FNB Wits beat FNB TUT by 53 points when they played their first home game this season in the Varsity Shield rugby match on Monday.
Enjoying home ground advantage, Wits were hoping to redeem themselves from not only their 26-18 defeat against UKZN last week Monday, but also their 2015 defeat against the same team in the varsity shield finals.
The rainy weather, which threatened to disrupt play, didn’t dampen the spirits as Thato Marubela scored the first try to put his team 5-0 up. Captain Conor Brocschmidt brought the score up five more points to bring his team back into double digits. Fly-half Warren Gilberts, who missed his first conversion, managed to add three extra points on his second attempt. Wits continued piling on the pressure with a try from Constant Beckerling and another successful conversion. The Wits defense held firm against a desperate and physical FNB TUT side, bringing the halftime score to 21-0 for the home team
In the second half continued in the same vein, with Scrum-half Ruan MacDonald scoring three consecutive tries and his teammate AJ van Blerk putting the final nail in the coffin when he converted a penalty try, ending the game with a whitewash final score to 53-0 for FNB Wits.
“They were more physical than I expected but I don’t think they were as tactically prepared as we were,” said Brocschmidt.
The Wits team managed to regroup from a disappointing loss lost week and improve on their backline to clinch not only a confidence boosting win, but also an excellent birthday present for their team captain. “It was quite a good birthday present,” said Brocschmidt.
Even with a slight break, the Wits team won’t lose sight of their target to improve on last season’s form, when they travel to the University of Fort Hare to play FNB UFH next Thursday at Davidson Rugby Stadium.
“Every opposition is a strong opposition but I think we are pretty confident … the boys will be hungry for more after this,” said Brocschmidt.