FNB UJ vs FNB CUT Ixias at UJ Rugby Stadium, 16h45 (Live on SS1)
With a good start to their season thus far, FNB UJ will hope to make it 3 wins in a row when they tackle FNB CUT in the third round of the 2016 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International at UJ Stadium in Johannesburg on Monday. A victory on Monday will see FNB UJ reach double figures in points on the log standings, and ascend up the table for playoff spots. Standing in their way is the FNB CUT side, who won their first Varsity Cup match last week. The team has the biggest deficit in terms of points difference in the division. However, FNB UJ coach Werner Janse van Rensburg feels that FNB CUT are no walkovers.
FNB CUT Ixias may still be riding on a cloud after their shock win over FNB UCT, but the rampant FNB UJ will be a completely different kettle of fish waiting in Johannesburg. FNB UJ is one of three Varsity Cup sides still unbeaten this season, lying third on the log with 8 league points. After FNB CUT’s win over FNB UCT last Monday, the Ixias are fifth on the log (4 points) after the first two rounds of action, and would dearly love to upset the home side in Joburg in Round Three.
FNB UFS Shimlas vs FNB NMMU Madibaz at Shimla Park, 18h30
The defending champions of the Varsity Cup will be confident approaching their first home game of the season in Bloemfontein, after they won two matches away from home, showing character against FNB Tuks and the FNB Ikey Tigers. FNB Shimlas will be playing against the FNB Madibaz on Monday in their third Varsity Cup clash. FNB Shimlas is currently second on the Varsity Cup log on nine points, one point behind the FNB Maties team.
Meanwhile FNB NMMU-Madibaz are targeting an away win against the in-form FNB Shimlas in the third round Varsity Cup, after two heart-breaking losses in the first two rounds of the competitions.
FNB UCT vs FNB NWU-Pukke at UCT Rugby Fields, 18h30
The FNB Ikey Tigers are still in search of their first Varsity Cup win this season and have made five changes to the team that started their previous match against FNB CUT. The most noticeable exclusion from the team is captain, Guy Alexander, who will not be able to play on Monday because of a concussion he suffered. In steps Jade Kriel, ready to fill the role of captain for the match against FNB NWU-Pukke.
FNB NWU-Pukke have licked their wounds and put their devastating loss against FNB UJ behind them, as they travel to Cape Town to stare down the eye of the Ikey Tiger. The loss against the boys from Joburg could have been avoided, although the lessons learnt may yet prove invaluable.
Coach Jonathan Mokuena has made only two changes to the starting lineup, one in the backs and one in the forwards. Schalk Hugo starts in the place of Barend Janse van Rensburg at flyhalf. The other change to the starting lineup is Joe Smith who replaces Mashudu Mafela in the front row. There is only one replacement on the bench with Eswyn Heyns replacing AK Nel.
FNB Maties vs FNB Tuks at Danie Craven Stadium, 19h00 (Live on SS1)
It’s one of the biggest rivalries in the Varsity Cup. Commonly known as the “North vs South” derby outside university quarters, when Western Province play the Blue Bulls, the clash between the FNB Maties and the FNB UP-Tuks has the same “North vs South” derby feel in the Varsity Cup, since the inaugural year of this magnificent tournament. They might sit at complete opposite sides of the standings, but on Monday evening both sides will be on the same level when they meet at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch. FNB Tuks have played two really tough matches at home to FNB Pukke and FNB Shimlas, losing both, although they would have been gutted letting a 43-17 lead slip against the side from Bloemfontein. The FNB Maties recorded two bonus-point victories in their first two matches against the FNB CUT and FNB NMMU respectively. Maties are booming with confidence after their fine start to the tournament but will not underestimate the side from Pretoria. As they have shown in the past, they possess championship qualities. It’s only a matter of time before those shine through.
FNB UP-Tuks have all to play for against FNB Maties as they try to claw their way back from two home defeats in the opening rounds of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International. The match is a mouth-watering one as top-of-the-table FNB Maties will look to continue their unbeaten run while FNB Tuks seek their first win in 2016. Two-time champions, FNB UP-Tuks are a proud team and their poor run of form will be a definite bee under their bonnet.
Final team sheets to be released by Monday 22 February.
Fixtures – Monday 22 February 2016:
FNB Varsity Cup, presented by Steinhoff International
16:45 FNB UJ vs FNB CUT (UJ Stadium). Live on SuperSport 1
18:30 FNB UFS-Shimlas vs FNB NMMU-Madibaz (Shimla Park)
18:30 FNB Ikeys vs FNB NWU-Pukke (UCT Rugby Fields)
19:00 FNB Maties vs FNB UP-Tuks (Danie Craven Stadium). Live on SuperSport 1
FNB Varsity Shield, presented by Steinhoff International
18:30 FNB Wits vs FNB UWC (Wits Rugby Stadium)
18:30 FNB UFH vs FNB TUT (Davidson Rugby Stadium)
Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby Championship
16:15 Steinhoff Tornadoes (UCT) vs Steinhoff Harlequins (NMMU) (UCT Rugby Fields)
16:45 Steinhoff Dagbreek (Maties) vs Steinhoff Vishuis (Shimlas) (Danie Craven Stadium)
19:00 Steinhoff Oppierif (UJ) vs Steinhoff Rhinos (CUT) (UJ Stadium)
FNB Varsity Young Guns presented by Steinhoff International
14:00 FNB Ikeys Young Guns vs FNB Pukke Young Guns (UCT Rugby Fields)
14:15 FNB Maties Young Guns vs FNB UP-Tuks Young Guns (Danie Craven Stadium)
16:15 FNB UFS Young Guns vs FNB CUT Young Guns (UCT Rugby Fields)