FNB UCT will have their hands full on Saturday afternoon when they welcome Durbell to Groote Schuur in Western Province Super League action.
It is yet another crucial league fixture for the Varsity Cup champions who cannot afford to lose any of their last three fixtures.
In fact, the Ikeys need to claim two bonus points – along with three wins – as they look to claim a first-ever Super League (or Grand Challenge) title since 1974.
Ikeys head coach Kevin Foote has retained the same backline that did duty against Helderberg last weekend – winning 43-3 – but he has made two adjustments up front.
Ntsolo Setlaba, a new face in Ikeys colours this year, takes over from Zandy Macdonald in the No.7 jersey, whilst Pallo Manuel is back from Currie Cup First Division action – with Boland – to take his place in the No.4 shirt.
Manuel will partner Brad Bosman in the second row, with James Kilroe returning from injury to take his place on the bench.
Hooker Dayne Jans is also back from a slight niggle to take his place amongst the replacements, but the return of provincial backs Tiger Bax and Paul Cohen – via the bench – is a major boost for the title-chasing UCT outfit.
“We managed to beat Durbell last time out, so I have no doubt they will be hungry to avenge that loss,” said Ikeys coach Foote to varsitycup.co.za.
“They’re a physical team and, of late certainly, seem to always give the Maties a tough time. In fact, they very nearly put one over Maties in Stellenbosch last week, so we’re very wary of the danger they pose.”
Speaking about the return of Bax – from injury – and Cohen (pictured) - from WP Under-21 duty – Foote added: “It’s always great to welcome back quality players like Tiger and Paul.
“But we’ve been very lucky this year that players have stepped in whenever they’ve needed to. It’s taken us this far and I’ve got absolute faith in any player that pulls on a UCT jersey.”
The FNB UCT team: 15 Ricky Rijs, 14 Richard Stewart, 13 Therlow Pietersen, 12 André Coetzer, 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Nick Farrar, 8 Greg Mallett, 7 Ntsolo Setlaba, 6 Don Armand (captain), 5 Brad Bosman, 4 Pallo Manuel, 3 Shane Meier, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Dayne Jans, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 James Kilroe, 19 Zandy Macdonald, 20 Steve Wallace, 21 Tiger Bax, 22 Paul Cohen.
The WP Super League log:
(Played, won, points)
1. FNB Maties 18, 14, 69
2. Hamilton’s 17, 12, 61
3. FNB UCT 15, 12, 56
4. Durbanville-Belville 16, 9, 49
5. SK-Walmers 15, 9, 44
6. Victorians 16, 7, 43
7. False Bay 15, 8, 39
8. Villager’s 16, 5, 22
9. Belhar 16, 3, 18
10. Helderberg 16, 0, 5