The Varsity Cup's new regulations excluded a lot of players who did not meet the educational criteria which is why this 2019 Edition a lot more competitive. Non of the games in week 1 resulted in big wins with the quality of play of the "minnows" was surprising to a lot of supporters.
UWC (Univerity Of Western Cape) v Shimlas (Bloemfontein)
UWC who lost 24-32 to Ikeys last Monday, are hosting the Shimlas who had a bye last Monday. UWC will be desperate to pick up some log points against a Shimlas side who will depend a lot on young players to in the front row to fix the problems of 2018.
Shimlas will be looking to play very direct and need to survive the onslaught up front in the first half of the game. The UWC back three is also very dangerous when counter-attacking and the Shimlas kickers need to be precise and tactically astute.
UJ v TUKS
TUKS had to work very hard to beat a CUT team that put their bodies on the line for the whole 80 minutes. However, TUKS will also be the first to admit that better decision making by their back three on attack could have resulted in at least three tries. UJ was "saved" by the weather last Monday as the game was stopped due to the threat of lightning.
TUKS made a few changes to their lineup with Damian Bonaparte losing his place at fullback to Vaughen Isaacs and Hanru Sirgel at #7 being replaced by Ewart Potgieter. Captain Marius Verwey moves from 5 to number 4 to make place for Junior Bock Ruan Nortje. JP Smith replaces Denver Prins at #3 who suffered a leg fracture.
TUKS should be the favourite but ........................
Wits v CUT
CUT played a very physical game against TUKS dominating TUKS come scrum time for good three-quarters of last Monday's game. They combined that with a defensive effort that will derail most other teams competing in the Varsity Cup keeping TUKS from scoring for long periods of the game. However, two changes at the back and two up front could be telling with captain Rayno Nel to missed the most.
FNB Wits is well known as a side who never backs down from any challenge on the rugby field – regardless of how big their famous opponents are. Just ask the FNB Maties, who had to sweat to contain the fiery “in-your-face” FNB Wits defensive and offensive approach.
This will be the game to attend for this round if hard unforgiving rugby is your thing.
Ikeys v Maties
This will be an epic match with Maties the betting man's favourite. Both sides had to work extremely hard for last Monday's win with Ikeys at this stage topping the log as the only side who won with a bonus point.