The Witsies got off to a great start but were defeated by the stronger JOS side. (more…)
Men in academia at Wits have been urged to donate and contribute pads.
Wits Volleyball hosted the Volleyball Champions Cup for the first time. (more…)
By Jay Caboz
FNB Wits have been left a mountain to climb after falling to bottom place with a 63-24 loss to FNB University of Johannesburg after squaring off in their first Varsity Cup match.
“The match obviously didn’t pan out the way we would have wanted but we have to take the positives out of it. We started the game too slow and after UJ got a few early tries we were playing catch up, which is never an easy thing to do,” said Wits Captain Devin Montgomery.
UJ ran in an overwhelming 9 tries to Wits’ three. Wits also fell short of a needed bonus point by a single try in their last two games. The points would have narrowed the broadening gap between Ikeys and Shimlas who are now four and six points ahead of Wits.
Luckily, Wits’ position in the Varsity Cup is secured for the 2013 season. Montgomery explained that there was no relegation zone this year guaranteeing that Wits will have two years in the competition.
“This is to ensure that we are given a fair chance to learn and adapt to this high level of rugby,” he said, “We know that every game in this competition is going to be tough and each week it’s never going to get any easier.”
“We have defended a lot this season and there has been a big gap between the number of tackles we have had to make compared to our opponents in every game.”
Wits are gaining a reputation of a never-say-die attitude on the field. During their match against UJ, Wits showed brief moments of brilliance when going forward. One of the key members to watch is Number 8 Carel Greeff who has proven to be an influential player in the squad having added another two tries to his five for the season in four matches.
“Carel is a great player and is playing great rugby at the moment. We have a couple of go-to ball carriers in the team, one of which is Carel,” said the captain.
The No. 8 has become well known for his crashing runs through opposing lines and he is a tenacious tackler that has made him an important element in the squad.
Montgomery said the “this Varsity Cup campaign is about learning and gaining experience playing at this top level of rugby for us.”
The team’s goals were to work hard in training and aim to perform for the full 80 minutes with making as little mistakes as possible.
“Wits will earn the reputation of being a difficult fixture I have no doubt about that. The team has a special bond and because we spend so much time together there is a family sense amongst the team,” he said.
For more Varsity Cup action follow the link
FNB WIts vs FNB NWU-PUKKE
By Jay Caboz
Wits Men Hockey still intend to push for a first place finish regardless of narrowly losing their first game of the season 4-7 against Wanderers A.
The students “never say die” attitude was just not enough to scrape an upset against a Wanderers side that could field a full bench of former and current South African national hockey players.
Wits started the game well with a number of positive manoeuvres through the field. They seemed likely to open the scoring but could not find a gap to the back of the net through Wanderers keeper Michael Smith.
Shots were exchanged in both halves but with little effect until Wanderers won a penalty corner in the 8th minute. Wits keeper Cole Zondagh rushed the top of the Wanderers castle but was not quick enough to intercept a slip which was then slammed home courtesy of a Wanderers drag flick.
The shot was contested by the Wits side after it looked like it was illegally hit but the goal was not overturned.
Wits were able to shake off the goal and came back with a response in the 12th minute when Wits’ Jared Povall executed a slip drag of his own during a penalty corner that finally beat Smith.
Wanderers’ adopted an unconventional press system which gave Wits a number of problems. As a result Wits’ conceded a number of turnovers in their own half. A succession of dubious tackles resulted in Wits giving away a field goal in the 13th minute and then another in a penalty corner in the 15th to put Wanderers two goals ahead.
The cushion was broken in the final minute before half-time when Wits’ Stuart Philip managed to scramble a shot on target during an overtime penalty corner. It was Wanderers’ turn to contend the goal after the ball had “left the playing circle twice” rendering the corner over. Their query was ignored by the referees.
Wanderers dominated the opening period of the second half and Wits, uncharacteristically, did not seem to have an answer. Wits conceded two more field goals and another goal from a penalty corner to put the score at 2-6 in the 34th minute, with six minutes of play.
But the game was not quite set and buried. Wanderers’ Lance Louw was sent marching off with a five minute penalty for complaining to the referee, and gave Wits a chance of coming back.
Povall slotted a penalty corner and then three minutes later in the 40th minute made a brilliant deflection to beat Smith and score a hat trick. But it was too late for the Witsies who conceded another goal in the dying seconds to end the game 4-7 against the students.
Story and Photos by Jay Caboz
FNB Wits took a beating after FNB NWU-Pukke ran in a haul of 10 tries to, losing 71-25 on Monday nights Varsity Cup match held at the Wits Rugby Stadium.
Despite the overwhelming score line, Wits put up a good show and for the majority of the game were in running contention. But the visitors from North-West University tore through Wits defence in the second half with 5 unanswered tries leaving Wits in the dust and one try short of a salvaged bonus point.
“We were incredibly happy with our performance in the first half, we just have to learn to play for 80 minutes,” said Wits captain Devin Montgomery.
The score line opened a minute after the starting whistle when Wits flanker Thato Mavundla ran the ball over the line from a driving maul deep in Pukke’s half.
The ball continued to roll in Wits’ favour after Carel Greeff broke through Pukke’s defensive line and put another try in.In the 15th minute Pukke shook off their shock and responded with a try of their own to bring the score to 16-5.
Pukke put another eight points on the board when SJ Niemand drove over the try line.
Wits were able to extend their lead by another two points after converting a long-ranged penalty to end the first quarter. The home team managed to extend their lead to 10 points when they scored what would be their last try of the match.
Play continued to swing in both halves with Wits making some crunching tackles. But Pukke gained some level footing after scoring another try to decrease the deficit. The final nail on the coffin was drawn when Pukke put in two more tries to end the half 31-25.
The second half remained a contest until 15 minutes in when the floodgates opened. Pukke ran in five more tries which completely overwhelmed Wits’ defence. The visitors size and field play was just too much for Wits to handle.
“Yes we took a beating, but a lot of the points we conceded were from mistakes on our own behalf and turning over the ball,” said Montgomery. “We have UJ [University of Johannesburg] next week and it’s a more familiar game to us than this week. We are looking forward to it.”
The result leaves Wits hanging in last place on the log, two points behind 7th Ikeys (UCT). Wits will need to put in a good performance against UJ, who are currently sitting 3rd, to draw some points ahead of their clashes with bottom of the log teams.
By Jay Caboz
A late goal in the final two minutes of play sealed a thrilling 6-5 victory for the Wits Men Hockey over Jeppe A on Tuesday evening.
“It wasn’t our prettiest game, I mean we’ll take the win, Jeppe A is always a good game. They are tough opponents and I guess Wits played well and we put the ball in the back of the net,” said Wits Captain Geoffrey Scott.
Tuesday’s victory was their third straight win of the indoor Premier League season.
Wits began the game at a fierce tempo. They aggressively pressed the Jeppe’s defence and were rewarded almost immediately, in the 2nd minute of the game, by a well-constructed field goal by Stuart Philip.
Jeppe responded two minutes later with a goal of their own after they won a penalty corner and used a slip variation at the top of the D which narrowly beat Wits goalkeeper Carl Zontag’s first man rush.
Both sides continued to exchange shots and turnovers but scores kept level at 1-1. In the 13th minute Jeppe defender Dylan Shepard accidentally stopped a shot on the goal line with his chest. Wits’ Matthew Poval stepped up and converted the penalty stroke given against the Jeppe defender to break the deadlock and give Wits 2-1 lead.
Wits seemed happy to hold the slim advantage and began to play more defensively as half time drew closer. But Jeppe capitalised on some sloppy defence on Wits’ part and pulled two field goals in the space of three minutes to bring the score to 3-2 against Wits. The score remained 3-2 to Jeppe going into the half time break.
The second half began with the same tenacity of the first. The pressure was building for the students as Jeppe managed to take control of the midfield making life difficult for the Wits defenders to get the ball out the back from 16 yard hits.
Wits caught a lucky break in the 25th minute when a conceded short corner was overturned by the referee after Jeppe expressed dissent during the play’s build up. Jeppe were too busy arguing with the reversal of the decision to notice when Wits took a quick free hit. The lapse in concentration left Wits with a three-on-one against Jeppe’s defence. Wits won a penalty corner which Matthew Poval converted to draw the score level again.
In a matter of seconds after the restart Wits put another goal in the back of the net this time by Jared Poval. Amazingly, Wits put in a third unanswered goal by Devon Cambel giving themselves a two goal cushion of 5-3 with just eight minutes being played in the second half.
But Jeppe was not done. In the 32nd minute they pulled another goal back to bring the score to 5-4 after robbing a Wits defender during a 16 yard hit. The game heated up after a series of strong tackles were made by the Wits side. Some of these tackles were too strong and Wits conceded a pair of penalty corners. But Jeppe were unable to score, blocked out by Zontag’s last minute diving saves.
Jared Poval scored his second of the match from a neat counter attack in the 38th minute to give Wits a two goal cushion at 6-4 which left them enough space to wind the clock down. Jeppe did score from a late consolation penalty corner at the end of time to end the game at 6-5 to Wits.
“We dug deep, and we showed a lot of heart. At the end of the game they were coming at us very hard but we stuck it out and came out with a win,” said Scott after the game.
WITH Women’s Month coming to an end, Vuvuzela spoke to two well-known alumni to get their views on Women’s Month and why Men’s Month is not in South Africa’s future.
Helen Zille, leader of the DA, has made a name for herself in South African politics. She obtained a bachelor of arts degree at Wits and says Women’s Day (and month) allows South Africans to remember the women who made difficult choices in the past so we can have a more equal society today.
“It [Women’s Month] is also a time when we should recommit ourselves to opening up more opportunities for women and address the challenges women face in South Africa,” Zille says.
She says women should do whatever they feel like doing in Women’s Month and “not only what they have to do”.
“Women’s Day is significant but also slightly patronising. It enables society to compartmentalise women’s issues, rather than dealing with the underlying causes…
“So many men think it is their right to have multiple concurrent sexual partners…and young girls are often forced into their first sexual experience.
“Let’s deal with those core issues every day and not compartmentalise women’s issue into one day or month each year.”
Zille’s ultimate spoiling experience would be a meal with her family and she says there is no Men’s Day in South Africa because “every day is Men’s Day”.
Samantha Cowen’s voice is well-known in the wider Joburg area. She has hosted the Rude Awakening and the Breakfast Xpress on 94.7 Highveld Stereo for about 10 years now. She is also an ex-Witsie and says Women’s Month gives a chance for women to regroup and identify challenges.
“The maternal mortality in this country is still too high, as is HIV transmission among women and there’s a lost generation of women in their late 40s and early 50s who haven’t had the education and opportunities the rest of us have.”
She also thinks women should “not do anything” on Women’s Day or Month.
“I think women do too much on a daily basis. We’ve forgotten how important it is to have a nice cup of tea and a little sit down. And exhale.”
Her ultimate spoiling experience would be an afternoon where she has to do nothing at all and to “not think about anything at all”.
She does however think there should be a Men’s Day and Month. “I think men are in a very difficult position at the moment. Perhaps a day to reflect on the various talents we should be celebrating in the male gender would give both sexes a chance to acknowledge those.”
And why does she think there is no Men’s Day or Month in South Africa? “I have no idea! Find me a parliamentary suggestion box and I’ll pop it in!”