The Varsity Cup has arrived at the business end of the competition and after thrilling semi-final's between Ikeys & Maties as well as Shimlas and Tuks we have our two finalists. Maties will play host to Tuks in Stellenbosch tonight in what will be their 5th final against one another since the Varsity Cup's inception.
Tuks and Maties last faced on another in a final in 2019, a game which Maties won 34 - 12. They are two of the competitions most powerful sides and their rich rugby history will be on display once again. Tuks are the current champions, having beaten Ikeys in last years final, but will have a huge task ahead of them as they travel down to Stellenbosch to play the hosts. The game has also been sold out, so the home crowd will add another dynamic to an already tough fixture.
Maties had a decent season, winning 7 of their 9 regular fixtures. They lost to both losing semi finalists UCT Ikey Tigers (44 - 27) in round 7 and to UFS Shimlas (50 -28) in round 2. Not bad if you consider they were the sides who came in 1st and 2nd on the log. They put on a massive performance in last weeks semi-final to come out with a 58 - 19 win. Maties pack was sublime last week and they will be looking to establish similar dominance against Tuks in order to allow stand in flyhalf Nevaldo Fleurs to run the show with ease once again.
Tuks have had what most in Pretoria would consider an off season, they came 4th on the log overall, narrowly beating out Pukke by 1 log point to secure their spot in the play-offs. They showed great tenacity in securing a strong win over the record setting Shimlas in the semi's though, a team they lost to 26 - 15 in the regular season. Tuks won 6 of their 9 games, also losing to Maties (19-9) and Eagles (17 -8). Tuks will be looking to their powerful backline to power them to a win at Danie Craven Stadium and hope to bag their 2nd successive title
The opening fixture of the 2022 Varsity Cup was between Maties and Tuks in Pretoria, and the men from Stellenbosch came out on top of a tight fixture, winning the game 19 - 9. Tonight's contest is going to be massive and one not to miss! Kick off is at 19:15 on SS1. Who will you be backing?
Maties – 15 Adriaan van der Bank (c), 14 Mike Mavovana, 13 Waqar Solaan, 12 Taigh Schoor, 11 Anton du Toit, 10 Nevaldo Fleurs, 9 Thomas Bursey, 8 Simon Miller, 7 Louw Nel, 6 Gift Dlamini, 5 Matt Gray, 4 Juan Beukes, 3 Matimu Manganyi, 2 Sean Swart, 1 Vernon Matongo. Subs: 16 Chris Rossouw, 17 Rhynhardt Rijnsburger, 18 Corné Weilbach, 19 Jesse Johnson, 20 Siyabonga Matanda, 21 Mckyle Volmoer, 22 Jurie Mathee, 23 Marcqiewn Titus.
UP-Tuks – 15 Stefan Coetzee, 14 Kabelo Mokoena, 13 Zander Reynders, 12 Lincoln Daniels (c), 11 Tharquinn Manuel, 10 Walter Visser, 9 Bernard van der Linde, 8 Orateng Koikanyang, 7 Stephan Smit, 6 Dian Schoonees, 5 Divan Venter, 4 Mihlali Stamper, 3 Francois Klopper, 2 Allister Williams, 1 Ethan Burger. Subs: 16 Werner Fourie, 17 André van der Merwe, 18 Daniël Wessels, 19 Justice Nkombua, 20 Hilton Gie, 21 Chad-Lee Valentine, 22 Keane Galant, 23 Ambesa Zenzile.