VC, the five-horse race

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:38
Large craig berry  maties   800

VARSITY CUP REACTION: Despite his team magnificent performance, Maties head coach Hawies Fourie believes the route to the playoffs is still filled with unpredictability.

The Maties mentor is adamant the top spot can be snatch by any of the top five teams, even the sixth place Wits, who have a game in hand.

On Monday, Maties leapfrogged to first place after their bonus point 35-16 victory over the NMMU-Madibaz in Stellenbosch.

Maties were forced to dig deep in the second half to overturn Madibaz's 11-6 half-time lead, and thanks to hard grinding the home side came back to score four second-half tries to claim the comfortable victory in the end.

"With the extremely strong wind and difficult conditions, we really had a tough evening. We were forced to adapt in terms of our breakdown and in the second half we just came out with more intent.

"It was impossible to score but in the second half we use the wind and as soon as we got into [Madibaz's] 22 we used our opportunities.

"I am really happy with the five points and have to praise my side's attacking display," head coach Fourie revealed to rugby365.com.

The log leaders go up against the unpredictable UCT-Ikey Tigers on Monday, February 27 at the Green Mile Stadium. The rivalry between these two sides is nothing new, and the ever-changing nature of the 2017 Varsity Cup just adds more excitement to the Cape Town Derby. 

A loss for the men-in-maroon will possibly see them lose their grip on the top spot as only point difference separate them from second place Shimlas. 

"The Varsity Cup is a close race between five top teams, Wits still have a game in hand. Still, early days but I am happy to be top of the log does give the boys that extra confidence ahead of the UCT match.

"I know we will be facing a different UCT side, they have immensely improved since we played our pre-season game and have become good outfit. I am impressed with their defence, and it will be a good quality game.

"Furthermore playing at the Green Mile is always difficult with the wind, so with our preparation we have to take that into considerations," he added.

By Leezil Hendricks
@Leezil07
@Rugby365.com

 

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
NMMU-Madibaz v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
Sat, 01 April 2017
Blues v Force 04h15 Auckland
Chiefs v Bulls 06h35 Hamilton
Reds v Hurricanes 08h45 Suncorp Stadium
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h05 DHL Newlands
Zebre v Connacht 14h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Lions v Sharks 15h05 Ellis Park Stadium
Leinster v Wasps 15h15 Dublin
Munster v Toulouse 17h45 Limerick
VARSITY CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool CUP
Team P W D L Pts
UP-Tuks 7 6 0 1 29
Maties 7 6 0 1 29
UJ 7 5 0 2 25
Shimlas 8 5 0 3 23
NWU-Pukke 7 4 0 3 18
Wits 7 3 0 4 16
UCT-Ikeys 7 2 0 5 9
NMMU-Madibaz 7 1 0 6 6
CUT-Ixias 7 0 0 7 3
Pool SHIELD
Team P W D L Pts
UWC 6 5 0 1 27
Fort Hare 6 4 0 2 20
UKZN-Impi 6 4 0 2 20
WSU 6 3 0 3 14
CPUT 6 2 0 4 10
TUT 6 2 0 4 9
Rhodes 6 1 0 5 6