15 August 2018 – With the log now taking shape, rock-bottom team UKZN find themselves in an unfavourable position as they sit at the foot of the table with no points accumulated thus far.
While their opponents, UJ sit comfortably in second position after a 2-1 victory against their Johannesburg city rivals Wits and will be beaming with confidence going into this encounter.
UKZN will need to perform in order to try and save their hopes and to move up on the log following their three consecutive defeats. The men from Durban have been unfortunate in failing to convert their chances and a letting in some lucky goals this season.
UKZN captain Nqubeko Dlamini believes his side has UJ’s number heading into the clash.
“It’s going to be a good game of football given the fact that in the last two years UJ have failed to beat UKZN. They recently lost to us in the USSA tournament in July so UJ have got a point to prove.”
The skipper also thanked the UKZN fandom for their continued support despite not picking up a win this season.
“The boys are fired up and ready to go with the crowd behind us patiently waiting for UKZN’s first ever win. It’s a must win game for us after a poor start but we’ll give it our best if it needs be we’ll die on that pitch!”
UKZN will host UJ at Howard College. Kick-off is at 16:00pm.
Fixture: NWU vs TUT
Consistency key for NWU
TUT will be looking to overtake NWU on the table when they travel to Mahikeng on Wednesday.
The team from Tshwane are just two points behind the Noble Boys and if the stars align and UKZN manage to defeat UJ, TUT could take top spot of the Varsity Football log.
It will be a tough ask for TUT considering NWU’s dominance in the tournament so far. NWU are three wins on the trot after gathering UWC, Wits and UL scalps consecutively.
NWU captain Wendel Noble believes consistency is key going into the bout.
“The game is going be an exciting one for both teams and us as NWU are looking to remain consistent in our results which will put us in a better position for the semi-finals. We’re really putting in a lot of work at training and the players along with the technical team know what is at stake, so a positive result will really put us in a good position for the semi-finals or even a home semi-final”
Noble explained that playing in front of their home crowd will help them steer clear of an upset against a tough TUT side.
“We are excited to be playing at home because we will have lots of support from our home crowd but knowing TUT they will look to cause an upset and even though we know or might have the slightest knowledge of what TUT are capable of doing I trust that we will prepare ourselves really well and we’ll be determined not to let anything slip out of our hands.”
NWU will host TUT at the NWU-Mafikeng Stadium at 18:15 on Thursday 16 August live on SuperSport 204.
Fixture: Wits vs Tuks
Wits look to bounce back
Wits are looking to bounce back against Tuks after their defeat to their Johannesburg rivals UJ, last week.
The men from Braamfontein were in the driving seat before their 2-1 loss, picking up two wins in a row against UKZN and UWC.
The hosts face a now revived Tuks side, who after a slow start to the season, claimed their win against UKZN in Pretoria last week.
Wits captain Mahle Mtabane is adamant that playing in front of their home crowd puts his side in a good position to rally against the Pretoria giants.
“This game is all about bouncing back and making sure that we put ourselves in a good position for the semi-finals. We’ll be back at home so it’s important for us to play good football which will give us a good result in front of our fans because these upcoming games are vital for our campaign.”
Mtabane conceded that Tuks will be a tough team to play but that if they stick to the game plan they should come out with the win.
“It won’t be a walk in the park, Tuks never allow that against anyone, so it’s all in our hands. I honestly feel if we put in a good shift, then we will come out with a positive result.
“All of our games are important, and we have to take it one game at a time. Now, our focus is Tuks but it we have to stay true to who we are, to carry on playing our brand of football, which is an entertaining one. We need a result this time around.”
Wits will host Tuks at 18:30 on Thursday 16 August at the Wits Stadium.
Fixture: UWC vs UL
UWC hunt for first win
UWC will be out to grab thier first win of the tournament when they host UL at the UWC Sports Stadium in Belville.
The men from Cape Town will be on the hunt for not only their first win of Varsity Football 2018, but their first points when they host the newcomers. UWC have suffered three consecutive losses, to NWU away, Wits away and then an unsuspected defeat to TUT at home. UWC are renowned for their strength at home, so the defeat to the Northerners would have come as a shock.
UL on the other hand will be keen to cause an upset. After only going down 1-0 against NWU, the Polokwane dwellers will know they have nothing to lose and everything to gain when they march into the Operation Room. With two losses and one draw, a win against UWC in the Western Cape would be a valuable scalp.
UWC host UL at 18:30 on Thursday 16 August at the UWC Sports Stadium.