Varsity Cup 2018: Round 8 Preview

Two players tackling a player

The penultimate set of  2018 Varsity Cup round-robin fixtures take place on Monday the 19th of March. 

The Varsity Cup enters its playoff phase with the penultimate set of round-robin fixtures set to go down this Monday. With the battle for the final three semi-final berths could lose a few participants this week as a few of the top six positioned sides set to lock horns, including Wits and NWU.

CUT v UCT Ikeys
CUT Rugby Stadium

16:45

To Win (80 Mins)
CUT 15/2
Draw 33/1
Ikeys 1/20
Handicap
CUT 17/20 (+25.5)
Ikeys 17/20 (-25.5)


We kick the day's proceedings off with a clash between the eighth-placed CUT and fifth-placed Ikeys. The hosts head into this one off the back of a 26-54 home loss to the previously winless Tukkies, while the visitors enjoyed a bye week.

The last two clashes between the sides have seen 6-24 in favour of Ikeys, while 2017 saw Ikeys rack up another victory as they ran out 21-12 victors at the 'Green Mile'

Verdict: Ikeys 17/20 (-25.5)
A bonus point victory for the Cape-based side would keep them in the hunt for a semi-final berth headed into next week's final round-robin phase. As such, they will be determined to rack up as many tries as possible.   

Shimlas v Madibaz
Shimla Park
18:30


To Win (80 Mins)
Shimlas 1/10
Draw 28/1
Madibaz 11/2

Handicap
Shimlas 
17/20  (-18.5)
Madibaz 17/20 (+18.5)

Our next fixture sees the fifth-placed Shimlas take on the ninth-placed Madbibaz. The hosts simply have to bag the maximum amount of points here if they are to have any chance of claiming a semi-final berth. The hosts have a completely different goal to attain; trying to avoid this year's wooden spoon.

The Shimlas head into this one off the back of second defeat on the trot, as they went down 56-21 to a rampant Pukke outfit. The Madibaz have endured a longer baron spell, however, and are yet to win a game this season.

Verdict: Shimlas 17/20 (-18.5)
Like Ikeys, the Shimlas must garner the maximum from this game if they are to have any chance of semi-final qualification. I think they will keep their play-off dreams alive by registering a big win over the hapless Madibaz.

Wits v NWU Pukke
Wits Rugby Stadium
18:30


To Win (80 Mins)
Wits 22/10
Draw 25/1
Pukke 1/3


Handica
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Wits 17/20 (+8.5)
Pukke 17/20 (-8.5)

Wits will be looking keep themselves in the hunt for a home semi-final berth when they play host to a Pukke side that is also chasing home-field knock out advantage. The hosts head into this one off the back of a disappointing 17-29 defeat to UJ. Pukke, on the other hand, travel to Johannesburg having hammered Shimlas 56-21 in Round 7.

Verdict: Pukke 17/20 (-8.5)
Wits may have home field advantage here but Pukke are on fire at the minute. I honestly can see the away side bagging the points this Monday. 

Tuks v UJ
Tuks Rugby Stadium

19:00

To Win (80  Mins)
Tuks 33/10

Draw 25/1
UJ 1/5


Handicap
Tuks (-10.5) 17/20

UJ (+10.5) 17/20

The final fixture of the day sees Highveld rivals Tuks and UJ lock horns in Pretoria. The hosts finally managed to break their duck in this year's tournament as they beat CUT 26-54 last Monday. UJ also head into this one off the back of a happy result as they ran out 17-29 victors away to Wits.

Games between these two sides have produced narrow scorelines in the recent past, but you have to question whether this Tuks side is capable of giving a semi-final hunting UJ outfit a run for their money. Beating CUT is one thing, getting one over UJ is another.

Verdict: UJ (-10.5) 17/20
Tuks' 28  point victory over CUT has forced the 'books to post a much narrower line than they would have had Tukkies scraped it by seven points or less. This is great news for punters as UJ should be able to clear a very kind line.

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Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net
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