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Derbies down to the wire

There were two big FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International derbies on the opening day of the USSA tournament in Grahamstown and they both went down to the wire.

The first big rivalry of the day in the 'A' section saw beaten 2014 Varsity Cup finalists FNB NWU-Pukke edge out FNB UFS-Shimlas 23-17.

There is never any love lost between the sides and it was no different on Monday as NWU-Pukke finished on top in what was just the second match of the day.

The other big clash in Grahamstown saw Cape rivals FNB UCT and FNB Maties lock horns, and it was the Stellenbosch outfit that managed to clinch a tight 33-32 victory over the reaigning Varsity Cup champions to get their campaign off to a positive start.

Things were a little more one-sided in the Johannesburg derby between UJ and Wits, with UJ running away with a resounding 52-15 win.

FNB UP-Tuks also made a great start to the competition, steamrolling FNB NMMU in a convincing 65-0 victory which left the Eastern Cape side scrambling from the outset.

The 'B' section of the tournament consists largely of Varsity Shield sides, and 2014 champions FNB CUT underlined their class with a 62-19 win against Namibia.

There was something of an upset when unheralded Varsity College managed to claim a 28-22 victory over FNB UKZN, whilst relegation-threatened FNB TUT were far too strong for FNB Fort Hare in a 64-0 win.

The final match of the day saw hosts Rhodes go down 20-13 to FNB UWC who did just enough to hold them at bay.

There is everything to play for in the 'C' section of the competition, with a shot at promotion to the Varsity Shield on the line and NWU Vaal were clearly highly motivated in the opening game as they recorded a 114-0 win against Limpopo.

There were also big wins for CPUT who defeated Zululand 84-0, and NMMU G who beat WSU 71-15.

USSA Day One results: NWU Vaal 114-0 Limpopo NWU-Pukke 23-17 UFS-Shimlas Varsity College 28-22 UKZN WSU Mthatha 37-13 NWU Mafikeng CPUT 84-0 Zululand UP-Tuks 65-0 NMMU WSU B 43-19 MUT VUT 17-10 Invitational XV CUT 62-19 Namibia UJ 52-15 Wits NMMU G 71-15 WSU Maties 33-32 UCT TUT 64-0 UFH TUT Shos 12-33 Venda UWC 20-13 Rhodes

USSA Day Two fixtures: Varsity College v CUT - Kings Field (09.00) CPUT v NMMU G - St Andrews (09.00) Limpopo v MUT - Prospect 1 (09.00) NMMU v UCT - Prospect 2 (09.00) NWU Vaal v WSU BBC - Kings Field (10.40) VUT v Venda - St Andrews (10.40) UFS-Shimlas v Wits - Prospect 1 (10.40) UFH v Rhodes - Prospect 2 (10.40) WSU Mthatha v TUT B - Kings Field (12.20) NWU-Pukke v UJ - St Andrews (12.20) Zululand v WSU Ibika - Prospect 1 (12.20) UKZN v Namibia - Prospect 2 (12.20) UP-Tuks v Maties - Kings Field (14.00) TUT v UWC - St Andrews (14.00) NWU Mafikeng v Invitational XV (14.00)

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