Preview: UWC v UFH

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 12:19
Large varsity shield trophy

VARSITY SHIELD FINAL: All indications are that UWC is the favourites to claim the title this year but they are up against UFH - the only team to have beaten them this season. Tauriq Ebrahim looks toward the final.

UFH claimed a nail-biting 32-31 victory in Round Two but will need to produce a better second half performance should they claim an unlikely victory this time around. The Alice-based students were kept scoreless in that second half, after heading into half-time with a 31-5 lead.

UFH coach Lumumba Currie stated that there was no room for complacency.

"We are not complacent at all. They had a good comeback in the second half in Alice and kept us scoreless. So we know that we have to try and up or game for this one. We have to perform better than what we did the last time we played.

"We are confident [going into the match] because we have always had a good run against them. When we played a double round, there was always an exchange of results. We are now heading into a final where we have to be up for the game," Currie told rugby365.com.

His counterpart, Chester Williams believes that his side can live up to their favourites tag and claim the trophy on their third attempt.

"We are not over-confident since we lost to them [in Round Two]. We believe we can beat them after learning to keep our structure and composure while not trying to play as individuals [during that game]. 

"I don't think we have more pressure, it will help us with confidence [being favourites]," Williams told rugby365.com.

While both coaches have been impressed by the way their sides have performed, both were in agreement that, in a Final, you have to play the type of game that will ensure victory.

"It's a Final and you can win by a single point to lift the trophy. No-one will want to know about the score at the end of the match but rather just see that you have won the Final. With that said, we will take points on offer as that will put pressure on the opposition," Williams added.

Prediction: Fort Hare will have the psychological edge over their hosts while they also boast the bigger pack, so the forward battle will be intriguing. Working against the Alice students is the fact that they have less experience, with just four of them having had a taste of playing at the UWC Stadium. UWC have been in the Final on two previous occasions but have come up short. There is also plenty of conversions going around that they are the clear favourites. The key to their success will once again be their backline, under the leadership of flyhalf Aidynn Cupido. With home ground advantage in their favour as well as more experience, UWC should claim the Shield title by about eight points.

Teams:

UWC: 15 Daniel Bock, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Michaine Fick, 12 Johannes Carstens, 11 Andre Manuel, 10 Aidynn Cupido, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Adrian Paarwater, 7 Shaine Orderson, 6 Dean van Tonder, 5 Curtley Thomas, 4 Brandon Valentyn, 3 Justin Theys, 2 Ralph Jansen, 1 Mzo Buthelezi.
Replacements: 16 Ismaeel Schroeder, 17 Nathan Cloete, 18 Matthew le Roux, 19 Alwyn Carstens, 20 Clayton Daniels, 21 Rodrick Moses, 22 Keagan Fortune, 23 Bradley Jumaats.

UFH: 15 Siphoxolo Zaula, 14 Zayne Farmers, 13 Xolela Daniels, 12 Somila Jho, 11 Wilfred Bowers, 10 Jeandre Christian, 9 Qhama Masiza, 8 Sibusiso Sityebi, 7 Thulani Njenje, 6 Zanoxolo Qwele, 5 Philisani Ncoko, 4 Athenkosi Makeleni, 3 Bulelani Mdodana, 2 Mkhonto Caku-caku, 1 Luxhanti Tame.
Replacements: 16 Litha Magocoba, 17 Asiphe Fanele, 18 Siphosethu Tsotsa, 19 Lukho Jongizulu, 20 Lindokuhle Kenene, 21 Luyolo Batshise, 22 Sibongile Novuka, 23 Sivuyile Mdishwa.

Referee: Paul Mente
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Hennie Daniller
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

By Tauriq Ebrahim
@Tauriq365
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
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 Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
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