Finally, University of Cape Town (Ikeys) and University of Pretoria (Tuks) meet in the hugely anticipated Varsity Cup final on Monday night after their Round 6 clash was cancelled due to positive Covid-19 cases.
At that stage of the competition, impressive Ikeys were riding the crest of wave having won their opening five matches and were expected to trouble Tuks who had lost to University of Stellenbosch (Maties).
Ikeys are firm favourites to walk away with the coveted trophy as they pulled off eight wins from as many matches during the tournament but they are up against the tough Tuks side who beat Maties 44-35 during the semi-final.
This match is definitely tough to call with Ikeys have reached this stage unbeaten but in Tuks they are up against a team that will be playing at familiar surroundings at the Tuks Stadium and appears to be peaking at the right time of the tournament.
University of Cape Town (Ikeys) vs University of Pretoria (Tuks)
This is a repeat of the 2011 final which Ikeys won 26-16 at the same venue and their other title was in 2014 but Tuks have better experience in cup finals having recently been crowned champions in 2012, 2013 and 2017.
Ikeys go into the final with an impressive unbeaten record this season and they followed in the footsteps of Maties who went on to win the title unbeaten in 2018 and 2019.
On the other hand, Tuks team has won eight of the previous 12 Varsity Cup finals, including the last three, and the last time the away team won the final was when North West University (Eagles) beat Maties at the Danie Craven Stadium in 2016.
Ikeys are on a nine-match winning run in this tournament (excluding the cancelled fixture against Tuks in Round 6), their longest in the history of the tournament.
In team news, flyhalf James Tedder was a late withdrawal from the Ikeys lineup before their semi-final after failing to recover from a concussion sustained from a high tackle during their last league-stage match against the Nelson Mandela University (Madibaz)
Tedder is the second top-point scorer in the tournament (105) and his tactical kicking and game management have been crucial for his team but fortunately they have a more than capable replacement in David Hayes who won the Player That Rocks award after their semi-final win against the Eagles.
For Tuks, fullback Zander du Plessis broke the record of Ikeys flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis’ record of 136 points in an Varsity Cup season during their semi-final against Maties and will go into Monday’s decider with his tally on 145.
If the final is tight, the 21-year-old’s boot could be decisive.
Pick: Maties Wins at 0.55 at BetXChange