Category Archives: VARSITY CUP RUGBY

Varsity Cup: Maties or Tuks, who will reign in 2013?

2011 Varsity Cup


The FNB-Steinhoff Varsity Cup 2013 comes to an end tonight with the top two teams playing in the final. Maties will host UP-Tuks at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch and it can be expected to be a cracker of a match between these two sides.  It will be a repeat of last year’s final that saw UP-Tuks win 29-21.

Maties has gone unbeaten during 2013 to reach the final and will look forward to ending the season on a high by claiming their 4th title since inception in 2008. Tuks on the other hand had to work to get to the final. They were also involved in yet another player eligibility debacle during the season that nearly saw some of the other teams refusing to play in the semi-finals.

These two teams have met 9 times since 2008 with Maties winning 5 and one draw being recorded. Maties has also won 4 out of 6 games played at the Danie Craven Stadium with the only draw between the teams at this stadium. The average winning margin between the teams is 11 points. Maties recorded the highest winning margin with 47 points. The history:

2008 Maties 31-31 Tuks – Danie Craven Stadium

2008 Tuks 44-47 Maties – Danie Craven Stadium – Semi-Final

2009 Maties 23-25 Tuks – Danie Craven Stadium

2009 Maties 38-14 Tuks – Danie Craven Stadium – Semi-Final

2010 Maties 64-17 Tuks – Danie Craven Stadium

2011 Tuks 27-13 Maties – Tuks Rugby Stadium

2012 Maties 23-22 Tuks – Danie Craven Stadium

2012 Tuks 29-21 Maties – LC de Villiers Stadium – Final

2013 Tuks 16-18 Maties – LC de Villers Stadium

Looking at the history between the two sides one will be hard pressed not to back Maties, especially since they are playing on their home ground. This is however as much a North v South derby as a game between WP and the Blue Bulls. Expect yet another tight game with the teams testing each other in every facet of the game. A thrilling final that could not have been scripted any better.

Prediction:  Maties to take it by 2-6.



Varsity Cup 11 March Review

Round 6 of the 2013 FNB Varsity Cup has deliver some riverting and exciting games. Three of the four games went to the wire with only Maties running away against Wits. Here is a look at what happened last night.

Pukke 39-36 NMMU

The early game of the day gave us a glimps of what was to follow later on in the evening. NMMU took control of the first half and the start of the second half scoring 4 tries and going into the break at 28-13. It looked for all money like they would win this game with ease. Pukke however came back and scored 3 quick converted tries to take the lead at 37-36. They then converted a late penalty to win 39-36. This puts Pukke in the top 4 above NMMU by e points with only one round to go.

Maties 48-21 Wits

Maties made easy work of Wits and secured themselves the top spot on the log even if they lose next weekend. Wits did hold their own during the first half but it was just a matter of time before Maties opened up a comanding lead. Not even a late consilation try by wits could secure them a point in this game as they scored only 3 tries.

UJ 29-34 Tukkies

This was probably the game of the evening. Tukkies took a comanding 26-8 halftime lead. The second half however belonged to UJ. They did most of the playing and 5 minutes from time they took the lead with an unconverted try. It looked like the game was theirs but Tukkies hit back with a 77 minuted converted try that handed them the game and second spot on the log. UJ is still only 3 points behind them and both teams knows a win next week is the only option if they want to play in the semi’s.

Shimlas 21-21 Ikeys

Both teams played their hearts out but just could get an advantage over the other. Both teams scored 2 converted and 1 unconverted try. This means Ikeys is still winless this season and out of the running. Shimlas still has a mathematical shot, but it will take a miracle to make it to the semi’s for them. They need to win and rely on other results. Not a position a team wants to be in.

Varsity Shield Results

CUT 50-20 UKZN
TUT 18-25 Fort hare

Scoring in Rugby: does Varisty Cup have the answer?

Over the last two seasons SARU implemented a new scoring system in the FNB Varsity Cup. A try is worth 5 points, a conversion 3, drop goals and penalties 2 points each. The reasoning was quite simple: “Let’s create running rugby.”

SARU and the Varsity Cup organizers sat down and came up with this scoring system. They feel that a converted try should be worth more than just having 3 penalties cancel it out. This way it will take 4 penalties to cancel a converted trie and 5 to surpass it. A dropgoal is seen as equal to a penalty. What it has also done is created the running rugby that everybody is looking for.

Yes we still have penalties that are given away, but the teams are now looking to go for the corner or call a scrum to setup an attacking position to run from. This is done instead of kicking at posts because a converted try gives you 6 points more than a penalty. Yes penalties are still kicked as that 2 points can put you head by more than a converted try. When a penalty advantage is played teams will no longer just attempt a drop as it is more beneficial to run the ball and go for the try. All in all it is making for more exciting rugby.

Is it not time for the guys in charge at the IRB to start looking at this? Or if they first want to test it at a high level than University rugby, maybe SANZAR or SARU at SupeRugby or Currie Cup level? A variation of the scoring that might suit provinsial teams better is as follows: Try = 5, Conversion = 3, Dropgoal = 3 and Penalty = 2. The reason I will look at 3 points for a dropgoal is that it is more difficult slot one than a penalty. Players are running at you and you are under more pressure.

The only draw back of a penalty being wortth only 2 points is that players will now commit more penalty offenses on defense in trying to stop a try. Plain and simple the penalty is not that huge. The positive is that more attention will be given to defense as well as attack. Defending and turning the ball over through a penalty will be as vital as scoring a try. A good point in reference is Maties or Stellenbosch university’s first 3 games this season. They didn’t play the best attacking rugby but their defense was brilliant. Through this they won all three close games.

I have always loved good running rugby but a good defense has also been a true art and beauty to me. In this format both are equally important and on display.

The only other thing that should be sorted out is the bonus point for tries scored. I still feel that the French in the French Top 14 has the ideal formula for this. To score an attacking bonus point for tries you have to score 3 more tries than your opposition. In fact it is a attacking and defense bonus point, as you have to score the tries and stop the opposition from scoring.

In the end we will probably never really get a foolproof formula to have attack and defense on a truly equal footing in rugby.


The Varsity Cup competition is heating up and the teams are jostling for a top 4 position and a place in the play-offs. Currently Maties are set at the top of the log. The next 5 teams on the log is separated by only 5 points and therefor still in the running for a semi-final spot.


NWU-Pukke v NMMU, Fanie du Toit Sports Ground – 4.45pm (Live on SuperSport One)


Pukke and NMMU are in 5th and 4th place respectively and this game will probably decide who stands the better chance of staying in touch with second and third place. NMMU has surprised many this season as they are suddenly a contender and do not stand back for the bigger teams. Pukke started off well, but in the last two weeks have slipped. This is looking like a do or die game for both teams and that might just mean that caution is thrown into the wind in the search for a win. A game that either side can therefor win.


Prediction: Pukke by 8


NWU-Pukke: 15 Hoffman Maritz, 14 SW Oosthuizen, 13 Sylvian Mahuza, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Justin Botha, 9 Tiaan Dorfling, 8 SJ Niemand, 7 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 6 Molotsi Bouwer, 5 Victor Kruger (captain), 4 Danie Jordaan, 3 Martin Dreyer, 2 JC Oberholzer, 1 Arno Ebersohn.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Mashudu Mafela, 18 Solly Sotsaka, 19 Robey Labuschagne, 20 Jaco Grobler, 21 Rowayne Beukman, 22 Wynand Olivier, 23 Herman Basson.


NMMU: 15 Jarred Buys, 14 Logan Basson, 13 Hermanus van Lill, 12 Xolani Mnisi, 11 Gerhardus Smith, 10 Justin Van Staden, 9 Dwayne Kelly, 8 Timothy Agaba, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Albertus de Swardt, 5 Mzwanale Zito, 4 Louis Fourie, 3 Gareth Hartley, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain).
Replacements: 16 Francois Coetzer, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Ferdinand Gerber, 19 Ulrich Pretorius, 20 Simphiwe Shabangu, 21 Devon Lailvaux, 22 Lesley-Dean Luiters, 23 Dexter Fahey.

Referee: Quinton Immelman


UJ v UP-Tuks, UJ Stadium – 7pm (Live on SuperSport One)


Second and third placed teams taking on each other.  The side winning here will secure second place and probably open up some daylight between them and the rest of the pack while also keeping in touch with 1st placed Maties. Both teams can play expansive rugby but will probably be more conservative and will first look to secure the win. Still it will be a good game to watch.


Prediction: Tukkies by 12


UP-Tuks: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Vainon Willis, 13 Piet Lindeque, 12 Handre Pollard, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Danie Faasen, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Mike Williams, 3 Basil Short, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Christoph Gouws, 18 Schalk Van Heerden, 19 Wesley Kotze, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Christopher Bosch, 22 Riaan Britz, 23 Sabelo Nhlapo.


Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge


Shimlas v Ikeys, Xerox Shimla Park – 7pm


Shimlas is still in with an outside chance of making it into the Semi’s depending on what happens in the first two games. Ikeys will be playing for pride more than anything else. Shimlas has had an up and down season that just doesn’t seem to get started. Ikeys on the other hand is firmly stuck in first gear and only have a draw to show for the season.


Prediction: Shimlas by 10


UFS-Shimlas: 15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Maphutha Dolo, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Stephan van der Merwe, 11 Divandre Strydom, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Erik le Roux, 7 Teboho Mohoje (captain), 6 Henco Venter, 5 JC Astle, 4 Fanie van der Walt, 3 Carl van Heerden, 2 Elandre Hugget, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 JC van Wyk, 17 Nick Schonert, 18 Lebo Zietsman, 19 Freddie Ngoza, 20 Hlanlha Hlongwane, 21 Sethu Tom, 22 Francois du Toit, 23 Luan de Bruin.


Ikeys: 15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Dylan Sage, 12 Liam Bax, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dillyn Leyds, 9 Liam Slatem (captain), 8 Joshua Katzen, 7 Jason Klaasen, 6 Derek Asbun, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Kyle Kriel, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Johannes de Klerk, 19 Bradley Bosman, 20 Rick Schroeder, 21 Paul Cohen, 22 Justin Coles, 23 Digby Webb.

Referee: Lusanda Jam


Wits v Maties, Wits Rugby Stadium – 7pm


Bottom of the log, Wits, host the log leaders, Maties. This is a no brainer when it comes to predictions and maties should take the 5 points from this game. Wits has shown some moments of brilliance, but it will take a lot more than just moments of brilliance to beat Maties. This will probably be a one sided affair with Maties running away with it.


Prediction: Maties by 24 or more.


Wits: 15 Michael Sephton-Poultney, 14 Jacques Erasmus, 13 Kayde Fisher, 12 Mandla Dube, 11 Riaan Arends, 10 Kyle Peyper, 9 Mathew Torrance, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 Rinus Bothma, 6 Carel Greef, 5 Charles Baggot, 4 Devin Montgomery (captain), 3 Phakamilu Zuma, 2 Katlego Kgame, 1 Ferdinand Kelly.
Replacements: 16 Rory Anderson, 17 Thato Mavundla, 18 Peter van Biljon, 19 Shai Korb, 20 Joshua Durbach, 21 Greg Blom, 22 Nkuli Gamede, 23 Hannes Ludik.


Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Clearance Khumalo, 13 Mark Hodgkiss, 12 Ryan Nell, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Andries Truter, 8 Reniel Hugo, 7 Helmut Lehmann (captain), 6 Beyers de Villers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Os Hamman, 2 Charl de Villiers, 1 Alister Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Brianton Boysen, 17 Hein van der Merwe, 18 Jurg Streicher, 19 Lungelo Chonco, 20 James Alexander, 21 JH Potgieter, 22 Dean Hammond, 23 Brendan Pitzer.

Referee: Lesego Legoete


FNB Varsity Shield fixtures – Monday, March 11

TUT v UFH, TUT Stadium – 7pm
CUT v UKZN, CUT Rugby Stadium – 7pm


Steinhoff Koshuisrugby championship fixtures – Monday, March 11

Steinhoff Villagers v Steinhoff Mopanie, Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds – 3pm
Steinhoff Vishuis v Steinhoff Cobras, Xerox Shimla Park – 4.45pm


FNB Varsity Young Guns fixtures – Monday, March 11

NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks, Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds – 3pm
UJ v UCT, UJ Stadium – 4.45pm
Wits v Shimlas, Wits Rugby Stadium – 4.45pm

Log before this week’s matches















FNB Maties













FNB UP-Tuks 1




















































FNB Shimlas


























FNB Wits












Varsity Cup Review 4 March 2013

2011 Varsity Cup

The fourth round of the Varsity Cup has been completed and it delivered some upsets of sorts. Going into the round Maties, Tuks< Pukke and UJ would have been the favourites to come out on top but this was not to be. NMMU and Shimlas delivered blows to UJ and Pukke in two reverting games.

Maties and Ikeys faced of first and it seemed like Maties would once again struggle to edge out a win. This has been the story of their 2013 season so far. Then came the 60th minute of the game and the Stellenbosch boytjies ran in 3 tries to beat Ikeys by 37-15 and score a vital bonus point.  This means that Maties are now firmly rooted to the top position on 23 points. Ikeys however are second to last with only 4 points on the log.

Tuks took new boys Wits to the cleaners as they ran in 52 points to 0 on the night. It must however be said that Wits would always be up against it as they faced a near Bulls u/20 side. Wits will remain rooted to the bottom of the log with 0 log points. The win saw Tuks move joined second with UJ on 16 points, 7 behind log leaders Maties.

The Madibas was responsible for the first upset of the night as they beat Uj by 20-13. The Johannesburg students had to play catch up rugby from the start and never lead the game. It was a hard thought battle but the Eastern Cape boys showed that they are no longer a team to right-off as an easy target. They have now moved into 4th place on the log and UJ dropped to 3rd. Only 1 point separates 2nd and 4th on the log.

Shimlas turned their season into the right direction as they romped home with a 38-18 win over Pukke. Shimlas had control throughout the game and never trailed. Pukke put up a valiant fight but midway through the second half it just wasn’t enough anymore. Not even a yellow card to the Shimlas fly-half, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, could help them in rescuing the game. Pukke did however score a late consolation try.

Other Results from the Varsity Competitions:

Varsity Shield
UWC 40-49 CUT
UKZN 10 – 9 TUT

Varsity Young Guns

Tuks 114-0 Wits

Maties 45-8 Ikeys

UJ 34-31 NMMU

Shimlas 34-31 Pukke


Koshuisrugby Championships

Ikeys’ Cobras 34-29 UJ’s Bastion

VARSITY CUP: Action Previewed 4 March 2013

2011 Varsity Cup


FNB UCT v FNB Maties, UCT Rugby Fields – 4.45pm (Live on Supersport One)

Ikeys might be at the bottom of the log trying to stay above Wits and relegation, yet they will not be an easy team to beat in this Cape Town derby. This is one of those games where both teams pitch up and neither will give an inch. Maties have been lucky so far this season as their captain admitted last week. Yes they have won, but only because of their strong defence and not so much because of their own attack. This will be the game to watch this afternoon and evening.

Prediction: Maties by 8.

UCT: 15 Ross Jones-Davies, 14 Dylan Sage, 13 David Ambunya, 12 Liam Bax, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Dillyn Leyds, 9 Liam Slatem (captain), 8 Bradley Bosman, 7 Ntsolo Setlaba, 6 Derek Asbun, 5 James Kilroe, 4 Kyle Kriel, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Johannes de Klerk, 19 Jason Klaasen, 20 Rick Schroeder, 21 Richard Stewart, 22 Paul Cohen, 23 Digby Webb.

Maties: 15 Craig Barry, 14 Clearance Khumalo, 13 Mark Hodgkiss, 12 Ryan Nell, 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Dean Grant, 9 James Alexander, 8 Helmut Lehmann (captain), 7 Lungelo Chonco, 6 Beyers de Villers, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Os Hamman, 2 Neethling Gericke, 1 Alister Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Charl de Villiers, 17 Hein van der Merwe, 18 Jurgen Streicher, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Andries Truter, 21 JH Potgieter, 22 JP Lewis, 23 Brendan Pitzer.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen

FNB UFS-Shimlas v FNB NWU-Pukke, Xerox Shimla Park – 7pm (Live on Supersport One)

Shimlas has not really performed this season in the Varsity Cup. Yes they have won agame or two, but then they are not the team of the early 2000’s. Pukke on the other hand want to challenge for a top 2 position and currently this is still within their grasp. This is probably the game to watch at 7pm. It might not bring the spark of the early game, but it will still be good to watch.

Prediction: Pukke by 12

UFS-Shimlas: 15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Maphutha Dolo, 13 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 12 Stephan van der Merwe, 11 Divandre Strydom, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Erik le Roux, 7 Teboho Mohoje (captain), 6 Henco Venter, 5 JC Astle, 4 Fanie van der Walt, 3 Carl van Heerden, 2 Elandre Hugget, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 JC van Wyk, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Lebo Zietsman, 19 Freddie Ngoza, 20 Hlanlha Hlongwane, 21 Sethu Tom, 22 Francois du Toit, 23 Luan de Bruin.

NWU-Pukke: 15 Hoffman Maritz, 14 SW Oosthuizen, 13 Sylvian Mahuza, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Gerhard Nortier, 9 Jaco Grobler, 8 SJ Niemand, 7 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 6 Phillip de Wet, 5 Victor Kruger (captain), 4 Danie Jordaan, 3 Herman Basson, 2 JC Oberholzer, 1 Martin Dreyer.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Arno Ebersohn, 18 Molotsi Bouwer, 19 HP Swart, 20 Tiaan Dorfling, 21 Justin Botha, 22 Rowayne Beukman, 23 Mashudu Mafela.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden

FNB UP-Tuks v FNB Wits, Tuks Rugby Stadium – 7pm

Well there is not much to say about this game. Tukkies are looking to retain 2nd position on the log and if possible take it away from Maties. Wits will try and get pass Ikeys but that will be a tall order against the defending champions.

Prediction: Tukkies by 24 minimum

UP-Tuks: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Vainon Willis, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Handre Pollard, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Danie Faasen, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Basil Short, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Andrew Beerwinkel, 18 Schalk Van Heerden, 19 Wesley Kotze, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Riaan Britz, 22 Piet Lindeque, 23 Stephan Pretorius.

Wits: 15 Riaan Arends, 14 Jeremiah Latana, 13 Kayde Fisher, 12 Jared Meyer, 11 Jacques Erasmus, 10 Kyle Peyper, 9 Mathew Torrance, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 Carel Greef, 6 Juan-Pierre Jonck, 5 Charles Baggot, 4 Devin Montgomery (captain), 3 Phakamilu Zuma, 2 Katlego Kgame, 1 Hannes Ludik.
Replacements: 16 Rory Anderson, 17 Thato Mavundla, 18 Peter van Biljon, 19 Shai Korb, 20 Joshua Durbach, 21 Greg Blom, 22 Michael Sephton-Poultney, 23 Ferdinand Kelly.

Referee: Jaco Kotze

FNB NMMU v FNB UJ, NMMU Stadium – 7pm

The Madibas will ber confident after their win last week over Shimlas. This might  just motivate them to greater hights and even a possible win at home overv UJ. NMMU has come a long way since the Varsity Cup competition has started. Maybe not a top 4 team yet, but they are getting there. UJ will look to win away from home and keep themselves in a semi-final spot.

Prediction: UJ by 8

NMMU: 15 Jarred Buys, 14 Gerhardus Smith, 13 Hermanus van Lill, 12 Xolani Mnisi, 11 Logan Basson, 10 Justin Van Staden, 9 Dwayne Kelly, 8 Timothy Agaba, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Albertus de Swardt, 5 Louis Fourie, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Lizo Gqoboka, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain).
Replacements: 16 Francois Coetzer, 17 Gareth Hartley, 18 Ferdinand Gerber, 19 Mzwanale Zito, 20 Lesley-Dean Luiters, 21 Lonwabo Ntleki, 22 Yamkela Ngam, 23 Dexter Fahey.

UJ: 15 Kobus De Kock, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Bradley Moolman, 12 Luan Steenkamp, 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Divan van Zyl, 9 Vian van der Watt, 8 RJ Liebenberg, 7 Justin Wheeler (captain), 6 Kobus Porter, 5 David Antonites, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Wiseman Kamanga.
Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Wessel du Rand, 18 Johan van der Hoogt, 19 Thilip Marole, 20 Jacques Pretorius, 21 Adriaan Vermeulen, 22 PJ Walters, 23 Njabulo Mkize.

Referee: Gerrie de Bruin

FNB Varsity Shield fixtures – Monday, March 4

FNB UWC v FNB CUT, UWC Sport Stadium – 7pm
FNB UKZN v FNB TUT, Peter Booysen Sports Park – 7pm

Steinhoff Koshuisrugby championship fixtures – Monday, March 4

Steinhoff Cobras v Steinhoff Bastion, UCT Rugby Fields – 3pm

FNB Varsity Young Guns fixtures – Monday, March 4

FNB Shimlas v FNB NWU-Pukke, Xerox Shimla Park – 4.45pm
FNB UP-Tuks v FNB Wits, Tuks Rugby Stadium – 4.45pm
FNB NMMU v FNB UJ, NMMU Stadium – 4.45pm
FNB UCT v Steinhoff Maties Jrs, UCT Rugby Fields – 7pm


What a weekend of rugby it has been, with enough games to tantalize us before the start of the Super Rugby competition here in the Southern Hemisphere. The weekend had its fair share of games worth watching and with an upset or two thrown in it didn’t disappoint. Here is a quick look at what happened.


Ireland v Wales

Wales v Ireland kicked off the weekend and the 2013 RBS Six Nations. The first half was dominated by Ireland and they had a 30-3 lead shortly after the break. O’Driscoll made life hard for the Welsh but the men in red fought back. Ireland’s discipline started to disintegrate and they were shown 2 yellow cards in the last 25 minutes. Wales came back into the game, but it was all a little to late. In the end Ireland managed a scrappy 30-22 win. Both teams will have to work hard before their next encounters against France and England.

England v Scotland

Scotland started of strongly and even had a lead at one stage during the first half. The English however knew that it was a matter of time before their class and superior ability would take them clean ahead. The English will be pleased with the 38-18 win. Scotland have improved tremendously since last season, but it is still a long road ahead.

Italy v France

Well before the game the French coach said that they wanted to avoid another Italy “Tsunami” like in 2010. When they were 13-3 down early in the first half he must have had doubts about this. two tries however had the French leading 15-13 by halftime. After the break they extended the lead to 18-13 and defeat seemed a bit further off. The Italians however never gave up and took the game to France. A converted try by Castrogiovani saw them take the lead and then a penalty sealed it for them. France tried their at most, but the Italian defence and discipline never wavered. A shock upset for most, but Italy is no longer the minnow nation they were a couple of years ago. They wont challenge for the title yet, but they sure as hell are able to challenge for 4th spot.


Bulls vs Lions

The Bulls fielded a young side and tested their combination in this game and saw it as a pre-season warm-up game. Still it was a game full of running rugby with youngsters like Jan Serfontein showing why they are ready for Super Rugby. The Lions would feel aggrieved by themselves as their discipline and handling cost them what could have been a 3 win in 3 games. And what momentum that would have given them going into next weeks game. The Bulls deserving 38-32 winners.


2012 Super Rugby season

Cheetahs 27-26 Stormers; Kings 29-13 Franchise XV; Hurricanes 27-26 Crusaders; Chiefs 36 – 14 Highlanders; Brumbies 20 – 18 Force; Reds 41-35 Blues; Waratahs 24-16 Rebels


Orlando Stadium in Soweto, South Africa.

Orlando Stadium in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 2013 rugby season is really starting to take off. The Lions Challenge is moving into its 3rd week and we have the RBS Six Nation as well as the FNB Varsity Cup starting this weekend. Throw in a couple of warm up games and the sevens and no rugby lover can complain this weekend. The big question is however what we can expect.


The Bulls will be hosting the Lions at the Orlando Stadium in Orlando West, Soweto, this Saturday with the kick-off at 15:00. In a sense it is a home game for both teams, but then again an away game for both teams. The Lions made some changes to their team, but in essence this should not hamper them much. Marnitz Boshoff comes in for Lionel Cronje, but it would probably be a 40 minutes for each player. This young Lions team can still impress

The Bulls have very little in known players on senior level but it is good to see them giving youngsters like Jan Serfontein a chance to play. The Bulls are never a team to write off and if you do, you do so at your own peril. Then again they will be missing big guns like Morne Steyn and Wynand Olivier.

This will be one of the must watch games this weekend. I’m backing the Lions to win by 5-10 only because they have played a couple of games together.


Well the RBS Six Nations will give us a couple of good games to watch this weekend. First up Wales vs Ireland. Not an easy game to call, but then no international should be. Wales have home advantage but they never looked like winning anything after April 2012. Ireland had a couple of good showings in the Year End Tours. This will be the game of the weekend with Ireland that should just edge Wales out by less than 7.

England vs Scotland is a no brainer. You have the favourites, England, against the potential wooden spooners, Scotland. England should win this game with ease by 14 or more. Should Scotland pull og a miraculous win they can hand over the trophy to them now.

Italy vs France. This game all depends on the mind-set that the French pitches up with. I have said this many times before and I will say it many times more: France can beat any team on any given Saturday, but they can also lose to any team on any given Saturday. They are their own worst enemies. Still they should be able to control the Italians. It will not be a runaway win, but France by 14.  A game that promises some good running rugby mixed with string scrumming.


Monday night see the start of the Varsity Cup and the fight about what to watch in most houses across South Africa. First up on Monday is 4 time champions, Maties, against UJ. This is always a good clash to watch. I’m giving it to Maties because it is a early season home game for them. Maties by 7-12.

Tuks, defending champions, travel to Potchefstroom to face Pukke. To good rugby teams that both have a lot of pride. Pukke should have this but by less than 5

UCT or Ikeys will host NMMU and this si a difficult game to call. UCT struggled last year, but they are one of the better teams in the competition. NMMU has improved over the last two seasons and are no longer a walk over. Still Ikeys should win by around 20.

Newcomers , Wits, will host Shimals. Shimlas should have this game, but they have never really showed their true worth in the Varsity Cup. This year however they don’t have the Club Champs to go to. Shimlas should have this by 14+ but don’t be fooled by Wits.

Dear IRB, Why do you have a TV Match Official?

The TMO in rugby in my view is under utilized and currently nothing more than a pretty (or sometimes not so pretty) decoration. The poor guy sits in a booth and watches rugby only to be called on when the referee and his assistant referees can’t make a call on a try. And then he can only rule on what happened behind the try line. “Try or no try” and “Give me a reason not to award the try” is pretty much the only choices he gets given. Not much of a job if you ask me. Then again he gets to watch rugby and gets paid for it. (Probably not much more than a car guard, but still.) Read the rest of this entry

Dave’s South African Dream Team 1979-2012

I have been watching rugby since I can remember and have been around for 33 years. This prompted me to look at my ultimate South African Rugby team or dream team. Below is the 15 players I would select with a short reason why I selected them. I would love your view on this team and your own dream team. Who knows if I get enough feedback I will post the 15 players you have selected.

Here is my team:

1. Os du Randt
He is the only South African to win 2 Rugby World Cups as a player. His nickname “Os” says it all. A strong scrummager with loads of talent. Probably the best prop to ever set foot on a South African rugby field.

2. Uli Schmidt
Growing up and playing at Hooker myself, I always wanted to be like Uli. A fearless rugby player that stood back for no one ona rugby field.

3. Toks vd Linde
Combine his ability and playing powers with Os du Randt and you would have the best front row in the world. One of only a couple of props that knows more than just how to scrum. The other is well, Os.

4. Bakkies Botha
The Enforcer. A hard no nonsense rugby player. At his prime he was one of the best locks in the world and with his lock partner, Victor Matfield they dominated any line out. True he had a tendency to get carded for the odd foul play, but he made sure the opposition kept in line.

5. Victor Matfield
What is there to say about the world’s best lock for the last decade or more. He partner with Bakkies to make an unbeatable pair in line outs. Add to that his ability to take the lead and also his open play and you will search far to find better.

6. Francois Pienaar (c)
Probably the best Captain the Springboks have had since readmission. John Smit will come a close second in my book. A brilliant flanker and a hard player. He led from the front and helped to unite a Nation.

7. Nick Mallet
Another brilliant loose player and although he was a Nr 8, he could have been an openside flanker as well. He led WP to 5 consecutive Currie Cup victories.

8. Tiaan Strauss
A hard playing Nr8 that was also a good captain. He represented WP, South Africa and Australia. One of only a few players to represent to countries in Test Rugby. He would bleed for his team and country.

9. Divan Serfontein
Many would probably feel Joost vd Westhuizen was a better scrum half. For me Divan was better as he got the ball out quickly and crisply to his backline. No tea parties and long conversations with the referee, just get in the ruck, get the ball and let it rip to your fly half.

10. Naas Botha
The best goal kicker South Africa has ever seen. Had it not been for sanctions he would probably have the record for the most points scored in a Springbok jersey and for all international players. A brilliant rugby mind that can read the game. Certainly a Commander in Chief on the rugby field.

11. Pieter Hendriks
Who will ever forget his try in the 1995 World Cup, running around the famed David Campese. Another player that I would rather have on my side than against me.

12. Helgaard Muller
The South African player with the most Currie Cup matches behind his name. And all of them for one team. Looking at him next to the field as manager and seeing his excitement I would definitely want him in my team. A player that plays his heart out every game.

13. Danie Gerber
Again a player that was hard done by due to sports sanctions. A brilliant centre that was as good on defence as on attack. He could cut through any line and would stop a tank if it was required. I can still see him side stepping in my mind.

14. James Small
The rebel of South African rugby in his day. One of the first players to receive a yellow card. Yet as quick as his temper was, that quick he was when running. Never stood back for any challenge that was put to him.

15. Gerbrand Grobler
He could well have become one of the greatest full backs in history had he been afforded the ability. Once again sanctions stop him from doing so. His death at a young age was not only a loss to his family and the the Northen Tramsvaal, but to South African rugby. His ability to attack from deep helped NTvL win many a game and kept the opposition honest.

Head Coach – Kitch Christie
The only coach since readmission to have a 100% record. A brilliant rugby mind that coach a team in the most trying of times. A sad day when cancer claimed his life.

Assistant Coach – Jake White
Jake is only but just second to Kitch. He had as difficult a role to play. Politics and in fighting in SARU made life nearly impossible for him. Yet he stuck to his guns and made sure South Africa won their second World Cup.

Analyst – Rassie Erasmus
Probably one of the best analyst of the game of rugby in South Africa. A progressive thinker. He already did his own analysis when he was still a player. To such an extend that his coach asked him to do the job for the Springboks.

Guys this is my dream team and yes there are some players that just didn’t make the cut for me, but are legends of their time or currently brilliant players. Let me know who you would want as your dream team and we can compile a dream team like no other.

Posted by Dave (@djvanman on twitter)

Posted by Dave (@djvanman on twitter)

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