PREVIEW: Varsity Cup, Round Two
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The second round of Varsity Cup action sees two opening round winners go head to head in a round littered with close calls.
The table-topping NMMU-Madibaz are on the road once again and head to Potchefstroom to face the defending champions. The Madibaz secured a bonus-point victory in their Round One fixture and will be using that as motivation for a Pukke side who showed that they can grind out victory in the final minutes of a game.
In the early kick-off, the struggling UCT-Ikeys play hosts to CUT-Ixias, who will be keen to get going in their opening match of the competition after being granted a bye in the first week.
The Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch gets their first taste of this year's competition when they host Cup-returnees Wits, in what is sure to be a massive battle up front. Both sides are coming off the back of narrow defeats in wet weather and will be relishing the chance to show what they can produce in near-perfect conditions.
UJ are at home for a second successive match and welcome Shimlas to Johannesburg. The Bloemfontein students had to grind out a narrow victory over Wits in the opening round and will want to continue their winning ways over another Johannesburg institution.
UP-Tuks enjoy a bye this round.
We look at Monday's action!
UCT-Ikeys v CUT-Ixias
(Green Mile, Kick-off: 16.45, 14.45 GMT)
Ikeys have made seven changes to their matchday 23 that suffered an opening round loss at the hands of the Madibaz. In the only change to the starting forwards, Gary Porter misses out on the match and is replaced by Xaba Kuyenzeka at lock.
Robert McIntyre gets a start at flyhalf, replacing Lohan Lubbe who drops to the bench. Rico Lategan shifts to outside centre, with Tristan Mouton filling the void left by Suwi Chibale. Rayno Mapoe will start on the wing, which sees Seb Roodt being left out of the matchday team.
Among the replacements, William Day is drafted in to replace Msizi Zondi while Nama Xaba vacates the bench to make way for Alva Senderayi. Ibrahim Adams also misses out on the match, with his spot being taken by Liam Furniss.
There is an unknown factor surrounding the Ixias as they are now in a new era under former Springbok hooker Tiaan Liebenberg.
UCT-Ikeys: 15 Robert Anderson, 14 Rayno Mapoe, 13 Rico Lategan, 12 Tristan Mouton, 11 Joel Smith, 10 Robbie McIntyre, 9 Stefano de Gouveia, 8 Nyasha Tarusenga, 7 Luke Stringer, 6 Jason Klaassen (captain), 5 Xaba Kuyenzeka, 4 Duncan Saffy, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Cuan Hablutzel, 1 Wayrin Losper.
Replacements: 16 Martin Chandler, 17 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 18 William Day, 19 Sanele Malwane, 20 Alva Senderayi, 21 Lohan Lubbe, 22 Liam Furniss, 23 Hilio de Abreu.
CUT-Ixias: 15 Lance Adonis, 14 Masego Toolo, 3 Waldo Putter, 12 Johan Nel, 11 Gorden Madonsela, 10 Martin Jacobs, 9 Ruben Heymans, 8 Stefan Kruger, 7 Brendan Verster, 6 Dean Rossouw, 5 Rayno Nel, 4 Pieter Venter, 3 Hendrik Smit, 2 Theunis Truter, 1 Jean Volkwyn.
Replacements: 16 Stefan Jacobs, 17 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 18 Sylvester Makakole, 19 Kian Skippers, 20 Dean Jacobs, 21 Denver Kleu, 22 Dian Dry, 23 Chrisjan du Toit.
Referee: Rodney Boneparte
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
Maties v Wits
(Danie Craven Stadium, Kick-off: 18.30, 16.30 GMT)
Maties have made wholesale changes to their starting XV, especially among the forwards. There is a complete front row overall with Niel Oelofse, Craig Corbett and Christian Hamman taking the spots of Wesley Adonis, Freddie Kirsten and Jacobus van der Merwe respectively.
Ernst van Rhyn takes up the number five jersey, while John Groenewald steps in to partner him, with Johan Momsen missing the encounter. There is also no place for captain Beyers de Villiers, who is replaced by Mitchell Carstens while Janco Venter and Kobus van Dyk makes up the loose trio.
Hendrik Luus, Jake Blew and Wikus Groenewald are the replacement forwards while Saud Abrahams has been drafted in. Michal Haznar takes up his spot on the bench that sees Ryan Muller missing the match.
Wits have kept their changes to a minimum, with the only change to the forwards coming at flank that sees Mike Renwick make way for Constant Beckerling. In the backline, Josh Jarvis switches from centre to wing, replacing Jarred Branco while AJ van Blerk shifts to outside centre and Brandan Hewitt moving off the bench to play inside centre.
On the bench, Chris Worthington is replaced by Conor-Terrah Brockschmidt while Wolta Mtsweni is replaced by Jarred Branco. Lwazi Monakali fills the vacancy left by Hewitt.
Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Kyle Steyn, 12 Braam Venter, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Theo Stapelberg, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Janco Venter, 6 Mitchell Carstens, 5 Ernst van Rhyn, 4 John Groenewald, 3 Christian Hamman, 2 Craig Corbett, 1 Niel Oelofse.
Replacements: 16 Hendrik Luus, 17 Jake Blew, 18 Wikus Groenewald, 19 Saud Abrahams, 20 Devon Nash, 21 Logan Boonzaaier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Michal Haznar.
Wits: 15 Luxulo Ntsepe, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 AJ van Blerk, 12 Brandan Hewitt, 11 Josh Jarvis, 10 Warren Gilbert (captain), 9 Ruan Cloete, 8 Jethro de Lange, 7 Constant Beckerling, 6 Ruan Macdonald, 5 Rhyno Herbst, 4 Graham Logan, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 2 CJ Conradie, 1 CJ Greeff.
Replacements: 16 Justin Brandon, 17 Brandon Palmer, 18 Pascal Snyman, 19 Conor-Terrah Brockschmidt, 20 Jarred Branco, 21 Lwazi Monakali, 22 Themba Mpemvu, 23 Ameer Williams.
Referee: Francois Pretorius
Assistant referees: Local
UJ v Shimlas
(UJ Stadium, Kick-off: 18.30, 16.30 GMT)
For UJ, in the only change among the starting forwards, Khanya Gela switches places with Dillon Bakos. Devon Mare starts at scrumhalf with Johan Esterhuizen dropping to the bench and Peter-John Walters replaces Tyreeq February, who misses the match, at wing.
Among the replacements, Emmanuel Morowane Hilton Mudraki and Sarel Smit drops out, with Kyle Kruger, Chergin Fillies and Tshepo Thulo being drafted into the matchday 23.
There's been a bit of shifting around in the Shimlas 23. Raymond Woest moves off bench to start at lock, replacing Nicolaas Immelman. Vuyani Maqina is dropped to the bench, with his spot being filled by Carel-Jan Coetzee who shifts from centre to wing. Frederick Mason switches wings and Lihleli Xoli gets a start at outside centre.
Rewan Kruger drops out of the matchday 23 being replaced by Ruben Schoeman while Albertus Pretorius fills Xoli's vacancy.
UJ: 15 Ronald Brown, 14 Peter-John Walters, 13 Tshegofatso Ramaboea, 12 Jaco Fourie, 11 Aphiwe Dyanti, 10 Divan Nel, 9 Devon Mare, 8 Jo-Hanco de Villiers, 7 Adrian Bester, 6 Wian Conradie, 5 Estian Enslin, 4 Kyle van Dalen, 3 Nico du Plessis, 2 Johannes Snyman, 1 Khanya Gela.
Replacements: 16 Dillon Bakos, 17 Kyle Kruger, 18 Chergin Fillies, 19 Reinhaard Nothnagel, 20 Willem Massyn, 21 Johan Esterhuizen, 22 Ewan Adams, 23 Tshepo Thulo.
Shimlas: 15 Sechaba Motsoela, 14 Carel-Jan Coetzee, 13 Lihleli Xoli, 12 Stephan Janse van Rensburg (captain), 11 Frederick Mason, 10 Niell Stannard, 9 Dian Badenhorst, 8 Albertus Erasmus, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Neil Claassen, 4 Raymond Woest, 3 Cornelius Kramer, 2 Hanno Snyman, 1 Kwenzokuhle Blose.
Replacements: 16 Albrecht Steyn, 17 Johan Kotze, 18 Thabiso Msiza, 19 Ruben Schoeman, 20 Musa Mahlesa, 21 Albertus Pretorius, 22 Vuyani Maqina, 23 Nicholas Naude.
Referee: Vusi Msibi
Assistant referees: Local
NWU-Pukke v NMMU-Madibaz
(Fanie du Toit Sport Grounds, Kick-off: 19.00, 17.00 GMT)
Pukke have gone for a similar looking outfit from the opening round, making just one change to their starting XV. Jan Venter moves off the bench to start at flank in place of Marno Redelinghuys, who missing the match altogether.
Jaco Swanepoel fills the vacant spot on the bench while Nkululeko Mcuma is brought into the matchday squad in place of AK Nela.
For the Madibaz, Henry Brown comes off the bench to replace Lusanda Badiyana at flank while there are a few changes to the backline.
Athenkosi Mayinje gets a starting spot at wing with Jixie Molapo missing out. Thomas Kean moves off the bench to start at outside centre, replacing Siphumelele Msutwana and Khaya Malotana starts at wing, replacing Ivan-John du Preez.
Jayson Reinecke and Jordan Koekemoer fills void left by Brown and Kean on the bench while Daniel Voigt makes way for Nicolaas Oosthuizen.
NWU-Pukke: 15 Lungelo Gosa, 14 Jimmy Mpailane, 13 Elden Schoeman, 12 Hendrik Marais, 11 Tapiwa Mafura, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Jeandré Rudolph (captain), 7 Jan Venter, 6 Wandile Mazibuko, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 Dewald Dekker, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Rudolph van Deventer.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Nicolaas van Tonder, 18 Morné Strydom, 19 Jaco Swanepoel, 20 Marcel Henn, 21 Caleb Louw, 22 Nkululeko Mcuma, 23 Justin Newman.
NMMU-Madibaz: 15 Lindelwe Zungu, 14 Khaya Malotana, 13 Thomas Kean, 12 Somila Jho, 11 Athenkosi Mayinje, 10 Simon Bolze, 9 Lovu Claassen, 8 Kevin Kaba (captain), 7 Henry Brown, 6 Stephanus Nieuwoudt, 5 Gerrit Huisamen, 4 Wynand Grassmann, 3 Nicolas Roebeck, 2 JP Jamieson, 1 Xandre Vos.
Replacements: 16 Jedwin Harty, 17 Tembelihle Yase, 18 Janse Roux, 19 Jayson Reinecke, 20 Rouche Nel, 21 Jordan Koekemoer, 22 Luan Nieuwoudt, 23 Nicolaas Oosthuizen.
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Willie Vos
By Tauriq Ebrahim