Varsity Cup

All eyes on Varsity Cup final

2014-04-04 19:09
Varsity Cup (File)

Johannesburg - The 2014 Varsity Cup will be decided on Monday when Potchefstroom hosts its first-ever final.

Apart from the showdown between NWU-Pukke and UCT, the Koshuisrugby Championship final and the promotion/relegation battle between UJ and the UKZN Impi will also be decided at the Fanie du Toit sports grounds.

Coach Robert du Preez's NWU-Pukke side will be hunting their first title when they take on the Ikey Tigers, who lifted the trophy the last time they made the final back in 2011.

Both teams secured home semi-final victories, with NWU-Pukke edging the NMMU Madibaz in dramatic style and UCT taking care of their old rivals, the Maties, in the wind and rain on the Green Mile.

The hosts will have the psychological advantage of having beaten the Ikeys in Cape Town in the opening round, but coach Kevin Musikanth's team have yet to lose away from home this year so they can't be taken lightly.

Musikanth has made a major impact in his first season with UCT after two lean years since they won their only title in 2011. His counterpart, Du Preez, has made a big impression as well, with NWU-Pukke topping the table for the first time.

The teams have had a two-week break since their semi-final victories, but Musikanth said they had not changed much in terms of their preparation.

"As far as the result is concerned and the approach to the game, we have prepared in the same manner as we've always prepared.

"Ultimately, if we want to call ourselves Varsity Cup champions we need to have what it takes to go out to Potch and beat Pukke in their own backyard.

"Our team and coaching staff have a tremendous work ethic and we are going all in," he said.

The last available place in next year's Varsity Cup will be decided in the promotion/relegation play-off between John Mitchell's UKZN Impi and an embattled UJ outfit that finished in seventh position this season.

The Impi went down to the Central University of Technology's Ixias in the Varsity Shield final last week, with the Ixias securing their third title to move up to the Varsity Cup, but the Impi will have another crack at promotion in the first game at the Fanie du Toit sports grounds.

They face a UJ side who find themselves fighting for survival after a disappointing campaign that went downhill after their promising draw with defending champions UP-Tuks in their opening game.

The Koshuisrugby Championship final will feature two unbeaten teams as NWU-Pukke's Patria host Heimat from UFS in the curtain-raiser to the Varsity Cup final.

Read more on:    varsity cup  |  potchefstroom  |  rugby
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