It is the only unbeaten team in the 2023 FNB Varsity Shield against the defending champions when FNB UWC and FNB UFH take to the field in Belville for the second semi-final tomorrow at 19:00.
The encounter is a repeat of the 2017 Varsity Shield final at the same venue. The home side then outmuscled the side from the Eastern Cape 45-2, with a penalty counting two points. (Watch highlights HERE)
UWC secured automatic promotion to the 2024 FNB Varsity Cup with their position at the top of the log. A stoic coach Paul Treudid not want to divulge too much ahead of their semi-final clash.
"We gave the players 24 hours to celebrate our promotion to Varsity Cup and [then] it is back to the drawing board. It is another opportunity to play at home and our goal is to secure a home final. That is simple enough, right? Only time will tell."
While the former Blitzboks head coach doesn’t want to allow the history books to cloud their judgement of this match, it is UWC who have the better record than Fort Hare.
The two teams have played each other 15 times since the inception of Varsity Shield. UWC has been on the winning side 10 times, of which six times were at the UWC Sports Stadium in Bellville. The defending champions have beaten UWC only five times, with2014 being the last time they beat them at this venue when they outclassed their opponents 51-29.
UWC captain Tasriq Mynhardt says they want to make sure they do the coaches and the university proud tomorrow.
"Securing promotion is great for the team but winning the semi-final would mean we get to spend another week together as a team, something I have enjoyed doing this year very much."
FNB UWC: 15 Diston Ethan Will, 14 Gaffley Ridge Jozé, 13 Brynard Zhaun-Jacques, 12 Breda Bryan John, 11 Ncana Hlomla, 10 Willemse Elkan, 9 Conradie Conwill Brooklyn (Bolla), 8 Magerman Zinzan, 7 Afrika Brent, 6 Kuilders Almore Jnr A. S., 5 van der Merwe Carel, 4 Tattersal Liam, 3 Ceasar Franco Lee, 2 Swart Mauritz, 1 Lamprecht Christian Johan.
Semi-final fixtures HERE.
by Lyndon Julius