UJ Young Guns have been the stand-out performers this season. They ended the season as the top team in the division and top scorers, now they have it all to do in the championship final as they face three-time champions FNB UP-Tuks Young Guns in the final.
The FNB UJ Young Guns began their campaign with an agonising 53-50 defeat in a 14-try thriller. The ‘Orange Army’ showed character and determination after that opening round defeat, as it motivated them and saw them soar up the log standings, defeating every team in their way.
Known for their attacking display, FNB UJ Young Guns, after losing their first match, have outscored every team that they have faced on their road to the final. A convincing 69-32 victory over FNB Maties Young Guns, and 58-16 win over FNB Madibaz Young Guns highlighted their quality and attitude in the competition. Then a hard-fought 40-37 victory over FNB Ikeys Young Guns meant that they finished top of the log standings, and booked a ticket to the final.
They now face a far bigger challenge, as they face three-time champions FNB UP-Tuks Young Guns, and the team from Pretoria are used to this kind of pressure as they are far more experienced than their counterparts. The team is unbeaten this season, but FNB UJ Young Guns are aware of the challenge.
“This is a very special group of talented young rugby players and they believe they can win games,” said assistant coach, Graham Hill. “They are willing to work hard and put in what it takes to win.
“The team has enjoyed the time off from the pool games and the players have come back to training with renewed energy and purpose – they are ready to get stuck in!”
They come into this match as underdogs, but captain Kevin du Randt believes that the key will be the ability to play as a team and work hard for each other. FNB Tuks Young Guns have been in this situation before and know what it takes to win the final as they have won it on three occasions, however, they still have it all to do if they are to make history by beating the FNB UJ Young Guns and clinching a fourth title. The teams will face each other at UJ Stadium on Tuesday 12th of April, and the match will be televised on SuperSport at 16:00.
FNB Tuks Young Guns:
15 Curtis Jonas, 14 Odwa Nkunjana, 13 Johann Vermaak, 12 Johannes van Tonder, 11 Vuyo Shongwe, 10 Eduard Fouche, 9 Wynand Botha, 8 Morney Moos, 7 Juandre Michau, 6 James Venter, 5 Kevin du Randt, 4 Adriaan Bester, 3 Sarel Smith, 2 Le Roux Baard, 1 Hannriel Coetzee
16 Willem du Plessis, 17 Johan Meyer, 18 Thokozani Skhosana, 19 Martin Mangwiro, 20 Tristan Eve, 21 Morne van der Berg, 22 Jonathan Koyana, 23 Stephen Bashera
By Nkosinathi Shazi