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
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
VARSITY CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Maties 8 6 2 0 34
NWU-Pukke 8 6 1 1 33
UJ 8 5 1 2 27
Wits 8 4 1 3 25
Shimlas 8 5 0 3 24
UCT-Ikeys 8 4 0 4 21
UP-Tuks 8 2 1 5 15
CUT-Ixias 8 1 0 7 8
NMMU-Madibaz 8 0 0 8 4