The first round of Varsity Football 2018 got underway and Soccer Laduma looks at the results of the opening stage of the competition.
Wits 3 UKZN 2
The Milpark-based side is definitely going to be challengers this season after bolstering both their coaching and playing ranks with PSL experience in former Moroka Swallows player, Mark Haskins.
UKZN, meanwhile, look likely to live up to their promise of taking on their maiden Varsity Football season by storm. They started like a house on fire with an early goal, but their lack of experience at this level was evident, as they conceded soon afterwards.
NWU 2 UWC 1
As much as things change, things stay the same. The boys from Cape Town simply can’t brush off their 'bad travellers' tag and with still two away games to go before returning home, they will hope they can least return with a couple of points.
Although NWU drew first blood in this encounter, they will know they need to improve in all departments if they are to progress to the knockout stages. The individual brilliance of Tshepo Baholo rescued them on this occasion, but a greater cohesive team performance would be required from the North West boys.
UJ 7 LU 1
The boys in orange ran rampant on the night, slamming home seven goals in the process. UJ will take a lot of confidence from this big opening victory, but will also know there are tougher challenges that lay ahead.
A disappointing return to Varsity Football for Limpopo after a four-year absence, and it showed in their overall play. Although there were promising phases for UL, like immediately after the break when they pulled one back, they will need to realise quickly that any lapse of concentration is punished severely at this level.
TUT 2 Tuks 1
The Tshwane derby is always a highly entertaining, passionate affair and this one was no different. Although Tshwane came out on the night – they have never lost at city rival Tuks, as both teams will know there is still a long way to go in the competition and they will undoubtedly meet again at the knockout stages when the pressure is at its most intense. However, for now, TUT can enjoy the revenge taken after last year’s final disappointment and can crow as the finest team in Mzansi’s capital.