Pretoria - UP-Tuks and UFS-Shimlas both secured home semi-finals with big wins in Round Six of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International on Monday.
UFS-Shimlas beat defending champions UCT 44-24 in Bloemfontein to remain the only unbeaten side in the competition, and UP-Tuks handed Gauteng rivals UJ a 34-0 defeat in Johannesburg to maintain their place at the top of the standings.
Despite the top two sides having wrapped up home advantage in the play-offs already, with the four teams below them fighting for the two remaining places next week.
Three-time champions Maties came from behind to secure a 26-16 bonus-point home win against FNB NMMU to keep their play-off hopes very much alive with a clash against the winless CUT Ixias in Bloemfontein next week.
The vital five log points saw the Stellenbosch outfit move up to fifth place, one point ahead of UJ who will need a few results to go their way next week if they are to sneak into the knock-out phase of the competition.
UJ were humbled in front of their home crowd by a powerful UP-Tuks outfit who shut them out to show how tough they will be to stop at the business-end of the competition.
Another team that will be riding high is UFS-Shimlas whose convincing seven-try win against the Ikeys means that they are still only second to UP-Tuks on points difference ahead of their mouth-watering clash with NWU-Pukke next week.
The Potchefstroom outfit handed newcomers CUT a 53-16 defeat in Bloemfontein to move up to third place just one log point ahead of fourth-placed UCT who will slug it out with UJ on the Green Mile in Cape Town next week.
In the Varsity Shield Wits secured a home final with a 40-26 victory over UKZN in Johannesburg, while UWC kept their slim hopes alive with a big 66-10 win against TUT in Bellville.
Varsity Young Guns champions UFS handed UP-Tuks their first-ever defeat in the history of the competition in what was a replay of last years' final, while NMMU kept their winning run going by beating the Junior Maties in Stellenbosch and UJ cruised to a comfortable win against their counterparts from CUT who remain winless.
Three-time Steinhoff Koshuisrugby champions Steinhoff Vishuis secured their place in another final with a win against Steinhoff Bastion who must beat Steinhoff Mopanie convincingly in the final round to sneak into the final while there was also a big win for Steinhoff Medies who overpowered NMMU's Steinhoff Stallions in Stellenbosch.