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Rugby | Varsity Cup

Varsity Shield kicks on

Following a thrilling opening round on Monday, the FNB Varsity Shield presented by Steinhoff International cracks on with the second round of fixtures on Thursday.

FNB UWC's dominant second-half performance against the FNB TUT Vikings in Bellville sees them making the early running with a full house of five log points to show for their efforts, but Peter de Villiers' side will have to produce another polished display if they are to back that up with another victory over the FNB CUT Ixias in Bloemfontein.

The Ixias have played in both Varsity Shield finals since the competition started in 2011, and they will be intent on starting their 2013 season with a bang when they take on the Cape outfit in front of their home crowd on Thursday.

The 2011 champions have a new coach in Skillie Bester, but he is no stranger to the set-up having managed the team in their previous two campaigns, and he has set his sights on building on the solid platform laid by the previous coaching staff.

"I hope we can continue because the previous two coaches did a good job - we have played in two finals and won it once and lost it once.

"So we will try and keep the good work up. I have been part of the whole set-up from the start - I am just changing jobs, maybe this one is easier than the previous one," he said.

Former Varsity Cup side the TUT Vikings will be desperate to bounce back after conceding five tries after half-time against UWC in Bellville on Monday, and they will have the benefit of playing in front of their home crowd when they square up to the FNB UKZN Impi.

The Impi secured their first victory in the competition since 2011 when they overcame FNB Fort Hare in a wet Pietermaritzburg on Monday, and they will have their sights set on making it two wins from two when they travel to Pretoria to face the Vikings.

TUT coach Andre Eloff has named the same starting line-up that did duty against UWC, and they will be aware that they cannot afford to lose any home games if they want to stay in touch with the top sides in the competition, so expect some sparks to fly in Pretoria.


FNB Varsity Shield fixtures - Thursday, January 31:

FNB CUT v FNB UWC, CUT Rugby Stadium - 7pm

FNB TUT v FNB UKZN, TUT Stadium - 7pm



FNB CUT: 15 Kholo Ramashala, 14 Alec Mhlanga, 13 Johan Van Schalkwyk, 12 Leon Pretorius, 11 Meyer Van Tonder, 10 Noël Marx, 9 Inus Kritzinger (captain), 8 Juan Hugo, 7 Frans Sisita, 6 Moekoa Bolofo, 5 Andrew Bester, 4 Johan Klopper, 3 Petri Coetzee, 2 Deon Gouws, 1 Carl Gersbach.                          
Replacements: 16 Anrich Bitzi, 17 Francois Bender, 18 Levette Shikwambana, 19 JJ Nel, 20 Christoff Swanepoel, 21 Dean Kauprihanoff, 22 Nhlanganiso Sibanda, 23 Danie van der Merwe.

FNB UWC: 15 Quade Langeveld, 14 Godlen Masimla, 13 Kenwin Weiner, 12 Yondela Stampu, 11 Donovan Williams, 10 Charl Van Vollenhoven, 9 Fredderick Muller, 8 Njabulo Ndlovu, 7 Juan-Paul Kellerman, 6 Jose Julies, 5 Pallo Manuel, 4 Methetheleli Fuzani, 3 Kelvin de Bruyn, 2 Charlton van Jaarsveld (captain), 1 Michael September.
Replacements: 16 Michael Mkhize, 17 Siphiwokuhle Bakeni, 18 Sebenza Maphumulo, 19 Samuel Borsah, 20 Denzel Willemse, 21 Lubabalo Faleni, 22 Tsepo Manaka, 23 Brent Fisher.

Referee: Jaco Kotze

FNB TUT: 15 Paul Walters, 14 Thabo Mangena, 13 Zandre De Bruin, 12 Oswald Gibson, 11 Fanie Raseroka, 10 Morne Hugo, 9 Nico Smuts, 8 Barend Nordeje, 7 Tinus Van Wyk (captain), 6 Mandla Mdaka, 5 Gareth Bredenhann, 4 Isak Deetlefs, 3 Dylan Middleditch, 2 Adriaan Joubert, 1 Gerrit Van Gerwe.
Replacements: 16 Dawid Roux, 17 Ricardo Burger, 18 Armand Marshall, 19 Welile Ntozakhe, 20 Johannes Venter, 21 Anele Magubane, 22 Siyabulela Mbuqe, 23 Xander Grobler.

FNB UKZN: 15 Jeandre Small, 14 Jaco Potgieter, 13 Hendrik Lategan, 12 Garath Meikle, 11 Mondli Ntshingila, 10 Heinrich Meyer, 9 Zander Engelbrecht, 8 Andre Greyvenstein, 7 Calvin Ngcungama, 6 Njabulo Zondi, 5 Gerrit Fourie, 4 Corne Nieuwenhuizen, 3 Sizwe Khubeka, 2 Senzo Ngubane, 1 Luciando Santos.     
Replacements: 16 Richard Sakhile, 17 Leon Mulder, 18 Hendrik Groenewald, 19 Sanele Malwane, 20 Siyanda Madlala, 21 Ngcebo Phungula, 22 Yandisa Mdolomba , 23 Sanele Mweli.

Referee: Gerrie de Bruin


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