FNB Wits walked away with a loss of 17-29 after facing FNB UJ at the Wits Rugby Stadium in a Varsity Cup derby.

FNB Wits were humbled by neighbours and rivals FNB UJ as the latter left Braamfontein with a 29-17 victory on Monday, March 12. The defeat saw the Witsies slip down the Varsity Cup log to third place.

UJ started the match off strong, scoring the first two tries and converting in quick succession to put the team firmly in the lead. Wits struggled to break through the UJ forward pack but a power play from Wits’ CJ Conradie saw the team put their first score on the board. Chris Humphries though failed to convert the Conradie try. 

It was a spirited match on and off the field as spectators took to cheering and at times, heckling and booing. The crowd was eventually asked by the stadium announcers to settle down out of respect for the players. 

At half time Wits was sitting at 10-21 but a try by Conor Brockschmidt and a conversion by Humphries took the score to 17-21 and raised the hopes of the home side.

UJ’s victory was sealed by a final try conversion leaving the final score at 29-17. The team was celebrated for their efforts by the Wits side who clapped as the UJ side left the field.

Inside centre Taine Chabant believes that the UJ team took advantage of Wits’ lack of accuracy during the match. “UJ is a very good team when it comes to feeding off a team’s mistakes and that’s where they capitalise,” Chabant told Wits Vuvuzela after the game.

Wits captain Constant Beckering said that his team is determined to come back from the loss. “[For the next game] we are going to play with a mind set that there are no second chances,” said Beckering. Wits takes on FNB Northwest University (NWU) on Monday, March 19. 

FNB Wits: 17
Tries: CJ Conradie, Conor Brockschmidt
Conversions: Chris Humphries

FNB UJ: 29
Tries: Odwa Nkunjana (2), James Venter, Jan-Louis La Grange
Conversions: Kobus Engelbrecht (3)
Penalties: Kobus Engelbrecht

FEATURED IMAGE: FNB Wits goes head to head with FNB UJ at Wits Rugby Stadium. Photo: Sam Lee Hill.