Tuks consolidated their superb 5-3 win over Maties on Monday with a comprehensive 5-0 defeat of hosts University of KZN Tuesday to all but cement a spot in Thursday’s semi-finals. Maties bounced back from Monday’s defeat to outlast UJ 2-0 at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf Tuesday.
Wednesday sees the final round of Pool matches and the state of play has Tuks on top of Pool A with a full-house six log points from their two matches and a very good goal difference of plus seven. Tuks play UJ at 10.40am on the UKZN turf Wednesday in what is shaping up as a must-win for the Johannesburg lads if they are to keep their dream of a fourth consecutive USSA title alive.
Maties men should have the beating of UKZN in Wednesday’s 5.20pm late game and they will know what they need to do in terms of goal difference - should UJ manage to beat Tuks in the morning.
Men’s A Section Pool B is also a three-horse race. University of Cape Town (Ikeys) are on four log points with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Madibaz) and University of Free State (Kovsies) both on three points.
The Ikeys versus Kovsies clash at 2pm Wednesday on the UKZN turf will be a key fixture, as it appears likely that Madibaz will have the better of fourth-placed Wits in the 12.20pm match.
However, the top three teams in Pool A look to have the edge over their counterparts in Pool B and the speculation is that both of the finalists will emerge from Pool A after Thursday’s semi-finals.
In women’s Pool A, 2015 Varsity Cup winners UJ all but guaranteed a berth in the semi-finals with a match to spare when they beat Varsity College 13-1. UJ sit on a full-house six log points after two matches with a healthy goal difference of plus 13. Defending USSA women’s champs Maties did their hopes a power of good when they beat the Tuks ladies 3-1 in Tuesday’s late game.
Tuks now have a massive game against UJ at 11.30am on the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf Wednesday. Maties should have the beating of Varsity College in the 10am match, so Tuks will know exactly what is needed if they are to reach the semi-finals, but on paper it looks like nothing less than a win will suffice.
In Pool B, North West University Potchefstroom (Pukke) are on a maximum six log points and with their last match against bottom-placed Ikeys at 3.40pm Wednesday at UKZN, are virtually certain of a place in the last four.
The crunch clash in this Pool Wednesday is that between Kovsies and Madibaz at 9am at UKZN. Both are on three log points with the exact same goal difference, which essentially makes this fixture a quarter-final.
A further 29 university teams are doing battles in the men’s and women’s B and C Sections at the AB Jackson, Maritzburg College and Epworth.
Thursday’s semi-finals – all at UKZN Greenfields Turf off Golf Road in Scottsville - feature the men at 12.40pm and 4.20pm with the women’s last four clashes at 2.30pm and 6.10pm.
The A Section women’s final is at 4.20pm Friday at UKZN with the men’s final at 6.10pm.
A SECTION RESULTS
Men: Ikeys 2 Madibaz 1; Maties 2 UJ 0; Kovsies 3 Wits 1; Tuks 5 UKZN 0
Women: UJ 13 Varsity College 1; Pukke 2 Madibaz 1; Kovsies 3 Ikeys 1; Maties 3 Tuks 1
Men – at UKZN: UJ vs Tuks (10.40am); Madibaz vs Wits (12.20pm); Kovsies vs Ikeys (2pm); UKZN vs Maties (5.20pm)
Women - at UKZN: Kovsies vs Madibaz (9am); Pukke vs Ikeys (3.40pm)
Women – at AB Jackson: Maties vs Varsity College (10am); UJ vs Tuks (11.30am)