On Monday night, the match that everyone would have marked on their calendars once the 2017 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International fixture list was released finally takes place. The age-old rivalry between the FNB Ikey Tigers and FNB Maties is set to light up the Green Mile, as both teams fight to stay in and around the top four.
FNB Maties come into this game as the team boasting a better run of form, but the FNB Ikey Tigers are a much improved side since last season’s rocky campaign. Having lost to FNB Pukke in their last game, the derby presents the FNB Ikey Tigers with a golden opportunity to bounce back in some style.
“They boys are ready for a tough challenge. We know it’s not going to be easy but we are up for the fight. Our loss to Pukke was a minor setback but we fully intend on setting the record straight against Maties. After all, it is intervarsity, so it’s bound to be a good game,” said Jason Klaasen, captain of the FNB Ikey Tigers.
The stats show that the FNB Ikey Tigers won the majority of their lineouts, scrums, and missed very few of their tackles. FNB Maties performed similarly in their match against FNB Madibaz, but found themselves trailing at halftime as the wind played a big factor in FNB Madibaz’s first half push. So while the match may be tightly contested, the notoriously windy fields of the Green Mile could largely influence the outcome of this clash, and the FNB Ikey Tigers are looking to put in a clinical performance.
“In terms of our prep for Maties, we know it’s vital not to make any silly mistakes, and we learnt that the hard way in our preseason game against them. They feed off of mistakes and turn them into points, so we’ll have to be clinical for the full eighty [minutes],” the captain concluded.
The FNB Ikey Tigers team set to take on FNB Maties: 1 Wayrin Losper, 2 Cuan Hablutzel, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 4 Duncan Saffy, 5 Gary Porter, 6 Jason Klaasen (C), 7 Luke Stringer, 8 Nyasha Tarusenga, 9 Stefano de Gouveia, 10 Rob Anderson, 11 Joel Smith, 12 Rico Lategan, 13 Suwi Chibale, 14 Rayno Mapoe, 15 Lohan Lubbe.
Substitutions: 16 Martin Chandler, 17 William Day, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazebuko, 19 Kuyenzeka Xaba, 20 Vernon Peterson, 21 Hilio De Abreu, 22 Tristan Mouton, 23 Gerard Pieterse.
By Wessley Thring