This stage of the competition was delayed by a week to allow for more Covid-19 testing and to give players who suffered injuries sufficient time to recover for what is expected to be interesting rounds of matches.
The round seven clash between University of Western Cape (UWC) and University of Cape Town (Ikeys) will be playing for the Chester Williams Memorial Trophy in honour of the 1995 World Cup-winning Springbok legend who passed away in 2019.
Williams coached UWC to the 2017 and 2018 Varsity Shield titles, the second of which earned them promotion to the FNB Varsity Cup and his legacy lives on at the institution where he made a massive contribution.
Stellenbosch University (Maties) vs Nelson Mandela University (Madibaz)
This is a mismatch of some sorts with fourth-placed Stellenbosch University (Maties) overwhelming favourites against bottom of the log Nelson Mandela University (Madibaz) who are the only team yet to register a win so far this season.
Faced with this tough challenge, Madibaz coach André Tredoux has admitted that it is not going to be an easy task in their last matches of the season where they will be looking to continue to grow and improve their game.
Tredoux said the week’s delay in the competition has created an opportunity to regroup after the tough start where a number of players had the opportunity to recover from niggling injuries that come with playing three matches in a week.
The Madibaz, who are playing in the Varsity Cup for the first time since 2018 after they were promoted from the Varsity Shield last year, are going to have to be at their best to beat Maties who are eying a place in the knockout stages in the coming three weeks.
Pick: Maties Wins at 0.01 at BetXChange
University of Cape Town (Ikeys) vs University of Western Cape (UWC)
Emotions are expected to run high for UWC as this match will be in honour of their former coach Chester Williams who died in 2019 at the age of 49. Varsity Cup confirmed last week that following engagements with the Chester Williams Foundation and his family, UWC and the UCT Ikeys, they have resolved to play their Varsity Cup derbies in honour and memory of Chester Williams.
The reason for the collaboration is that Williams was always enthusiastic and looking forward to playing against the UCT Ikeys, whether in the Western Province league or Varsity Cup, because he always believed that UCT is the only club that could give UWC an honest measure of their progress.
The floating trophy, provided by UWC, will be competed for on an annual basis in the Varsity Cup and should one of the teams fall out of the tournament, their WP league encounter would become the memorial match.
Pick: Ikeys Wins at 0.01 at BetXChange
University of Free State (UFS) vs University of Pretoria (Tuks)
In the past, this match used to be a stand-out and hotly contested affair because of their lofty reputations but they meet at this stage of the campaign sitting on opposite ends of the log standings.
Tuks have been one of the standout performers of this season with four wins, one draw and one loss and they go into this round of fixtures sitting second spot on the log behind leaders University of Cape Town (Ikeys).
On the other hand, the usually strong and dominant University of Free State (Shimlas) have surprisingly struggled this season with four losses, one win one draw which is a run that has left them sitting third from the bottom.
Pick: Tuks Wins at 0.30 at BetXChange