FNB Varsity Cup
It’s do or die in the final round of the FNB Varsity Cup league stage with these Gauteng-based sides scrapping for the fourth semi-final spot.
FNB UP-Tuks have to win the fixture at the University of Johannesburg on Monday to secure a place in the FNB Varsity Cup playoffs.
Their chances of hosting a semi-final are slim – given that FNB UFS Shimlas (first on the log) and the FNB UCT Ikeys (second) are big favourites to win their respective matches. Destiny is still in their own hands, though, with regards to making the final four.
FNB UJ are in a very different position. They will leapfrog FNB UP-Tuks in the standings if they win on Monday. They will, however, need FNB Wits to deny the FNB NWU Eagles a four-try bonus point – and possibly a win – to nail down a fourth-place finish.
FNB UJ will improve their chances of qualifying if they claim a bonus-point win against FNB UP-Tuks. That may be easier said than done, though.
Nico Luus’ charges have blown hot and cold all season, yet they boast the best defensive record in the tournament. They’ve conceded just 153 points in eight games.
FNB UJ have some momentum, having put 50 points past FNB UWC last week. FNB UP-Tuks, as the stats suggest, will be harder to breach.
Jonathan Mokouena’s side showed that they have the ability to switch between a tactical and expansive approach. In the most recent match staged in Bellville, FNB UJ played a smart territory-based game, with flyhalf Jonathan Viljoen kicking them into good field positions.
FNB UJ will be under a lot more pressure at the set pieces this week. FNB UP-Tuks boast a powerful maul, as well as several destructive ball-carriers.
FNB UP-Tuks will be under pressure to convert more of their scoring chances into points. They rank fifth for points scored after eight games.
They will need to be more clinical this Monday if they hope to advance to the playoffs and defend their FNB Varsity Cup title.
FNB UJ vs FNB UP-Tuks (Monday, 17:00, UJ Stadium, SuperSport channel 211)
FNB UJ – 15 Shaun Baxter, 14 Likhaya Tengimfene, 13 Musa Tshabalala, 12 Indiphile Tyeda, 11 Ilunga Mukendi, 10 Jonathan Viljoen, 9 Mpho Khubeka, 8 Kelvin Kanenungo (co-c), 7 Brendon Pawson, 6 Johannes Terblanche (co-c), 5 Philip Apea-Adu, 4 Babalo Makana, 3 Chergin Fillies, 2 Darnell Osuagwu, 1 Kayden Kiewit. Subs: 16 Elisha Kwitonga, 17 Andrew Siminyu, 18 Nkosikhona Masuku, 19 Thomas Ongera, 20 Siyemukela Ndlovu, 21 Buhle Qaba, 22 Gerath Louw, 23 Rowan Malgas.
FNB UP-Tuks – 15 Clyde Lewis, 14 Kabelo Mokoena, 13 Zander Reynders, 12 Lincoln Daniels (c), 11 Tharquinn Manuel, 10 Walter Visser, 9 Bernard van der Linde, 8 Orateng Koikanyang, 7 Divan Venter, 6 Stephan Smit, 5 Roald Hattingh, 4 Mihlali Stamper, 3 Francois Klopper, 2 Werner Fourie, 1 André van der Merwe. Subs: 16 Allister Williams, 17 Henry Till, 18 Daniël Wessels, 19 Kabasele Nkombua, 20 Dian Schoonees, 21 Chad-Lee Valentine, 22 Stephan Coetzee, 23 Ambesa Zenzile.