PRETORIA – Maties will be looking at continuing their perfect start to the Varsity Cup when they host the CUT tonight.
The team from Stellenbosch have made their intentions clear from the onset and have made easing pickings of UJ, Shimlas and Tuks who they beat with relative ease in the past three weeks.
While Maties and CUT find themselves on opposite ends of the log, the result of this encounter will not be a foregone conclusion if CUT coach Tiaan Liebenberg has anything to do with it.
Liebenberg acknowledges that Maties are the better team on paper, results and their physical attributes but his team won’t be going to Stellenbosch to be lambs to the slaughter.
CUT would have taken a lot of heart from their narrow and morale boosting 38-37 win against the Madibaz last week and the men from Bloemfontein will be looking for their second win in just as many weeks.
“I think Maties have an unbelievable counter attack and a very strong set piece. We were looking at their scrum and they have forty kilograms on us.
“But rugby is a funny game, it’s not about size it’s about heart. We’ll plan and see where we can counter them, but at the end of the day, it’s about guts and heart.
“There’s not a lot of weakness in that side,” Liebenberg told www.varsitycup.co.za.
The competition’s fairytale boys Wits will be looking at getting their campaign back on track when they travel to Port Elizabeth to face the winless Madibaz.
Wits began the season with a bang and after claiming the scalps of UCT Ikeys and the defending champions Tuks, they suffered a surprising defeat at the hands of Shimlas last week.
But Wits are refusing to wallow in their campaign suffering a minor bump in the road and coach Hugo Van As is expecting his side to return to winning ways against a side that has lost both of their matches so far.
“The loss against Shimlas was disappointing. But the team understands we are part of this process and it’s our first loss of 2018. But we don’t need motivation, the team is self-driven and understand that it’s a long campaign and that we need to pick ourselves up and execute better and perform better on the day,” said Van As.
In another enthralling encounter Ikeys will host Shimlas with the Cape Town side seeking their third consecutive win of the season after losing only one of their three games thus far.
But this could prove to be the toughest assignment for both sides as Shimlas finds themselves in the same scenario as their adversaries and they, too, will seek to claim victory and third spot on the log.
The last game of the day will be a mid-table scrap between Pukke and UJ in Potchefstroom with the hosts still at pains to get over their shock defeat to Ikeys last week.
Having played two matches each, UJ are just a point behind fifth-placed Pukke and a win away from home will catapult them closer to staying in touch with the teams looking to be in semi-final contention come the business end of the competition.