Week 2 of the Varsity Cup Rugby season gets going later today and we take a look at all 4 matches and suggest a bet in each.
Madibaz v Ikeys – click here to bet
The Madibaz play their first match of the season having sat out a bye last week and they will be glad to return to their home stadium having played every match away last season. Despite not having a home ground the Madibaz did manage to finish 7th on the table with 2 victories and 6 defeats.
The Ikeys looked to have victory sewn up at home to Wits last week but they conceded 2 late tries to go down 26-30 and it looks as though a long and hard season lies ahead for them.
Last season Ikeys hosted the Madibaz in Cape Town and it was the visiting team that won 36-8.
Madibaz -11.5 at 5/6
Ikeys +11.5 at 5/6
Suggested bet: Handicap, Madibaz -11.5 at 5/6.
The Madibaz look to have a solid squad with some experience in the ranks and while this is not a confident call I do think they can get the better of an Ikeys team that I see battling for the wooden spoon this season.
UJ v CUT – click here to bet
UJ will be looking to bounce back from a 28 point defeat at home to the Maties last week when they host CUT on Monday night. Despite the heavy loss I was actually quite impressed with UJ at times and I think they just ran into a Maties side that is going to be close to untouchable this season.
CUT were away to Pukke last week where the handicap started in the region of 20 points but they were given a 63 point thumping and all indications are that they are really going to battle in 2018.
These sides met in Bloemfontein last season where UJ ran out a comfortable 73-20 winners.
UJ -25.5 at 5/6
CUT +25.5 at 5/6
Suggested bet: Handicap, UJ -25.5 at 5/6.
This looks a big handicap on the face of it but if you consider that CUT took a 63 point beating last week and were beaten by 53 points at home against UJ last year then it is probably isn’t big enough and I make it my stand out handicap play on the card.
Maties v Shimlas – click here to bet
The Maties and the Shimlas meet in what should be a very exciting clash in Stellenbosch with both sides having got their campaigns off to great starts last week. The Maties were too powerful for UJ beating them 31-3 up in Johannesburg and Shimlas stunned pre-tournament favourites Tuks, 19-17 in Pretoria in what was the only significant upset in the opening week. Both games were played in wet conditions and the Shimlas showed signs that given a dry surface they have a backline that would score plenty of tries this season.
Shimlas hosted Maties last season but they were no match for the Stellenbosch outfit going down 60-12 in Bloemfontein.
Maties -12.5 at 5/6
Shimlas +12.5 at 5/6
Suggested bet: Handicap, Maties -12.5 at 5/6.
Shimlas look likely semi-final candidates but I was particularly impressed with Maties last week and I think at home they are going to take some stopping and I am backing them to beat the handicap later today.
Wits v Tuks – click here to bet
The final match of week 2 sees Wits hosting Tuks in Johannesburg. Wits got their campaign off to a good start with a come from behind start over the Ikeys in Cape Town, eventually winning 30-26. Tuks on the other hand were disappointing at home to Shimlas, losing 17-19 in very wet conditions and despite the fact that their pack managed to dominate for long periods having started favourites to win the competition Tuks had drifted out from 18/10 to 9/2 – click here for outright betting.
Tuks hosted Wits last season and they won by 16 points in a low scoring match in Pretoria.
Wits +10.5 at 5/6
Tuks -10.5 at 5/6
Suggested bet: Handicap, Tuks -10.5 at 5/6.
This is not a confident call as I thought Tuks were very disappointing last week against Shimlas, that being said they showed me enough to suggest that if they do get things together they are going to be a hard team to beat with a strong pack and a pretty decent looking backline, although the fly half could do with letting the ball get a bit more air and a bit less boot.
Note: Prices correct at the time of posting but are subject to change