Ikeys flank Luzuko Panya in last years clash against Pukke, could this be the decider again?
On day five Shimlas who had been smashed by UJ in the previous week in a six try rout, bounced back to cause an upset beating Tukkies. Maties made it 5 from 5 when they beat the hapless TUT with a too close for comfort five pointer. UJ went down to Pukke in a crucial fixture and UCT beat NMMU away to claim the Monte Taljaard Trophy and the second spot in the log
Shimlas vs Tuks (Shimla Park, Bloemfontein) 39-22
The Bloemfontein team showed they can play rugby when they beat Tuks by five tries to one – Tukkies have now lost two games in a row and are moving down the log, barely holding on to third spot. Shimlas move past UJ to fifth spot and are back in the running.
Shimlas play UCT and TUT away and have to take points from both games to get in the final four unles they want to rely on a competitor losing. Tukkies play UJ and Maties away – difficult fixtures, one win and a bit of luck should see them through though.
TUT vs Maties (TUT Stadium, Pretoria) 14-24
Like UCT, Maties had rung the changes with 11 new players in the side. The winless TUT made them work for their money, but Maties pulled through with a bonus point.
The next fixtures for Maties are: NMMU and TUKS at home. Maties are definite semi finalists and won’t make any mistakes in PE. Tuks produced an amazing fightback in Coetzenberg last year, so can’t be written off. TUT are playing Pukke and Shimlas at home, they will try and cause an upset and make sure they don’t end winless and go into relegation.
UJ vs Pukke (UJ Stadium, Johannesburg) 9-19
A crucial “decider” for both teams, UJ who had celebrated an emphatic win over Shimlas last week were on the way up and would have moved into semi final contention with a win. The game was open long into the second half, but Pukke kept their nerves and beat the Joburg side away with three tries to none.
UJ play Tuks at home and NMMU away and need points from both matches to be in contention – their clash with TUKS is crucial. Pukke play TUT away and should take points – their show down is with UCT in Potch with the Ikeys pushing for a home semi final.
NMMU vs UCT (Xerox NMMU Stadium, PE) 17-36
The windy city’s namesake dictated the game and UCT had to overcome a spirited fightback for a 19:14 half time score after being 19:0 up. Mike Passaportis was red carded the minute UCT got the wind behind their backs, but the Cape Town students held firm and pulled through for a five pointer.
NMMU play Maties away and UJ at home – they have a win in the bag against TUT and are much improved to last season, but unless they can upset UJ at home that will probably be all the points they can claim. UCT play the resurgent Shimlas at home with the Blue and White crowd a major advantage, but if they want a home semi final they need points away vs Pukke which is a tough ask. The good news, UCT are pretty much guaranteed a semi final spot unless they lose both matches by huge margins and Shimlas win both games with a bonus point.