CAPE TOWN – With just two rounds remaining in the 2019 Varsity Cup season, the latter stages of the round-robin phase is set for a thrilling conclusion.
Following the Central University of Technology’s historic triumph over Bloemfontein rivals the University of the Free State last week, the final two semi-final spots can go to any two of five teams.
Mathematically, Wits, the University of Cape Town, CUT, Shimlas and North-West University all stand a chance of reaching the final four.
Ixias and Ikeys are currently in fifth and sixth position on the standings after six rounds, with 14 and 13 points respectively.
CUT’s impressive victory against Shimlas gave them a fighting chance of making it to the semis. And while last week was also a massive one for Cup rookies the University of the Western Cape - who bagged their first win of their first season in the premier competition - their goal will be to avoid finishing bottom of the log, while their round eight opponents, Wits, will also want to move up on the table.
NWU, on the other hand, will be seeking redemption after their shock result against the University of Pretoria last week when they face CUT, while Tuks will look to conclude their round-robin efforts on a high before they go into their guaranteed semi-final match.
And their chances are looking good ahead of their fixture against UCT.
The Pretoria side have only lost one of their seven games - against none other than the reigning champions Stellenbosch University - and it was by just two points with a final score of 26-24.
For UCT, things are a little bit different. While it’s their last away game, they haven’t been too lucky on the road as they have lost all three of their matches away from home.
Their game against log-leaders Tuks will be a massive test, but it will certainly only add to what’s expected to be an exciting final-stage contest.
Round Eight fixtures:
4.45 pm - UP-Tuks vs UCT Ikeys, Tuks Rugby Stadium
7 pm - UFS-Shimlas vs Maties, Shimla Park
6.30 pm - CUT-Ixias vs NWU, CUT Rugby Stadium
6.30 pm- Wits vs UWC, Wits Rugby Stadium