Old rivalries to spark Round Two of Varsity Cup
February 09, 2014
The second round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International will feature two classic rivalries which will both be televised live on Supersport.

The action will kick off on Monday night with the clash between FNB Maties and FNB UCT from the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch and will be followed by the showdown between FNB NWU-Pukke and FNB UFS-Shimlas in Potchefstroom, with both matches broadcast live on Supersport One.

The other two matches will see defending champions FNB UP-Tuks travel to Johannesburg to face last year's wooden spoonists FNB Wits, whilst just down the road FNB UJ will host the FNB NMMU Madibaz.

The Cape derby is always a memorable occasion, and with both teams losing heavily in their opening games last week there should be no lack of intensity in front of a packed crowd in Stellenbosch.

Although disappointed with his team's poor second-half performance against NWU-Pukke on the Green Mile last week, Ikey Tigers coach Kevin Musikanth knows there is still a long way to go in the competition and is keeping a positive mindset ahead of their trip to face the old enemy.

"Rugby competitions are not only about one game, much like boxing, it is not about the first round," he said.

Maties coach Chris Rossouw has made no excuses for his team's first-ever loss to the Madibaz last week, and he knows that expectations will be high as they look to bounce back in their first home game of the season.

It will be a completely different story in Potchefstroom, with both NWU-Pukke and UFS-Shimlas coming off impressive wins in the opening round.

NWU-Pukke's big win in Cape Town saw them take top spot on the standings, and they will be hoping to build on that in their first home game against their rivals from Bloemfontein.

UFS-Shimlas coach Michael Horak is expecting the home side to come hard at his team in an attempt to disrupt their free-flowing style.

"Pukke are a very physical side, they'll back themselves to target our breakdown and spoil our ball. We've got to look after our ball in order for us to set up multi-phase rugby and move around a little and hopefully score some tries," he said.

In Johannesburg the NMMU Madibaz will want to follow up their win against Maties last week with another big effort against a UJ outfit that held UP-Tuks to a fighting draw in Pretoria.

The Madibaz ran in six tries against Maties in Port Elizabeth, but their challenge is to show that they can be just as devastating on the road against a disciplined UJ team.

After being held to a draw at home last week, UP-Tuks will be out to prove a point and rack up a convincing win over Wits who are yet to win a Varsity Cup game.

Wits showed good fighting spirit to score three tries against UFS-Shimlas in Bloemfontein last week, but they were let down by a limp start to the match and coach Andy Royle knows they will have to fire from the first whistle if they are to challenge the defending champions.

In the Varsity Shield it will be a replay of last year's final as two-time champions FNB CUT host Peter de Villiers' FNB UWC.

The Bellville side slumped to a disappointing defeat to the FNB TUT Vikings at home last week so they will want to underline their title ambitions by bouncing back to beat the Ixias on their home turf.

The Vikings finished last in the Varsity Shield last year, and after a morale-boosting win in their first game last week they will take on the FNB Fort Hare Blues in Pretoria.

Both teams are coming off wins, with Fort Hare having beaten John Mitchell's FNB UKZN Impi in Durban, so confidence should be high on either side.

The FNB Varsity Young Guns tournament also kicks off on Monday with three matches in the Under-20 competition which will all mirror the senior Varsity Cup matches.

In Johannesburg Wits will host two-time champions UP-Tuks who are yet to lose a Young Guns game and UJ will face NMMU, with both matches being played as curtain-raisers to the Varsity Cup matches.

Things will be slightly different in Stellenbosch where the Steinhoff Maties Young Guns will take on the FNB UCT Trojans after the big derby between the senior teams at the Danie Craven Stadium.

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08:06 - Argentina vs Brazil
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08:30 - Samoa vs Scotland
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