A repeat of the past is seldom a guarantee for the future, but on the rugby field it is undoubtedly a good indicator.
The away team, NWU-Pukke, will therefore have to be focused and at their best to beat the Shimlas, their old Intervarsity foes, in Monday night’s fourth round of the Varsity Cup competition in Bloemfontein.
They will be aware that they last beat the Shimlas at home in 2009, with four further defeats in their Bloemfontein clashes every second year probably also something that they have taken notice of.
♦ The Ikeys Tigers started off hesitantly but hung on beat newcomers UWC in their first match before the drubbing of 5-66 at home by the Maties.
After their bye last week, the Ikeys face winless UJ in Johannesburg in what will be the Cape side’s third successive home match this year.
Not one of the strongest UJ sides ever fielded should nevertheless provide a close contest, especially as the notorious wind on the Green Mile is forecast to be at its worst, but Ikeys should be able to make it two from three.
♦ In the old days, the early 1970s, the Witsies Intervarsity rivals were Tuks and the two universities competed at every level and in every sport.
The Joburg students were good then, and have picked themselves up under head coach Hugo van As and are very much a threat to every team they play.
However, after Wits’ somewhat unlucky loss at home to the Shimlas last week, Constant Beckerling’s charges will have to produce their very best against UP-Tuks who are at home again after pushing the Maties all the way in Round Two.
A loss will put Wits in danger of not making the play-offs, and they are a much better team for that to happen.
♦ The high-riding Maties should have it much their own way in Bloemfontein when they play the CUT Ixias who beat UJ by a single point last week, their first win against the Johannesburg students.
A big score is probable in the match for which Aimee Barrett-Theron has been appointed by SA Rugby as the referee.
Monday night’s matches (home team first)
16:45: Ikeys vs UJ (SS 1)
18:30: Ixias vs Maties
18:30 UP-Tuks vs Wits
19:00: FS-Shimlas vs NWU-Pukke (SS 1).