FNB Wits Rugby
Big win for FNB Wits left FNB NWU-Pukke with sore wounds
The FNB Wits came with one goal and that was to put their sharpest performance in against the defending champions, the FNB NWU-Pukke. The visitors claimed bragging rights with a final score of 22-13 in Round Six of this year’s FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
It was the FNB NWU-Pukke’s hooker Louis van der Westhuizen who opened the scoreboard for the home team with a corner try, but Julian Delicado’s kicking boot was unsuccessful and could only put them on 5-0. Van der Westhuizen received a yellow card to leave his team with 14 men on the field.
But flyhalf Gianni Lombard from the FNB Wits showed a classy comeback performance to put the visitors in the lead 7-5 in the 21st minute of the clash. Lombard converted his own try successfully.With Delicado struggling to get rhythm with his boot, he finally managed to kick a penalty through the poles to turn the match in the favour of his side, 8-7 in the 26th minute.The tall Marno Redelinghuys set up a try for FNB NWU-Pukke’s Jimmy Mpailane as they took the lead into halftime 13-7 up on the board.
It was the left flanker, Constant Beckerling, who narrowed the gap between the two sides as he stumbled over the try line for FNB Wits to put them one point behind 13-12. Lombard missed a difficult conversion.FNB NWU-Pukke lacked yet again on their discipline area as the replacement hooker Wilmar Arnoldi had been yellow carded for a high and dangerous tackle to give Lombard a penalty opportunity to put his team in the lead 15-13 up against the defending champions.
It was Manuel Rass from FNB Wits who took the game away from FNB NWU-Pukke as he went over for a seven-point try to give his team a substantial lead. FNB Wits left the field with a victory of 22-13 over the defending champions as they left with the bragging rights. The FNB NWU-Pukke faced their second consecutive defeat.
Wits bag historic first-ever victory in Varsity Cup
After being served up raw in the first two games of this years' Varsity Cup, a measured approach by FNB Wits meant that an enthralling game of rugby was the on the menu at the Wits Rugby Stadium on Monday evening.
Lady Luck finally made an appearance and an inspired Wits outfit put on their best showing to obliterate their opponents on the day, FNB CUT 43 - 3 in front of a tumultuous home crowd.
The hosts controlled matters ably and unveiled a vast array of skills to overturn possession at will, yet the visitor's would not be spared and found themselves at the receiving end of perilous invasions by Wits.
The home side unleashed a seemingly carnage-riddled brand of rugby and by the end of proceedings, were left more hungry than not as they felt that a key ingredient is still amiss with Wits head coach, Hugo van As expressing some solemn sentiments.
"Obviously we were disappointed with our first two results and we really felt that we could've pulled one off at least. Internally the camp really wanted to do well tonight and the scary thing is that it's 43 - 3 and the boys' are still not happy [as] we made a lot of mistakes and again lost opportunities the same as in the first and the second games." He said.
The coach added that the team would need to be sharper in order to start competing against the big teams in Tuks and Pukke, which is next on the menu for the boys' in blue. In light of this fact, he said, "The longer time the team spends together, the better they will be. We just need to cut down on the silly errors because in the first half I felt we had three or four opportunities and so it's basically back to hard work. We're only in round three of an eight week competition and because the team sets high standards we going to have to [get better]."
Wits and Golden Lions lock, Rhyno Herbst, who raked up the prized Player that Rocks award felt equally agreeable to the sentiments expressed by his coach. "I think it's come two or three years' that we've played together as a team and it's paid off but we still have a lot of areas to work on still but will take the first win at home."
He added, "This [victory] will set the base for what's coming. This is not our best yet, we’re going to strive to improve even more and put in even bigger performances to come." Wits next play Tuks at the Tuks Stadium in Pretoria on Monday, 27 February.
Wits Rugby New Recruits 2017
The next generation of Wits stars have reported for duty at Wits University and have had their first training session under the mentorship of former Transvaal centre and coach, Hugo van As
The much anticipated arrival of the Cape Cobra from Paarl Boys High, Gianni Lombard, has happened and he, as well as Jeppe’s SA School’s centre Wandile Simelane and flyhalf Tyrone Green could be the X factor the Witsies hope for in the upcoming Varsity Cup.
The above trio as well as the Monument boys, SA Schools hooker PJ Botha and centre MJ Pelser and the Garsfontein trio of PJ Steenkamp, Shaun Williams and Lincoln Daniels reported for duty on Tuesday night. Van As is also crossing his fingers that former Bokkie Hajcivah Dayimani would be released from the Lions to join his campaign. That could be the cherry on the top.
Apart from one or two of last year’s campaigners who will not qualify to play Varsity Cup rugby, the Witsies have kept the core of their squad.They also have a new acquisition from the University of Johannesburg in scrumhalf Kallie Erasmus.Lombard is an attacking exponent from Boys High while Simelane ply his trade in the midfield.Green also has the X-factor at 10 while Pelser is a tough inside centre while Daniels is home at nine and on the wing.PJ Steenkamp represented the Bokkies at lock but his natural progression could see him turn out a seven flanker.
The Witsies start their preparation with a friendly against neighbours, UJ on the 14th in January.
Wits Rugby Football Club was established in 1909 and has a rich, proud history and tradition. Many Springbok and provincial players have been produced by the club over the years.
|practice||Mon, Tue & Thur 18h00-20h00|
|venue||(1) Wits Rugby Stadium, Braamfontein Campus East; Braamfontein Campus East rugby fields - internal league & practices|
|head coach||Hugo van As, tel 011-717 9439|
|sports officer||Yvonne Swanepoel, tel 011-717 9417|
|club chair||Andrew Keightley-Smith|
|manager||Al Leonard, tel 011-717 9439|
The 2015 USSA rugby week held at UJ from 29 June to 3 July featured teams from 32 tertiary institution campuses and Wits fared extremely well, finishing the week ranked 5th in the A division. Click here to see all the results.
The Wits Rugby Club competes in the prestigious Pirates Grand Challenge (PGC) league which, in addition to being the oldest club rugby competition in South Africa, is also widely acknowledged as the country’s premier club competition. The club fields 5 teams – 1sts, 2nds, 3rds, Under 21’s and Under 19’s.
Steinhoff Wits Internal Rugby League
The internal rugby league (IRL) is contested between faculties, residences and societies as well as a team each from Monash University and the Midrand Graduate Institute. The league currently comprises nine teams: Steinhoff Junction/Men's Res; Steinhoff Masakhane; Steinhoff Medics; Steinhoff Monash; Steinhoff Noswal Hall; Steinhoff SAUJS; Steinhoff SHA; Midrand Graduate Institute Tigers and Steinhoff Commerce.