Maties should get one over UJ

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:08
Large maties celebrate 2017 800

VARSITY CUP REACTION: Second-placed Maties have been in impeccable form and head into their final round match with only a home semi-final on the mind. Leezil Hendricks reports.

Tuks, UJ and Maties have already booked their semi-final spot but the locations of those play-off matches will only be determined after the final round on Monday.

Maties only need one log point to secure themselves a home semi-final, while ending on top of the log is completely out of their hands, the Maties head coach Hawes Fourie revealed to rugby365.com.

"I am satisfied with making the semi-finals. Now, we just need one point to qualify for a home semi-final, which will be an amazing gift to the Maties supporters and the Danie Craven faithful.

"However, we are not giving up hope for that top spot but the reality is, it is completely out our hands - we need NWU-Pukke to beat Tuks or at least prevent them from getting a bonus-point win," Fourie said.

Maties host UJ in the final round, and the Johannesburg side head into the match oozing with confidence after a five-game winning streak. The match between the two sides could be a preview for one semi-final fixture, depending on Monday's results.

"This is a huge game for both teams. Monday's results could see UJ end up on top the log and we might get them in the semis as well, so it’s important to get a win, not only for the home semi-final but to get one over UJ as well.

"We have to put in a big performance. Fortunately for us, we have the privilege of fielding a full-strength team," he added.  

Maties have been impressive in attack with the likes of Craig Barry and Edwill van der Merwe terrorising opposition's defence. Captain Barry's latest four tries made sure his side secure a comfortable 73-44 win over struggling CUT-Ixias in Bloemfontein.

The score could have been more flattering for the Cape side - which could have seen them go top of the log based on point difference - but within a space of seven minutes, they conceded three tries, which is a major concern for Fourie ahead of the UJ battle.

"We let in four tries [against CUT], and I was not happy about that.

"It is a risk if you chasing huge points difference because you not focusing on defence. Our goal was to win with 60 points and we were close.

"In the last quarter of the match, we were leading 73-23 and only had to score two tries instead we conceded three tries. I think the guys were also a little disappointed.

"Against UJ, we cannot afford to get distracted. You should prepare from today onwards with the correct mindset and think about what we want to achieve and just hope Pukke will pull it through.

“If they don’t, we still need to put in a big performance to make sure we secure the second spot on the log," he stated.

By Leezil Hendricks
@Leezil07
@rugby365.com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Blues 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Highlanders 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 06 May 2017
Zebre v Treviso 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
Scarlets v Ospreys 22h00 Parc y Scarlets
Munster v Connacht 22h00 Thomond Park
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Bristol v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Ashton Gate
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Wasps v Saracens 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Kingsholm
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh 22h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Rodney Parade
VARSITY CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool CUP
Team P W D L Pts
UP-Tuks 8 7 0 1 34
Maties 8 7 0 1 34
UJ 8 5 0 3 25
Shimlas 8 5 0 3 23
Wits 8 4 0 4 21
NWU-Pukke 8 4 0 4 19
NMMU-Madibaz 8 2 0 6 11
UCT-Ikeys 8 2 0 6 9
CUT-Ixias 8 0 0 8 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