the title be decided between Pukke and UCT in a first-ever final in Potch, but also the UKZN vs UJ promo/relegation match.

Coach Robert du Preez’s Pukke side will be hunting their first title when they take on the Ikey Tigers, who lifted the trophy the last time they made the final in 2011.

Both teams secured home semifinal victories against NMMU Madibaz (in dramatic style) and Maties (convincingly in the wind and rain), but the hosts will have the psychological advantage of having beaten the Ikeys in Cape Town in the opening round.

But coach Kevin Musikanth’s team are yet to lose away from home this year so they cannot be taken lightly. Musikanth has made a major impact in his first season with UCT after two lean years since they won their only title in 2011, while his counterpart Du Preez has done the same with Pukke, topping the table for the first time.

The teams have had a two-week break since their semi-final victories, but Musikanth said that they have not changed much in terms of their preparation.

“As far as the result is concerned and the approach to the game we have prepared in the same manner as we have always prepared. Ultimately if we want to call ourselves Varsity Cup champions we need to have what it takes to go out to Potch and beat Pukke in their own backyard. Our team and coaching staff have tremendous work ethic and we are going all in,” he said.

The last available place in next year’s Varsity Cup will be decided in the promotion/relegation play-off between John Mitchell’s UKZN Impi and an embattled UJ outfit that finished down in seventh position this season.

The Impi went down to CUT in the Varsity Shield Final last week, the Ixias thus securing their third title to finally move up into the Varsity Cup, but they will have another crack at promotion today.

They face a UJ side who find themselves fighting for survival after a disappointing campaign that went downhill after their promising draw with defending champions Tuks in their opening game.

The Koshuisrugby Championship final, something sponsors Steinhoff, for some reason, see as more important than the Shield, Young Guns and promo/relegation battle, will also be decided at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds – all televised live, hence the massive break between the 2 big games of the day.

Teams and match details:

19h00 – Pukke v UCT (Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds, Potchefstroom)

Pukke: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Edmar Marais, 13 Jaap Pienaar, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9, Tiaan Dorfling (captain), 8 Juan Language, 7 Henro-Pierre Swart, 6 Rhyk Welgemoed, 5 Francois Robbertse, 4 Peet van der Walt, 3 Nhlanhla Ngcamu, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Mashudu Mafela.

Bench: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Philip de Wet, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Rhyno Smith, 22 Lucien Cupido, John-Roy Jenkinson.

UCT: 15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Guy Schwikkard, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Michael Botha, 7 Vince Jobo, 6 Jason Klaasen, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Shaun McDonald, 3 Digby Webb, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Joel Carew.

Bench: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Robin Murray, 18 Kyle Kriel, 19 Guy Alexander, 20 James Alexander, 21 Martin Sauls, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 David Maasch.

Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Cwengile Jadezweni

AR’s: Francois Pretorius, Jaco Kotze

TMO: Johan Greeff


Promotion/relegation play-off

14h30 – UJ v UKZN (Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds, live on TV)

UJ: 15 Juan Kotze, 14 PJ Walters, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Andries Oosthuizen, 10 Marais Schmidt, 9 Viaan van der Watt, 8 JP Swanepoel, 7 Victor Sekekete, 6 Kobus Porter, 5 David Antonites, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Van Zyl Botha, 2 Jannes Snyman, 1 Devon Martinus.

Bench: 16 Qinisile Siphatho, 17 Wiseman Kamanga, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 Dylan Peterson, 20 Jacques Pretorius, 21 Jaco van der Walt, 22 Pieter Morton, 23 Hendrik Bredenkamp.

UKZN: 15 Hendrik Groenewald, 14 Shayne Makombe, 13 Brandon Bailing, 12 Kurt Mavrodaris, 11 Hendrik Lategan, 10 Duncan Campbell, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Deon Carney, 7 Zwela Zondi, 6 Lwazi Ngcungama (captain), 5 Johan Wagenaar, 4 Adam Wessels, 3 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Henri Boshoff.

Bench: 16 Mikyle Webster, 17 Bartholomeus le Roux, 18 Gideon Koegelenberg, 19 Sanele Malwane, 20 Nelson Makhanye, 21 Gavin Nyawata, 22 Yandisa Mdolomba, 23 Sizwe Kuhbeka.

Referees: Jaco Kotze, Tahla Ntshakaza

AR’s: Marius van der Westhuizen, Cwengile Jadezweni

TMO: Johan Greeff