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FNB Wits and FNB UJ to spill feisty guts in pursuit of Varsity Cup glory

- Tshepiso Mametela

After a sensational opening Varsity Cup 2020 fixture in which FNB Wits ran out 40-10 winners over FNB UWC on the road, the boys in blue will be primed to repeat the dose over their noisy neighbours, FNB UJ.

The two sides clash in round two of the competition at the Wits Rugby Stadium on Monday, 10 February. The encounter, like many before, will have the obvious frenzy around it for the two local rivals. Wits 1st team XV head coach, Hugo van As, shared his thoughts on the titanic battle to come, which many a spectator will be licking their lips for.

“The clash between the [two sides] over the last couple of years has been a very hard-fought local derby. There is a lot to play for, not only for the competition points, but also to be the number one University in the Lions’ district,” shared van As. While there is a lot to play for, the coach said the respect that exists between the two outfits will not be lost on the day.

Noting the win over UWC, he said it was an important first step in getting Wits’ campaign off on a high. “That’s exactly what happened but we knew it was going to be a tough away fixture. It means a lot for the team to know they started off well but we are under no illusions that Monday night will be a different challenge, and we will have to be on song to outsmart and outplay them,” the coach said.

And of course, a win over the Orange Army – who playing in their own backyard were edged 16-25 by a more spirited FNB Ikeys side in round one – is exactly what Wits will need to assert their presence early on in the competition. Speaking to this, van As appreciated that a wounded lion is a formidable opponent. ”They will be coming out firing against us,” he said.

“It will be good for us to get two wins in a row but we’re not thinking about what a win will mean for the campaign as it is still very long, and will just stay to our processes and structures, and ultimately, take it one game at a time.”

Daniel Kasende in action in the 2019 Varsity Cup game against UJ