Varsity Cup semi-finalists confirmed

Louw Nel. PHOTO: Van Zyl Naude/Asem Engage

The North West University Eagles, UCT Ikeys, Maties and Shimlas are all through to the semi-finals of the Varsity Cup with one round to go.

The Ikeys thrashed UWC 91-9 in Bellville to advance, while in Bloemfontein the defending champions the Eagles were too good for a determined CUT Ixias with a 53-46 win.

It was s second week in a row where the Ixias showed a never-die attitude, but it was just not enough against the team from Potchefstroom.

The Maties in turn broke the Shimlas four-match unbeaten run with a 38-29 victory at Shimla Park which saw the latter drop to fourth on the log.

At one stage the Shimlas were well in control of the game, but the visitors from Stellenbosch did the basics better and in their 22m entries they made sure that they came away with points.

The Shimlas certainly had their chances but those final touches lacked, while they had a tough time in the scrums.

The product from Bloemfontein, Dewet Marais, proved to be a thorn in the side of the Shimlas with the 8th-man scoring a hat-trick of tries.

Kabamba Floors – Van Zyl Naude/Asem Engage

The Cheetahs legend and Maties coach Kabama Floors told OFM Sport that it’s all about playing winning rugby.

“We had a look at our visits to the 22 and our strike-rate there has been poor, so we focused more on controlling the pace of the game and the way we want to play, where we want to play and where we want to kick.

“We’re a structured team and people come to watch flair rugby, but with us it’s about sticking to our structures, breaking down the opponents and grinding out the wins.”

The most telling result on the night was UJ’s surprise 49-26 win against Wits in the Joburg derby. This result took the fifth placed Witsies out of the running and put a nine point gap between themselves and the Shimlas.

Next week the teams will enjoy a break for Easter before the final round-robin matches. The final round of games will determine which two teams will get to host the semi-finals and with just two points separating the top four teams, it’s certainly going to be game on.

Morgan Piek