Last night the lights on the Green Mile shone ever so bright as FNB UCT kicked off their 2019 Varsity Cup campaign with a thrilling 32-24 victory over newly promoted Cape rivals FNB UWC.
The match started slowly with neither side registering any points before the first strategy break. FNB UCT opened the scoring with an impressive try in the corner by winger Tumi Mogoje with Darian Hock adding the extras to take the score out to 7-0.
It didn’t take long for FNB UWC to respond with a try from Kurt-Lee Arendse to level the scores at 7-7. The home side then dug deep to score another try just before the end of the half through scrumhalf Stef De Gouveia. Hock again adding the extras to take the score out to 14-7 at halftime.
After halftime the home side took a tough knock as they lost their inspirational captain Nama Xaba to an ankle injury in the 46th minute. To add further insult to injury Udubs scored a converted try through their talismanic fullback Tristan Lleyds to level the scores at 14-14.
The home side responded strongly with a 7 point try based off the point of origin rule with a move that started on their own 10 metre line with fullback Darian Hock and was finished off by hooker Cuan Hablutzel. Darian Hock made no mistake in adding the extras which took the home side out to a 23-14.
From here on out the match continued to seesaw as FNB UWC scored another converted try and added a penalty to go out in front for the first time in the match and take a 23-24 lead. The last 10 minutes of the match had the whole stadium hanging on with baited breath.
This was until the 74th minute when the stadium roared to life as the home side scored another 7 point try converted once more by Darian Hock to gain an unassailable 32-24 lead and their first bonus point victory of the 2019 season.
Darian Hock, the deserved The FNB Player That Rocks, kept his team in the game with an incredible kicking performance.
The FNB UCT Young Guns continued their unbeaten run in the competition with a strong 52-5 win over the FNB UWC Young Guns to make it a clean sweep on match day one.
Next FNB UCT host FNB Maties in another local derby that is sure to fill the Green Mile once again.
All tickets are available from Webtickets.