Ixias looking for perfect season
March 29, 2013
The Ixias have played in every single Varsity Shield Final, winning the inaugural tournament and then going down to FNB Wits last year, but it is unchartered territory for their opponents UWC.

The Cape side have shown more consistency under the guidance of former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers this season, and his counterpart Skillie Bester knows that UWC will have nothing to lose in Bloemfontein in a match being televised live on Supersport One at 4.45pm.

"They have got nothing to lose, even if they lose the final they will say 'Ja but those guys [CUT] haven't lost' so the pressure is on us because even if we win it then people will say 'Ja but you were supposed to win it'," he explained.

While CUT may have earned the right to host the final, the memory of last year when Wits beat them in front of their home crowd is still fresh so they will be taking nothing for granted.

"As we all know a final is a final - it is a new game and everything up to now is out of the window so the pressure will be on both teams to perform," said Bester.

Although they have swept all before them this season, Bester still believes his team is capable of playing better and has been working hard on their defence ahead of the final.

"The defence is not where we want it, we don't want to give away tries which we have done throughout the whole season. In all our games we have given away one or two soft tries and we are working on the defence ahead of the final," he said.

De Villiers has named the same team that put FNB Fort Hare away in Bellville last week, and they will be out to prove that they can get the job done on the road.

It will be a battle between two unbeaten teams when FNB UP-Tuks face Steinhoff Maties in the Varsity Young Guns Final in Stellenbosch on Monday.

The same two teams contested the final in the inaugural Young Guns competition last year, with UP-Tuks coming away on top on home turf, but they will have to prove that they can do the business away from home this year if they want to retain their title.

The Pretoria side have never lost a Young Guns match, but their coach Paul Anthony knows that Maties will pose a stern test for them at the Danie Craven Stadium in a match being televised live on Supersport One at 7pm.

"Obviously it is going to be tough being away from home, that is a big challenge for us. Last year we played them as well but at home so this season we have to see if we can do it away from home," he said.

Although his team beat UCT 68-28 in their semifinal, Anthony was not happy with their standards and expects them to be far more accurate against a solid Maties outfit.

"I thought we were poor against UCT regardless of what the scoreline was. I hope we can be a lot more accurate because if we play like that then we won't win the final.

"The big thing for me is the fact that we are playing away from home, at Maties and it is massive for the boys which means that immediately they are focused," he said.

With five members of the Baby Bok squad set to tour Argentina in their match-day 23, UP-Tuks certainly have the firepower to continue their unbeaten run and take their second title, but it will not be handed to them.

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