Round 2: Big wins – and an early indication of play-off favourites

Round 2: Big wins – and an early indication of play-off favourites

There are of course still seven rounds to be played, but after just two matches each it seems rather safe to say that the Varsity Cup title will be dominated by five teams and won by one of them with a sixth not to be discounted.

In Thursday’s second round the victory margins was 22 in the Maties win over UWC (43-21); 38 in Ixias’s win against Madibaz (31-13);  NWU Eagles came from 16-0 behind (and with 12 penalty kicks to none initially awarded against them) to beat the Shimlas 32-22, with the ten points being the smallest margin between any two teams in this round;  Wits lost by 18 points to Ikeys (40-22) and Tuks were far too strong in beating UJ by 28 points (47-19) in UJ’s seventh straight defeat in the competition following a winless run of five matches in last season’s curtailed competition.

The above, of course, does not discount a sudden winning spurt when a team finds its feet from the third match on following  more than a season’s lay-off since the first lockdown last year.

A pleasant surprise is the second outstanding performance from the Ixias who are log leaders with ten league points, equaled by Tuks who have a lesser points difference.

Wits, frontrunners last year when the tournament was shelved are in ninth position. They have the potential of still making the play-offs, but a new-look team may take too much time to gel and be in the run.

Be assured, however, that they will be responsible for one or two shocks as the competition wears on, and it these shocks come against the right opposition, it could be Wits’ passport to the play-offs.

Based on the second round’s results, and also the rather large score differences in the first round, the five teams that look like the leading side to fight it out for the coveted play-off positions are also the top five on the log.

Shimlas, sixth on the log were the only side not to get hammered (despite throwing away a 16-0 lead to lose 32-22) and look to have the makings of a play-off candidate.    

In log order the favourites to get to the play-off are Ixias, Tuks, Eagles, Ikeys, Maties (plus Shimlas).

                             LOG

Pos

Team

Pld

W

D

L

PD

BP

Pts

1

CUT Ixias

2

2

0

0

71

2

10

2

 UP-Tuks

2

2

0

0

51

2

10

3

NWU Eagles

2

2

0

0

29

2

10

4

 UCT Ikeys

2

2

0

0

24

1

9

5

 Maties

2

1

0

1

16

2

6

6

 UFS Shimlas

2

0

1

1

-10

1

3

7

 UWC

2

0

1

1

-22

1

3

8

 Madibaz

2

0

0

2

-57

1

1

9

 Wits

2

0

0

2

-41

0

0

10

 UJ

2

0

0

2

-61

0

0