FNB Wits’ unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday as they were beaten 37-31 by a very physical Roodepoort team at the FNB Wits Stadium.
The home side had a slow start to the game as the visitors managed to score two unconverted tries in the same corner inside the first fifteen minutes.
It appeared as if Wits had gathered momentum as Greg Blom converted a penalty but Wits soon found themselves huddled behind the goal posts again as Roodepoort scored their third try. The opposition kicker had a poor day as he missed his third conversion, taking the score to 15-3.
The home side managed to fight back and score a try through blindside flanker, Thato Mavundla, after a good lineout on the opposition 5 meter line. Blom converted the try to give the home side a glimmer of hope of a comeback.
The Roodepoort side had other ideas and scored a bonus point try just before half time, with the kicker once again failing to convert the try, giving the visitors a 20-10 lead as they went into the break.
The second half started well for the home side as they attacked from the start. Great play between the backline saw Kenneth du Plessis finish a try set up by teammate, Wesley Roberts. Blom converted to close the gap to just three points.
Just like in the first half, the home side conceded points immediately after scoring points of their own. Roodepoort scored their fifth try which was also unconverted. This took the score to 25-17.
The home side didn’t give up, but some poor defence from Wits saw Roodepoort score a soft try. The sixth try for the visitors was eventually converted, extending their lead to 32-17. Shortly after the restart, the visitors scored a seventh try to take their score to 37-17.
Wits didn’t not give up as some people in the crowd said the game was over for the home side.
A second try from Thato Mavundla, and a try from replacement Jason Fraser gave the home side some hope of fighting back, but the spirited effort at the end was not enough as Wits eventually lost the game 37-31.
This was their first loss of the season. Wits has done enough to secure a semi-final spot, but they need to do well in the final two fixtures of the season to try and secure a home semi-final spot.
The next two games are against UJ (11 August) and Boksburg (18 August).