Wits strikes back against UCT Ikeys after a four game losing streak.
FNB Wits emerged victorious against FNB UCT Ikeys ending their four game losing streak on Monday, March 18, in an emotional and bruising match at the Wits Rugby Stadium.
UCT’s missed conversion in the first half proved to be the difference in a game which ended 30-29 in favour of the home side.
Wits opened the scoring with two seven-point tries by centre pairing AJ van Blerk and Sicelo Champion. Flyhalf Chris Humphries converted both tries putting Wits 18 points ahead.
UCT replied quickly with a five-point converted try, taking the score 18-7.
The Ikeys’ strong possession was rewarded by another try, however, the missed conversion would be their undoing.
On the stroke of half-time, the UCT blindside flanker broke through the Wits defensive line to give UCT a slim one point advantage heading into the break, 19-18.
The beginning of the second half was dominated by UCT and punctuated by a penalty kick slotted in by the fullback, increasing their lead by 3 to take the score to 22-18.
A moment of magic from van Blerk saw the home team score a seven-point converted try leapfrogging them to 27-22.
Shortly after scoring the try, Wits were awarded another penalty which Humphries took advantage of. This placed he hosts at a comfortable 30-22 lead.
The game was all but over when UCT were the recipients of a penalty try in the final play, taking the score to 30-29.
The match kicked-off on a sombre note with a moment of silence for former Young Guns player Hendrik Wehmeyer, who passed away last week in a motorcycle accident. Wehmeyer played for Wits between 2016 and 2017.
“We came together this week and recollected ourselves as a group,” said Humphries. “We took everything else out of the equation and focused on progressing forward.”
It was an emotional victory for Player that Rocks winger Daniel Kapepula who appeared in the post-match interview wearing a t-shirt bearing the name of his late girlfriend, Christine Osborne. A teary Kapepula told Wits Vuvuzela that the team’s performance was about giving back to their fans and Osborne who passed away last week. “I played my heart out for her,” he said.
Wits will host FNB UWC next Monday, 25 March, in the eighth round of the Varsity Cup, hoping to build on the night’s performance.
FEATURED PHOTO: FNB Wits walked away with the honours at last night’s Varsity Cup match. Photo: Courtesy FNB Varsity Cup.