Varsity Cup 2018: Maties v Pukke Preview

Two players tackling a player

The fate of the 2018 Varsity Cup title will be decided at the Danie Craven Stadium on Monday the 16th of April.

Maties will be looking to claim their fourth Varsity Cup title when they play host to one-time champions Pukke this Monday. The hosts head into this one off the back of an emphatic victory over Wits while Pukke fired a warning shot of there own when they hammered UJ 60-31 in their semi-final.

Maties v NWU Pukke
Monday 16 April

Danie Craven Stadium 

To Win (80 Mins) 
Maties 7/20
Draw 20/1
Pukke 22/10

Maties -7.5 (17/20) 
Pukke +7.5 (17/20)

The men from Stellenbosch have enjoyed yet another magnificent campaign, which saw them go undefeated during the round-robin phase and then - to put the icing on the cake - completely annihilate a Wits side that managed to hold them to a draw during the round-robin phase.

Last week's 65-18 mauling of Wits was about as emphatic as it gets with Maties displaying a great balance between defence and attack. If they get that balance right, like they have for the majority of the season, then they will have no problems adding a fourth title to their cabinet. If they are off their game, however, then the red-hot favourites may struggle against a Pukke side that managed to hold them to a 33-33 draw as little as three weeks ago.

The men from Potchefstroom head into this one with the underdog's collar firmly affixed to their throats. That may actually not be the worst of things as Pukke have revelled in the underdog role before when they edged Maties 7-6 in the 2016 final.

Potchefstroom's finest may not have been as all-conquering as Maties during the round-robin phase but they did manage to win six of their eight fixtures while drawing another. As touched upon earlier, their other fixture saw them hold Maties to a draw in a thrilling encounter.

Pukke have qualified for a Varsity Cup final on four occasions since the inception of the tournament. However, they have only ever managed to lift the title on one occasion.

Verdict: Pukke (+7.5) 17/20  
Whilst I fully expect Maties to claim their third Varsity Cup title this Monday I think they will be run close by a Pukke side who have only been defeated in a final by more than six points on one occasion. 

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Written by Darry Worthington for

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