"It's one of the gutsiest wins in the history of Tuks rugby"

FNB Varsity Cup

Newly-crowned FNB Varsity Cup champions FNB UP-Tuks will not rest on their laurels.

In fact, some of the players were back on the training field on Tuesday afternoon as Tuks prepare to play Centurion in the Carlton Cup on Saturday. 

"The preparation for the 2022 Varsity Cup starts this afternoon," says coach Nico Luus, who is still buzzing after their 34-27 win against FNB UCT in Monday night's final. 

"I love it when a plan comes together," he adds. "Last night's win is undoubtedly one of the gutsiest in the history of Tuks rugby. The players never gave up. They fought to the last minute to ensure victory. That is what makes coaching worthwhile." 

It is the fourth time that FNB UP-Tuks have won the FNB Varsity Cup, having done so in 2012, 2013 and 2017. Only FNB Maties (five titles) have been more successful. 

FNB UP-Tuks captain Sango Xamlashe, who scored one of his team's four tries, was almost at a loss of words after the final.

"Yoh, it was a hard and long journey for the team," he said. "It all added up to the final. I could not be more grateful to win. It is my first Varsity Cup victory. I don't think what we've achieved has sunk in yet."

HIGHLIGHTS: FNB Varsity Cup final

FNB UP-Tuks replacement tighthead prop Etienne Janeke was named the Player That Rocks for the final. He scored a try and secured victory in the 83rd minute by making a crucial turnover.

"I did not expect to get an award, it's not a prop thing," joked Janeke during a TV interview, before thanking his mom for her support.

Luus credited the whole team for the win, but singled out the players who had impressed him the most.

"Rugby is a team sport," he says. "We would not have achieved what we did if everyone was not prepared to give 100%. I dedicate our victory to each of the coaching staff and each player. It is a fantastic team. 

"But I've got to say, Zander du Plessis, Hanru Sirgel and Jaco Bezuidenhout were phenomenal throughout the tournament. Louritz van der Schyff was brilliant in the last three games, while Clyde Lewis was undoubtedly our most valuable player. It did not matter where he played – scrumhalf, centre or wing – he made a difference." 

– Article courtesy of Tuks Sport