FNB Varsity Cup
All you need to know ahead of Monday's FNB Varsity Cup semi-final in Bloemfontein (19:00 kick-off).
– Despite FNB UFS Shimlas and FNB UP-Tuks playing in a combined 15 FNB Varsity Cup semi-finals, this will only be the second time that they face each other in a FNB Varsity Cup semi-final.
– FNB UP-Tuks won the only previous FNB Varsity Cup semi-final between these two sides, a 28-21 victory at Tuks Stadium in 2017.
– FNB UFS Shimlas will be playing in their sixth FNB Varsity Cup semi-final, winning one of their previous five, a 21-10 victory against the FNB UCT Ikeys at this venue in 2015.
– This will be only the second time that FNB UFS Shimlas host a Varsity Cup semi-final at Shimla Park. They beat the FNB UCT Ikeys on their way to winning their only FNB Varsity Cup title in 2015.
– FNB UFS Shimlas are playing in their first FNB Varsity Cup semi-final since 2019 when they lost to FNB Maties.
– FNB UFS Shimlas finished on top of the league table for the first time in FNB Varsity Cup history. In 2015 they finished second, tied on points with the FNB UCT Ikeys. They went on to win the title that year.
– FNB UFS Shimlas scored 398 points in the regular season this year, which is the most points scored by a team during the regular season in FNB Varsity Cup history, breaking the previous record of 385 set by FNB Maties in 2019.
– FNB UFS Shimlas scored 59 tries in the regular season this year, which is the most tries scored by a team during the regular season in FNB Varsity Cup history, breaking the previous record of 52 set by FNB Maties in 2019.
– FNB UFS Shimlas became only the second team in FNB Varsity Cup history to score a try bonus point in every league match in a season. The only other team to achieve this feat was FNB UP-Tuks in 2015.
– FNB UFS Shimlas are on a three-game winning streak in the FNB Varsity Cup.
– FNB UFS Shimlas beat FNB UP-Tuks 26-15 at this venue in round eight.
– FNB UFS Shimlas have a 63% winning record at home in the FNB Varsity Cup, which is the fourth-best home record in FNB Varsity Cup history.
– FNB UP-Tuks are playing in their 11th FNB Varsity Cup semi-final, which is the second-most by any team in FNB Varsity Cup history behind FNB Maties (12).
– FNB UP-Tuks are playing in their 11th FNB Varsity Cup semi-final, winning six of the previous 10 they appeared in.
– FNB UP-Tuks have only won one of their previous four FNB Varsity Cup semi-finals away from home, beating FNB UJ in 2011.
– FNB UP-Tuks’ defeat to FNB UFS Shimlas in round eight snapped a three-game winning streak for them against Shimlas in the FNB Varsity Cup.
– FNB UP-Tuks’ last victory against FNB UFS Shimlas at Shimla Park was a 27-14 victory in 2019.
– FNB UP-Tuks have a 56% winning record away from home in the FNB Varsity Cup, which is the second-best in FNB Varsity Cup history behind FNB Maties (67%)
– FNB UP-Tuks have won 83% of their FNB Varsity Cup matches when leading at half-time.
– If FNB UFS Shimlas win, they will reach their second FNB Varsity Cup final and their first since 2015 when they beat FNB NWU-Pukke (now Eagles).
– If UP-Tuks win, they will reach their seventh FNB Varsity Cup final and their second successive final after reaching the 2021 FNB Varsity Cup final where they beat the FNB UCT Ikeys.
– Flyhalf George Lourens (FNB UFS Shimlas) kicked seven successful conversions against the FNB Madibaz in round nine, which is tied for the fifth most successful conversions by a player in a FNB Varsity Cup match. The record is 11 by Theuns Kotze for FNB UJ against FNB TUT in 2012.
– Fullback Litha Nkula needs 11 points to break the FNB UFS Shimlas re
– Nkula (FNB UFS Shimlas) has kicked 27 successful conversions this season, which is tied for the fifth-most by a player in a FNB Varsity Cup season. The current record is 32 by Zander du Plessis for FNB UP-Tuks in 2021 and Schalk Hugo for FNB NWU-Pukke in 2019.
– Nkula needs six more conversions this season to break the FNB Varsity Cup record for most successful conversions by a player in a FNB Varsity Cup season.
– Nkula has scored points in all eight of his previous FNB Varsity Cup appearances.
– Stefan Coetzee (starting at fullback on Monday) scored two tries for FNB UP-Tuks in the 2021 Varsity Cup semi-final against FNB Maties.
– Scrumhalf Bernard van der Linde has scored five tries for FNB UP-Tuks this season, which is tied for the fifth-most tries by a Tuks player in a FNB Varsity Cup season.
– FNB UP-Tuks tighthead prop Daniël Wessels made 12 FNB Varsity Cup appearances for FNB UFS Shimlas (2018-2021).
– Clyde Lewis (UP-Tuks) has played at scrumhalf, flyhalf and fullback this season.
Photos: Hannes Naude/Varsity Cup