Maties will be looking to get the better of Pukke when they meet in the Varsity Cup final next week. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Maties and Pukke will battle it out for the Varsity Cup title for the second time in three years.

The final is to be played at the Danie Craven Stadium next Monday.

It’s sure to be a cracking contest between two former champions.

Unbeaten Maties bagged six wins and two draws - against Pukke and Wits during the round-robin phase, earning the Maroon Machine top place on the nine-team table.

Pukke ended second, UJ third and Wits fourth.

In the semi-finals last Monday the top two sides secured home field advantage.

Maties downed Wits 65-16 and Pukke cruised past UJ 60-31.

Now for the 11th final and tough to say who will prevail when you factor in that the contenders played to a 33-all draw in Potchefstroom.

Pukke will fancy their chances of going all the way again in their fourth-straight final appearance.

Playing away they beat Stellenbosch 7-6 in the 2016 final to claim a maiden triumph.

To have seen off the Maroon Machine in their backyard and in front of a packed house should ease the pressure second time round.

Maties no doubt will be seeking revenge.

It will be there eighth final and let’s not remind the men from the Winelands that they haven’t tasted success since completing a hat-trick of wins in 2010.

Their coach, Hawies Fourie, has been at the helm for three years now and will want to make it a winning hand.

“This is the third final in a row for us, and what a game it’s going to be,” Fourie said.

“The two best sides have qualified for the finale to what has been another successful event.

“Pukke have improved by the week and will come to us in a confident mood.

“But my boys are primed and ready to make a fist of it.

“It’s been a team effort from day one and our results speak for themselves.

“The forwards and backs have given everything for the cause.

“Now it’s about mopping up.”

It’s up front where Maties may hold all the aces.

The tight five have dished it out to opposing teams and expect them to muscle up in the scrums especially.

Then a backline with flyhalf Chris Smit playing a starring role.

He has impressed throughout the tournament with his distribution and kicks out of hand, and will again look to control proceedings. He is one to keep an eye out for in future.

Rightwing Duncan Saal is his side’s leading try scorer with 10, the most in the competition. 

Weekend Argus

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