The first-ever FNB Varsity Cup Women title is up for grabs when FNB Maties and FNB UJ take to the field in the final at UWC Sports Stadium in Cape Town. Kickoff is Thursday, 13 April at 12:00.
The Orange Army beat FNB Tuks 36-5 while the Maroon Machine scored a 33-7 victory over FNB UFH in the two semi-finals.
Maties coach Johann Zeier says his team is coming into great form and are playing some good rugby at the moment.
“We're expecting UJ to give us a bit of everything throughout the game. It's a final, so it's always going to be physical and fast. We are expecting a competitive match from whistle to whistle.”
Captain Bianca Augustyn echoes her coach’s words, saying they started laying the foundation in January already.
“We've been building ever since and we are in a good place to follow through and be good competitors tomorrow. We have done all the hard work throughout the weeks and we are just busy with the finishing touches now.”
She says her team is going to give nothing less than a 110% effort.
“We are just going to stick to what we have been taught. We know it's not going to be an easy game, but everyone is willing to put the work in and that's all I can ask. As a collective, we will achieve way more than with individuality.”
Augustyn’s opposing captain, Priscilla Sithole, says UJ’s preparations have been going well.
“We’ve been going hard at it, fixing the things that tripped us up in the semi-final and hope to implement everything the coaches taught us. We want to play to our full potential. We are expecting to dominate and win, we are not going to travel all that way to just give Maties an easy game.”
Both Sithole and Augustyn acknowledge that the addition of a women’s competition to Varsity Cup will greatly advance the sport in South Africa.
According to Sithole, it is a huge step for women’s sport and women’s rugby.
“We already have 7s in the Varsity Cup and 15s on provincial. To now have 15s in Varsity Cup, it can only get better. There is so much potential and talent that are just waiting to be recognised in the university ranks.”
“It really means a lot to me (to be playing in the Varsity Cup Women). I've been playing since 2018 and have been fighting to get women's rugby where is it today. It's a good feeling to be recognised.”
FNB Maties: 15 Danelle van Zyl, 14 Amber Meiring, 13 Ropah Madyah, 12 Bianca Augustyn, 11 Tiyanah Joseph, 10 Lara Schats, 9 Georgia Hassolanidis, 8 Elmé Kruger, 7 Elitha Sylvester, 6 Ankia Viljoen, 5 Ashleigh Mahoney, 4 Liza Slabbert, 3 Blaine Apollos, 2 Lungelo Mvelase, 1 Janke Oosthuizen.
FNB UJ: 15 Khanyisile Ntai, 14 Precious Maduchem, 13 Nyasha Gowangombe, 12 Nthabiseng Ncalane, 11 Mardiya Usman, 10 Siham Chtioui, 9 Fatouma Yalcoue, 8 Aliyah Tchogna-Njamen, 7 Tanya Shava, 6 Akhona Nkosi, 5 Ntsako Mbombi, 4 Sindiswa Ngwenya, 3 Benedict Safi, 2 Phophi Safi, 1 Priscilla Sithole.