Ikeys are ready for ‘Final’
Varsity Shield runner ups CUT will be tough opponents for UCT at 2.30 on Monday. CUT just twelve months ago came ever so close to beating FNB TUT in the first-ever promotion/relegation game; TUT having saved themselves with a last-gasp try in extra-time.
The Ikeys watched that match in Pretoria last year, before going on to play the home side, FNB UP-Tuks, in a memorable final just a few minutes later.
Things could not be more different for the Men in Blue & White.
"It's a massive challenge for us, but a challenge of a different sort," admitted UCT coach Kevin Foote.
"Some of the guys were involved in last year's final, so it will be weird for them to be preparing for the 2.30pm match instead of the final.
"But," he added, "that's the challenge and we need to dig deep to ensure that we stay in the Varsity Cup."
Eight players from last year's final-winning 23-man squad are back for UCT for Monday's clash – most notably Vodacom Cup star Don Armand who will wear the No.7 jersey; forming a loose trio with captain Ntsolo Setlaba (No.6) and young pup Rayn Smid (No.8).
In the backline the likes of Adrian Kritzinger and Tiger Bax will give UCT plenty of experience and guile from the midfield, whilst the dangerous Dillyn Leyds will provide some attacking thrust from fullback.
"The guys have trained well this week," said Foote. "I thought it would be tough to fire them up, but they're determined to end the season on a high and, of course, there's also plenty to play for with the WP Super League just around the corner too."
Kick off: 2.30 at Tuks Stadium – the match will be live on Super Sport 1.
FNB CUT: 15 Noel Marx, 14 Alec Mhlanga, 13 Maphelo Mpondo, 12 Leon Pretorius, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Jannie Myburgh, 9 Inus Kritzinger (captain), 8 Juan Hugo, 7 Moekoa Bolofo, 6 Francois Harvey, 5 Gavin Annandale (vice-captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Petri Coetzee, 2 Baksteen van Heerden, 1 Rudi Britz.
Replacements: 16 Deon Gouws, 17 Rudie Fuls, 18 Darius Viljoen, 19 Shaun McGeer, 20 Nico Steenkamp, 21 Gerrit Smith, 22 Russel van Wyk, 23 Danie van der Merwe.
FNB UCT: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 Adrian Kritzinger, 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Rayn Smid, 7 Don Armand, 6 Ntsolo Setlaba (captain), 5 Levi Odendaal, 4 Brad Bosman, 3 Francois van Wyk, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Dayne Jans, 17 Digby Webb, 18 James Kilroe, 19 James Tatham, 20 Rick Schroeder, 21 Michael Morris, 22 Richard Stewart, 23 Mini Bhengu.
Date: Monday, April 9
Venue: Tuks Rugby Stadium, Pretoria
Kick-off: 2.30pm (Live on SuperSport One)
Referee: Lesego 'Pro' Legoete
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