But FNB Maties hit back with two maul tries from hooker Sean Swart, the leading try-scorer in this year’s tournament (nine). Centre Taigh Schoor and replacement Jurie Matthee then crossed the line to give the hosts a 26-14 half-time lead.
However, FNB UWC fought back brilliantly after the break, with scrumhalf Conwill Conradie scoring a seven-point try and centre Aydon Topley a five-pointer. A conversion and penalty from captain Lyle Hendricks then put them 31-28 up after 61 minutes.
But FNB Maties responded with two more tries, the last from replacement hooker Chris Rossouw with four minutes remaining.
The loss sealed UWC's relegation back down to the FNB Varsity Shield for 2023.
FNB UWC Starting XV: 15 Tiaan Henecke, 14 Will Vraagom, 13 Aydon Topley, 12 Lubelo Scott, 11 Tasriq Mynhardt, 10 Lyle Hendricks (captain), 9 Conwill Conradie, 8 Romuald Ntumba, 7 Godfrey Muzanarwo, 6 Nicholas Chipanje, 5 Jaen-Louis de Lange, 4 Husayn Banzi, 3 Riaan van der Merwe, 2 Mauritz Swart, 1 Keanuh Michaels.
Replacements: 16 Bradman Grove, 17 Haniël du Toit, 18 Liam Tattersall, 19 Franco Ceasar, 21 Peter Williams, 22 Tandile Hoyi, 23 Andries Engelbrecht, 25 Ethan Diston.
Head coach: Paul Treu
FNB Maties 40 (26) – Tries: Sean Swart (2), Taigh Schoor, Jurie Matthee, Juan Beukes, Chris Rossouw. Conversions: Nevaldo Fleurs (5).
FNB UWC 31 (14) – Tries: Godfrey Muzanarwo, Jaen-Louis de Lange, Conwill Conradie (1x7), Aydon Topley. Conversions: Lyle Hendricks (3). Penalty: Liam Hendricks.
FNB Player That Rocks: Nevaldo Fleurs (FNB Maties)
Match summary courtesy Varsity Cup Media. Photo by Luigi Bennett/ASEM Engage.