- Their impeccable home form
Chester Williams’ charges have been in sublime form all season at home, boasting a 100% win record. Their only real challenge came against Cape Town rivals and newcomers FNB CPUT in a narrow 26-23 victory. Their other home results were an 88-8 victory against FNB Rhodes, 30-10 against FNB TUT and most recently a 50-26 against FNB WSU.
- Hunger to overcome the final hurdle after losing out twice before
FNB UWC find themselves in familiar territory and that may just give them the edge over their title rivals this season. The Cape side lost out to FNB CUT Ixias in the 2013 final and were on the losing end again in the 2016 final against FNB Wits. Meanwhile, their opponents in this year’s final have never reached this stage before and despite having a good run in the competition, it will be third time lucky for FNB UWC and they will finally claim first place.
- Momentum and consistency favours FNB UWC
FNB UFH was the only team that FNB UWC lost to this season. Since that heart-breaking 32-31 loss in Alice, the Cape team have bounced back and gone on to win their fixtures in fine fashion while the visitors have picked up losses here and there. What’s interesting is that FNB UFH have not been particularly good on the road while their hosts have been flawless at home.
- Team synergy has carried the team thus far
One of the most important aspects of any team is the value of unity in the team. From the onlookers, FNB UWC seems to have that going well for them and it shows on the field with every try scored. It may be argued that FNB UFH also boasts this team spirit but the home side have the extra player on the stands that can carry them through.
- Remaining focussed on big moments – experience
When a team is doing so well it is very easy for them to lose focus. There will be lapses in concentration in the game but FNB UWC have shown to be more focused at crucial times in the game. When they dominated for a period against FNB CPUT the tries were flying in but as soon as they had their numbers depleted due to yellow cards, they did not let the match slip away from them. The same thing happened in the semi-final where they were dominant early on in the game before two of their players were yellow carded in quick succession. They remained focused and did not let the game slip away from and that showed their focus at crucial moments in the game.
It promises to be an exciting final as both teams possess quality line ups. FNB UWC may have a slight edge and take this one come April 10, 2017.
By Thulani Mkosi