It is semi-final qualification that will be in the minds of all but the bottom three teams on the present log for Monday night’s penultimate Varsity Cup round.
Tuks and the Maties have probably already secured home semi-finals, but in a competition where surprises have over the years often been all too frequent, log leaders Tuks and the Maties will want to make sure.
♦ Tuks play the Ikey-Tigers at the Tuks Stadium while the Maties must travel to Bloemfontein to play the Shimlas who are playing to not finish last on the log.
Shimlas will have to up their defensive play against the free-running Maties if hey want to avoid a hiding. Even at home winning doesn’t seem likely
They must rue their unexpected derby loss to the Ixias last week. That was a real play-off killer.
♦ Tuks, a real force again with Nollis Marais as coach, should beat the Ikeys who can be unpredictable and with a lively pack that will keep Tukkies busy.
The Pretoria students simply cannot take a win for granted.
If Ikeys win, they’ll be back in the semi-final mix with Ixias travelling to Cape Town next Monday in a (possible) battle to clinch a semi-final berth.
♦ The Ixias are, of course, also in with a semi-final a possibility. But first they’ll have to beat the Pukke in Bloemfontein, with the Potchefstroom students the favourites – despite the Ixias surprise against the Shimlas and the Pukke’s 0-28 home defeat at the hands of Tukkies last week.
♦ Wits are most likely out of the play-off equation, even if they take a bonus point against the UWC who had their first-ever Varsity Cup win last week when they beat UJ.
Monday’s fixtures –
16:45 Tuks vs Ikey Tigers (SS1)
18:30 Ixias vs Pukke
!8:30 Wits vs UWC;
19:00 Shimlas vs Maties (SS1).