In arguably one of the tightest rugby finals ever witnessed in South African rugby, the FNB NWU-Pukke beat FNB Maties 7-6 in the 2016 FNB Varsity Cup final at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Monday.

Both teams defended like trojans throughout the match, with the Pukke defence keeping the Maties at bay on a number of occasions in the first-half.

At the halfway mark the teams were still deadlocked with no point being scored in the first half.

In the second half, Maties took advantage of an early period of territorial advantage to finally put points on the board through two penalties by flyhalf Chris Smith.

With two minutes remaining however, Pukke thought they had stolen the match at the death after replacement winger Dean Stokes chased a kick and seemed to go over in the corner.

After numerous replays, the TMO ruled that he had knocked the ball on.

Pukke were awarded a penalty from the resulting defensive Maties scrum, electing to take another scrum with just a minute left in the game.

After a number of reset scrums and further penalties to Pukke, they eventually took the ball wide, receiving yet another penalty after a Maties player played the ball on the ground.

In the end FNB Pukke’s wave after wave of determined attacks paid off, as they crossed the line and converted to secure their first FNB Varsity Cup title in the competition’s nine-year history, winning 7-6.


FNB Maties: 6

Pens: Chris Smith (2)

FNB Pukke: 7

Tries: Marno Redelinghuys

Cons: Ryno Smith


FNB Maties

15 Craig Barry, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Paul Streicher, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Remu Malan, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Janco Venter, 6 Beyers de Villiers, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 JE van der Merwe, 2 Freddie Kirsten, 1 Niel Oelofse

16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Wesley Adonis, 18 Robey Labuschagne, 19 Saud Abrahams, 20 Bjorn Bernardo, 21 Kyle Steyn, 22 Brandon Asher-Wood, 23 Boeta Kleinhans

FNB Pukke

15 Ryno Smith, 14 Lucian Cupido, 13 Johan Deysel, 12 Henko Marais, 11 Sylvian Mahuza, 10 Barend Janse van Rensburg, 9 Malherbe Swart, 8 Jeandre Rudolph, 7 Marno Redelinghuys, 6 Jaco Jordaan, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Neil Morrison, 3 Bart le Roux, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Cornelius Mafela

16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Joe Smith, 18 Ruan Venter, 19, Tiaan Liebenberg, 20 Percy Williams, 21 Lonwabo Nela, 22 Dean Stokes, 23 Lawrence Mabokela