FNB Varsity Cup
FNB Maties will have the chance to strengthen their log position while the FNB NWU Eagles will be desperate for any sort of victory when these teams clash on Monday night.
The Stellenbosch students have won four of their five fixtures and currently sit in second place on the FNB Varsity Cup log.
FNB Maties will go into the match against the Eagles – staged at the fortress-like Danie Craven Stadium – as favourites to win and strengthen their bid for a home-semi-final.
FNB NWU need a win to stay in the hunt for the playoffs. While they boast some talented players and have performed well in patches, they sit in seventh position on the table and have a paltry 13 log points to show for their efforts.
A big battle is expected at the set pieces. While the Eagles have the players to dominate at scrum-time, they have blown hot and cold over the course of the season.
FNB Maties have a strong lineout and maul, and have harnessed their strengths to devastating effect.
An equally fierce scrap is expected at the breakdown. The Eagles possess one of the most powerful back rows – and one of the tournament’s form players in No 8 André Fouché. FNB Maties will have their hands full at the rucks and collisions.
The game may well witness a clash of styles. FNB Maties are ranked second in the tournament for points scored (176). That attack will face off against an FNB NWU defence that has conceded the second-fewest points (119) in 2022.
Monday's match will kick off at 19:00 and be broadcast on SuperSport channel 211.
STATS & FACTS
FNB Maties have scored a four-try bonus point in each of their last four matches
FNB Maties have won 13 of the previous 17 FNB Varsity Cup matches between these two sides
FNB Maties have only lost five of their 63 FNB Varsity Cup matches at the Danie Craven Stadium
The FNB NWU Eagles have only beaten FNB Maties twice in this tournament (in 2008 and in the 2016 final)
FNB Maties – 15 Nevaldo Fleurs, 14 Marcqiewn Titus, 13 Waqar Solaan, 12 Taigh Schoor, 11 Sibabalwe Xamlashe, 10 Adriaan van der Bank (c), 9 Eduan Smit, 8 De Wet Marais, 7 Gift Dlamini, 6 Hendrik du Toit, 5 Matthew Gray, 4 Juan Beukes, 3 Matimu Manganyi, 2 Sean Swart, 1 Rhynardt Rijnsburger. Subs: 16 Francois Breytenbach, 17 Wian van Zyl, 18 Vernon Matongo, 19 Marco van Rhyn, 20 Siyabonga Matanda, 21 Mckyle Volmoer, 22 Jurie Matthee, 23 Mike Mavovana.
FNB NWU Eagles – 15 Heinrich Botha, 14 Keano Windvogel, 13 Tino Swanepoel, 12 Seita Phatudi, 11 Naiden Jaarts, 10 Nivan Petersen, 9 Riaan Genis, 8 André Fouché, 7 Heinz Bertram, 6 Chris Vermaak, 5 Ruben Dreyer, 4 Wihan Nel, 3 Sampie Swiegers (c), 2 Vernon Paulo, 1 Jason Jansen. Subs: 16 Chyle van Zyl, 17 Ruben du Plessis, 18 Ntobeko Shezi, 19 Marvelous Mashimbyi, 20 Gustav Erlank, 21 Sylvester Hassien, 22 Martin Venter, 23 Pienaar van Niekerk.