Following five months of round-robin matches, the FNB NWU Res Rugby competition came to a tumultuous conclusion when FNB Caput beat FNB Heimat 19-16 at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds on Wednesday 28 August.
Having played seven rounds of intense rugby battles, it was FNB Caput who finished on top of the log with FNB Patria finishing second, both having lost only one game the whole season. FNB Heimat and FNB Over de Voor secured the final two spots in the semi-finals which took place on Wednesday, 21 August.
The first semi-final saw FNB Caput, who were arguably the most consistent team this season, take on last year’s finalists FNB Over de Voor. FNB Caput took no prisoners and stood strong to hold them off to win the game 15-10. The biggest shock, however, came in the second semi-final when FNB Heimat knocked out FNB Patria 26-22 after trailing for 75 minutes of the game, bringing an end to FNB Patria’s six-year winning streak.
In the final it was FNB Caput who once again showed no signs of slowing down, running in two tries in the first twenty minutes of the game. FNB Heimat got off to a slow start, but were able to pull themselves together in the second half and make it a tightly contested final. FNB Heimat took every opportunity to kick at goal to narrow FNB Caput’s lead, but by the time the final whistle sounded, it was FNB Caput who won their first ever FNB NWU Res Rugby title, 19-16.
Having been the head coach for four years, FNB Caput’s Gerald Sutton finally got to share a moment of glory with his team. Sutton told varsitycup.co.za about "the long road from 2016".
“After losing in the final in 2017 and then in the semi-final in 2018, it was an emotional feeling to lift the trophy after a hard fight for four years," the triumphant Sutton said.
"It has been a massive group effort from the players and my fellow coaching staff to make sure that we don’t slip in a final again. We had lots of ups and downs but in the end everything we worked for was worth it. Well done to every Caputter on their work ethic and commitment on and off the field. I am really proud of every player who made history.”
Reflecting on the momentous occasion, FNB Caput captain Willem Linde said, “It was indescribable and I am very proud of my team. We couldn’t have ended the season on a better note.”