THE FACT that the Maties were crowned 2002 rugby league champions just a week later would in no way have diminished the joy of the FNB UCT team after recording their first win in 12 years over their mighty Stellenbosch counterparts on August 24.
The famous 34–24 victory had the media scampering for their dusty and-David-did-slay-Goliath tropes, sent "old boys" on pleasant jaunts down memory lane, and had the Maties squad sheepishly excusing themselves from the post-match shindig. And, considering that UCT more than held them to an 8–all draw at the Danie Craven Stadium earlier in the year, the Stellenbosch players will probably want to forget their 2002 trysts with the blue-and-whites.
Four tries (two by George Hauptfleisch and one each by John Bradshaw and Anthony Knox) and 14 points by flyhalf Myles Brown, were more than enough to win UCT the game, despite being down 10–16 at half-time. The final scoreline marked UCT's first victory over Stellenbosch since 1990, when the side was coached by Alan Solomons, who later went on to guide Stormers and Western Province.
To rub salt into the Stellenbosch wounds, the UCT second team beat their Matie counterparts by 32–14 and the third team matched their rivals to a 20–all draw. "In my 55 years of watching and playing rugby at UCT, never before have Matie teams ever gone back to Stellenbosch without a single win," recalled the proud Dr Cecil Moss, President of the UCT Rugby Club and former UCT, WP and Springbok coach.
And, thanks to a convincing 34–3 win over Brackenfell on September 7, the UCT side still has a good chance of earning themselves second place on the Super League A log. It won't be easy, however, as they have to contend with Villagers, NTK and Tygerberg in their last three games.