Pace-setters eye home run
Johannesburg - Three teams remain unbeaten in the Varsity Cup and they will all be on home turf in Round Three on Monday.
NWU-Pukke lead the way after claiming bonus-point victories in both their matches, and they will host a Maties side that have just a single bonus point to show for their efforts so far this season.
The three-time champions are coming off a demoralising defeat to Cape rivals UCT in front of their home crowd in Stellenbosch and now face a tough follow-up assignment against the well-drilled NWU-Pukke outfit in Potchefstroom.
The victory over their old foes has given the Ikeys plenty of heart, but they will also have their work cut out for them when they travel to Port Elizabeth to try and win the Monte Taljaard trophy back from NMMU.
The Madibaz's dramatic victory over UJ last week has them sitting just one point adrift of log-leaders Pukke, so they will be confident of being able to keep the trophy for one more year.
Defending champions UP-Tuks are the only other team yet to lose a game this season, following up their draw against UJ with a ruthless demolition of Wits last week, but they face a somewhat trickier hurdle in the form of UFS-Shimlas this week.
UP-Tuks coach Pote Human has named an unchanged side from the combination that put Wits to the sword last week, but they should face a fiercer test from a UFS-Shimlas team that managed to score four tries despite going down to NWU-Pukke last week.
The early match will see UJ and Wits both looking for their first victory of the season in the Johannesburg derby.
Having drawn one match before losing the other in the final movement of the game, UJ will be looking for an emphatic performance to get their campaign up and running properly.
In the Varsity Shield former international coaches Peter de Villiers and John Mitchell will go head-to-head in the clash between UWC and UKZN in Bellville, whilst in Pretoria TUT and CUT will both be bidding to maintain their unbeaten records.
Mitchell's UKZN Impi are the only team that is yet to win a game this season, and De Villiers' UWC are coming off consecutive defeats themselves so it should be a hard-fought clash as both teams seek to avoid falling off the pace set by the likes of the TUT Vikings and CUT Ixias.