It will be déjà vu on Monday when FNB UFS Young Guns face FNB UP-Tuks Young Guns in the 2015 FNB Varsity Young Guns presented by Steinhoff International final at Xerox Shimla Park in Bloemfontein.
Kovsies were crowned champions last year in dramatic circumstances after beating two-time champions UP-Tuks Young Guns 3-1 in a kick-off in Pretoria after the scores were level after regular time and 20 minutes of extra time.
This time around the Bloem side will have home ground advantage as they go in search of back-to-back titles against opposition that have an illustrious history in this tournament.
Kovsies are the only unbeaten team in this year’s edition and their performances against some of the competition’s toughest suggest that they might be favourites heading into this encounter. They also laid down a significant marker by being the only team to beat UP-Tuks Young Guns in regular time in the tournament after their 37-24 win in Round Two.
The young Tuks team has been the dominant force in this competition since it started in 2012, winning two titles in a row before their defeat in last year’s final. They also seemed unbeatable in an 80-minute game before their defeat to Kovsies a few weeks earlier.
While Kovsies might have a strong psychological hold on them, Tuks have showed this season why the final will be a close affair. They entered their Round Five tie with FNB NMMU Young Guns in Port Elizabeth needing to win with a bonus-point and with a margin of 14-points or more to qualify for the final. They did it with ease, sending a stern warning of what they are capable of when under pressure.
It should all make for a thrilling encounter on Monday with the eventual winners holding the bragging rights for another year.
FNB UFS Young Guns: 15 Apiwe Dinga, 14 Carel-Jan Coetzee, 13 Stephen Rautenbach, 12 Carel Durow, 11 Arno van Staden, 10 Dwayne Wessels, 9 Arrie Pretorius, 8 Daniel Nyamugama, 7 Nardus Erasmus, 6 De Wet Bezuidenhout, 5 Andries Kriek (captain), 4 Ntokoza Vidima, 3 Thabiso Kanye, 2 Robin Stevens, 1 Johan Kotze.
Replacements: 16 Henry Slabbert, 17 Janu Botha, 18 Lawrence Danso, 19 Willandre Kotzenberg, 20 TJ Goddard, 21 Julian Jordaan, 22 Dale Koopman, 23 Quintin Vorster.
FNB UP-Tuks Young Guns: 15 Philip Orffer, 14 Keanan van Wyk, 13 Peet Schoeman (captain), 12 Franco Naude, 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Theo Maree, 8 Juandre Swanepoel, 7 Marco van Staaden, 6 Johannes Meintjies, 5 Ashton Fortuin, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Jacobus Holtzhauzen, 2 Vuyo Khathide, 1 Xander van Wyk.
Replacements: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Madot Mabokela, 18 Sam Mitchell, 19 Denzil Hill, 20 Visser Impi, 21 Brendan Owen, 22 Lourens Pretorius, 23 Stefaan Grundlingh.
Date: Monday, April 6
Venue: Xerox Shimla Park, Bloemfontein