KEVIN VAN DER LIST
Log leading Tuks have yet to disappoint their fans in this year’s Varsity Cup after last week’s unprecedented win against Pukke. The match ensured Tuks’ third consecutive win – a first in Tuks’ five-year Varsity Cup history. Tuks will want to display their dominance for the fourth time this season in a top of the log clash against Maties on 27 February. This will be Tuks’s second away game of the season and most likely their biggest challenge thus far, as Maties are currently in second place on the log and one point behind Tuks on 13 points. Both teams will be looking to avoid their first defeat of the season. Tuks have been forced to make one change to last week’s starting line-up due to injury. Grant Kemp will replace the injured Stephan Pretorius who is set to miss out on two weeks of action. Kemp’s return to the team comes after he was dropped from the side after the TUT match due to poor form. Tuks 1 coach Nollis Marais was quoted on the TuksRugby website as saying “[Kemp] may not be the strongest scrumming prop around, but he still brings a lot to the table with his experience and mobility.” Tuks 1 fly half, Wesley Dunlop, is under no illusion as to the magnitude of the clash. He said that the game will “be tough” especially as it is a home game for Maties. He emphasised that the key for Tuks is to pitch up with the right attitude. “It’s going to be tough, but we’re confident in each other and our game plan,” said Dunlop. Tuks will seek to employ much of the same tactics against Maties as they did against Pukke. Tuks’ goal kicking was exemplary and their defence held up strong for most of the game. “We’ve worked hard on our defence and our kicking game and being clinical in those areas of our game,” said Dunlop. Tuks 1 captain, Jono Ross maintains that his side has to peak at the right time as it is a long tournament.
Photo: Marius Veldhuyzen van Zanten