Historic North-South rivalry reignited
April 04, 2013
One of the most intensely-fought rivalries in Varsity Cup history will be reignited in the 2013 Final at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Monday night.

FNB Maties host FNB UP-Tuks in another battle between North and South, and if previous fixtures between these two sides are anything to go by then it should be a classic.

Of course, the rivalry between the two sides stretches back further than the Varsity Cup, with battles down the years featuring the likes of Springbok legends Wynand Claassen, Rob Louw and Naas Botha.

The sides first met in 1951, and clashed regularly throughout the 1970s and 80s in what became a highlight of the University rugby calendar in South Africa.

Since the Varsity Cup started in 2008 the two sides have met nine times, with Maties coming out on top six times and leading the overall points tally by 278-225.

However, six of their meetings have ended with the teams within eight points of one another, which indicates just how competitive they have been over the years.

The match on Monday will be a replay of last year's final, which saw the Pretoria side lift the trophy for the first time, but this year they will have to travel to Stellenbosch which has been the venue for six of the nine Varsity Cup encounters between the sides.

Although Maties have not been beaten in the 2013 season, their sternest challenge came in Pretoria where they squeezed out a tight 18-16 victory, with a late Dean Grant penalty sealing a dramatic victory for the three-time champions after they had trailed for the entire match.

This will be the fourth Varsity Cup play-off between the teams in the six-year history of the competition (with Stellenbosch leading this head-to-head 2-1), and on Monday there should be another chapter to add to their historic rivalry.

FNB Maties v FNB UP-Tuks Varsity Cup results:

(Tries scored in brackets)

2008: FNB Maties 31 FNB UP-Tuks 31 in Stellenbosch (4-5), FNB Maties 47 FNB UP-Tuks 44 in Stellenbosch (6-5)
2009: FNB Maties 23 FNB UP-Tuks 25 in Stellenbosch (2-3), FNB Maties 38 FNB UP-Tuks 14 in Stellenbosch (5-1)
2010: FNB Maties 64 FNB UP-Tuks 17 in Stellenbosch (9-3)
2011: FNB Maties 13 FNB UP-Tuks 27 in Pretoria (2-1)
2012: FNB Maties 23 FNB UP-Tuks 22 in Stellenbosch (3-2), FNB Maties 21 FNB UP-Tuks 29 in Pretoria (3-4)
2013: FNB Maties 18 FNB UP-Tuks 16 in Pretoria (2-2)