FNB UWC will look to defend their title and win their second FNB Varsity Shield when they host FNB WSU at the University of the Western Cape Stadium on Monday.
Chester William's charges have marched through all competition in their way this season, earning themselves a spot in the FNB Varsity Shield final as well as promotion to FNB Varsity Cup in 2019.
FNB UWC have gone unbeaten, earning a massive points difference of 396 and claiming a bonus point in all of their games. The Bushies will be confident going into the game considering the last time these two teams met, the home side dispatched the men from East London 42-5.
FNB WSU will argue they were a very different team in Round 1, and they have indeed come a long way. Since their pervious encounter, FNB WSU have won all their games, putting in some big score lines, including a 38-21 victory over FNB CPUT and a 47-16 dismantling over FNB Rhodes. It has been their ability to grind out games under pressure which has been the most impressive part of FNB WSU's game, including a 20-16 victory over FNB UFH and a 30-21 semi-final win over FNB UKZN in the rain.
The All Blacks have put in some sublime displays led by a lean and potent loose forward trio as well as a mobile front-row. All Blacks hooker Maliviwe Simanga proved to be an enigma for most defences, astute attacking lines from fly-half Pholman Beauton constantly kept the defence on the back foot and the diligent leadership of tight-head prop Phumlani Blaauw kept the team grounded.
FNB UWC will rely on their hard-working forward pack to lay a good platform for their electric back line to launch threatening attacks from. Eighthman Adriaan Paarwater has been the epitome of a work horse for the Bushies, while their fly-half Aidynn Cupido and Kurt-Lee Arendse have been lethal on attack with the latter scoring seven tries for his team.
Winning the FNB Varsity Shield will be significant for both sides, with FNB UWC wanting to prove their sheer superiority and leave nothing behind before being promoted to FNB Varsity Cup. For FNB WSU it will be their first chance at the FNB Varsity Shield and won't want to miss the opportunity.
FNB UWC will defend their title against FNB WSU at 19:00 on 9 April at the UWC Stadium, live on SuperSport.