Top of the log showdown

Monday’s 8.30pm kick-off between FNB Maties and FNB UCT is a top of the log encounter between the top two teams in the 2010 Varsity Cup. It is also a top of the log encounter between the best two sides in the history of this tournament.

The Men in Maroon, as back-to-back Varsity Cup champions, are the undisputed Kings of the Tournament, but a closer look at the logs over the years paints a slightly different picture – things are, in fact, a lot closer between the two Western Cape sides.

The Ikeys topped the standings in 2008, the Maties ended first in 2009 and, at present, Stellenbosch (in first place) have a six-point lead over second-placed UCT with two rounds of action remaining.

Overall, however, after 19 Varsity Cup matches by all teams in the competition, the Maties lead UCT by just three log points. Both sides have won 15 matches, lost three and drawn one since the advent of this tournament in February 2008.

The Maties, on the combined log, have 78 points, followed by UCT on 75. (Pukke (62) are next best in third position, followed by Tukkies (56), UJ (47), Shimlas (44), TUT (13) and NMMU (10).)

In Varsity Cup games between the Maties and UCT, the defending champions hold a 2-1 advantage, having won the 2008 final in Stellenbosch and last season’s league match in Cape Town. UCT won the opening Varsity Cup encounter between these sides in George.

That inaugural final, which the Maties won 16-10 in the final move thanks to a Morné Jooste try, has produced the biggest winning margin between these two sides – six points – with UCT winning 38-34 in George in 2008 and the Maties 12-10 at Groote Schuur in 2009.

The only difference between the Maties and the Ikeys at present is in the bonus points column where the Men in Maroon have picked up 16 bonus points, compared to UCT’s 13.

Both sides scored seven bonus points in 2008, UCT edged Stellenbosch 5-4 in the bonus point count in 2009, but this year the Maties are well ahead with a full-house of five four-try bonus points, compared with UCT’s one.

Given the incredible Varsity Cup history between these two sides, don’t expect Monday’s Round Six match-up to turn out any differently (kick-off 8.30pm – live on SuperSport One).

It will be close, that’s a given, but more than that we certainly cannot say… Let’s see on Monday shall we?

The combined Varsity Cup log (2008-present):

(Under Played, Won, Lost, Drawn, Bonus Points – Total Points)

1. Maties 19, 15, 3, 1, 16 – 78

2. UCT 19, 15, 3, 1, 13 – 75

3. Pukke 19, 13, 6, 10 – 62

4. Tukkies 19, 10, 7, 2, 12 – 56

5. UJ 19, 9, 9, 1, 9 – 47

6. Shimlas 19, 8, 10, 1, 10 – 44

7. TUT 19, 2, 17, 0, 5 – 13

8. NMMU 19, 1, 18, 0, 6 – 10

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