A PANEL of judges have included two Madibaz players in their “best 15” team of the week after the final round of Varsity Cup league matches was completed on Monday.
There were a number of top individual performances, and the team is dominated by players from the top four teams.
The Madibaz players who made the select team were prop Roy Godfrey and scrumhalf Daniel Acker, while Andile Jho, Jarryd Buys, Gavin Hauptfleisch and Christopher Cloete were mentioned as players who came close to being selected.
In Monday’s eagerly awaited semifinals the Madibaz clash with Pukke while Ikeys clash with old foes Maties in what promises to be another hard-fought duel.
Maties’ incredible second-half fightback against Tuks sees them lead the way this week, with four players making our team, and they are followed by Tuks and Pukke with three spots each.
There was little separating Shimlas and the Madibaz in Bloemfontein, and as a result they each have two players in our side, while a single Ikey rounds the team off after their easy win against wooden spoonists Wits.
The “best 15” with the players who challenged them for inclusion are:
15: Craig Barry (Maties): Showed what a devastating attacking threat he can be by scoring two second-half tries against UP-Tuks at Danie Craven Stadium. Bubbling under: Jarryd Buys (NMMU)
14: Duncan Matthews (Tuks): Looked for work and went on a few weaving runs, stepping past defenders at will to score his try. Bubbling under: Richard Stewart (UCT)
13: Huw Jones (UCT): Another big game from the Ikeys outside centre who managed to unleash his outside backs regularly and proved a rock in defence. Bubbling under: Hoffman Maritz (NWU-Pukke)
12: Adriaan Engelbrecht (Pukke): Another powerful display from the big inside centre, who is a reliable operator in midfield on top of being a deadly goal-kicker. Bubbling under: Andile Jho (NMMU)
11: Sethu Tom (Shimlas): Showed good pace when he got the chance, but it was his defensive work that really stood out, as he put in more than a few big hits. Bubbling under: Michael Haznar (UJ)
10: Robert du Preez (Maties): A sensational performance from the star playmaker who took the game away from UP-Tuks in Stellenbosch. His run to set up the final try for Maties was something special. Bubbling under: Gavin Hauptfleisch (NMMU)
9: Daniel Acker (Madibaz): Mixed his game up well with some intelligent kicking and speedy service to keep his team in the contest right until the end. Bubbling under: James Alexander (UCT)
8: Juan Language (Pukke): The big No8 has been a fearsome presence at the back of the NWU-Pukke scrum this season, and it was another powerful performance from him against UJ. Bubbling under: Guy Alexander (UCT)
7: Helmut Lehmann (Maties): The former Maties skipper always puts his body on the line for his team and provided vital experience as they came from behind to beat UP-Tuks. Bubbling under: Rudolph Smith (UP-Tuks)
6: Rhyk Welgemoed (Pukke): Posed a constant threat at the breakdown and got through plenty of work on defence as his team held off a determined UJ side. Bubbling under: Christopher Cloete (NMMU)
5: Wilhelm van der Sluys (Maties): Another big game from the Currie Cup winner who put in a big shift in the tight phases against the big UP-Tuks pack. Bubbling under: Neill Claassen (Shimlas)
4: Irne Herbst (Tuks): Although they lost, UP-Tuks dominated the line-outs, with their maul gaining valuable ground which was in no small part down to the work of the imposing Herbst. Bubbling under: Shaun McDonald (UCT)
3: Basil Short (UP-Tuks): Solid at scrum time and showed impressive power to force his way over for the opening try. Bubbling under: Digby Webb (UCT)
2: Jacques du Toit (Shimlas): Two tries from the UFS-Shimlas hooker, with one coming from a driving maul and the other a great run that saw him take the gap like an outside back. Bubbling under: Neil Rautenbach (UCT)
1: Roy Godfrey (NMMU): The Madibaz skipper continues to produce the goods, and led from the front once more as his team snuck into the playoffs in dramatic style. Bubbling under: Hannes Ludik (Wits). – George Byron