CAPE TOWN – Varsity Cup history will always favour Stellenbosch University... except for tonight’s fixture.
Maties will play in their ninth Varsity Cup final - the most final appearances by a team in the competition’s history - and they’ll do so at home.
They have won the title four times (in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2018), with tonight’s fixture their fourth consecutive final. Add an “unbeaten this season” tag in there, and you’d have every reason to put your money on the defending champions.
The University of Pretoria, on the other hand, will play in their fifth Varsity Cup final, tying North-West University for the second-most final appearances. Tuks have won the title three times - and here’s where Maties’ favourites tag might lose some power...all three of Tuks’ final wins have been against Maties (2012, 2013 and 2017).
The two teams competed in a tightly-contested game in round three, with Maties lucky to come away with a 26-24 victory at Tuks Stadium.
While Maties captain Chris Massyn said they are keen to make it back-to-back title wins, he acknowledged the threat that Tuks’ set-piece poses.
“It’s business as usual for us. Last year was of course our biggest win and we’d love a back to back, who wouldn’t,” Massyn said. “Our main thing is to keep UP-Tuks at bay and give them as little room to move as possible.
Tuks captain, Marius Verwey, said they are hunting a clinical performance: “We need to be more clinical and stick to our processes,” Verwey said.
“The thousands of fans definitely have the biggest impact. But we aren’t worried because we usually do well when we travel to Stellenbosch.”