All to play for in Varsity Cup
March 15, 2013
Every single team will have something to play for in the final round of the league phase of the 2013 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International on Monday.

Whilst the unbeaten FNB Maties have already assured themselves top spot on the standings, they will be gunning for another bonus-point victory to equal their own record for log points in a season, which they set back in 2010 when they last lifted the trophy.

The five teams directly below them will all be involved in an intense battle for the last three semifinal spots, with even the sixth-placed FNB UFS-Shimlas in with a shout of progressing to the play-offs if the right results go their way.

The Free State side will certainly have to earn their spot when they travel to Johannesburg to take on FNB UJ who will be focused on bouncing back from their narrow loss to UP-Tuks to give themselves the best chance of hosting a semifinal.

In Port Elizabeth the FNB NMMU Madibaz will be aiming to qualify for their first-ever semifinal when they take on UP-Tuks. The Eastern Cape side has claimed some big scalps this season, and they will have to dig deep once more against the powerful defending champions who will be intent on securing home advantage in the semifinals.

Maties will have their sights set on continuing their unbeaten run this season when they face a hungry NWU-Pukke side in Stellenbosch. NWU-Pukke's late win against NMMU last week gave them a big boost, but they will still have to work hard to secure a place in the play-offs with three teams breathing down their neck.

The battle at the bottom of the table should be just as hard-fought as the two teams yet to record a victory this season - FNB UCT and FNB Wits - slug it out on the Green Mile in Cape Town as they seek to avoid claiming the wooden spoon.

The Ikeys have had a tough time this season, drawing two of their matches and suffering a couple of close losses, and they will be up against a Wits team with nothing to lose at the end of a hard debut season which has seen them learn a number of valuable lessons.

In the Varsity Shield log-leaders FNB CUT will have the tough task of protecting their unbeaten status in the competition against Fort Hare who are sure to be boosted by their passionate fans in Alice.

Fort Hare closed the gap between themselves and FNB UKZN with a late win over the TUT Vikings in Pretoria last week, and they will be monitoring the results of the match between the UKZN Impi and FNB UWC with interest.

Peter de Villiers' UWC side travel to Pietermaritzburg knowing that they could move up to second place on the standings if they manage to secure their first away win of the season, whilst UKZN will be keen to take a step closer to their first-ever final.

The Varsity Young Guns competition will see just one match on Monday, with UJ looking to knock the unbeaten Maties off their perch in Stellenbosch.

The Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship will be in full swing with four fixtures which are set to reveal who the real contenders are this season.

In the Penny Pinchers pool defending champions Steinhoff Vishuis from UFS-Shimlas travel up to Johannesburg to take on their closest challengers Steinhoff Bastion, whilst the Cobras from UCT will be eyeing a big victory over Steinhoff Commerce from Wits in front of their home crowd.

In the Hertz pool Maties outfit Steinhoff Medies host Villagers from NWU-Pukke in a curtain-raiser to the Varsity Cup game at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch, and Steinhoff Northernz will be looking to get off the mark when they host Mopanie from UP-Tuks.