FNB Wits achieves their best ever Varsity Cup result 

Wits Varsity Cup team of 2018                                                                         Photo: Mary Sayegh

FNB Maties crushed FNB NWU 40-7 in a one sided encounter in Stellenbosch on Monday, April 16 to claim their fourth Varsity Cup trophy. The final match brought to an end the 2018 Varsity Cup season which saw FNB Wits achieve their best ever finish in the tournament.

Wits reached the semi-final stages of the Varsity Cup history but were beaten by the now champions, Maties, with a closing score of 65-18 earlier this month. This was Wits most successful season ever in the Varsity and Wits captain Constant Beckerling attributed this successful season to the hard work of the players and coaching staff.

“We worked hard to develop our brand of rugby, sculpting the character of our side and forging a really strong team culture and a great team identity.” He added, “I am extremely proud of the way the boys played, especially against the big sides, they really performed above themselves.”

Wits had a mixed bag of results on route to their semi-final. The first two rounds of the competition saw Wits defeat FNB Ikeys and FNB Tuks, however they were humbled early on by a defeat to FNB Shimlas in the third round.

The boys from Braamfontein redeemed themselves with three good results against FNB Madiba, FNB Maties and FNB CUT. Luck ran out for Wits as they were dealt three defeats in a row by FNB UJ, NWU and Maties.

Beckerling said that he hopes the team’s Varsity Cup display will inspire people to work towards their goals, “I think we managed to inspire people, inspire ourselves and take courage from the fact that if you set your mind on something, work hard and believe in yourself. You can really achieve things.”

FNB Wits coach, Hugo van As, said that the team achieved most of the goals they set out to achieve this year. He told Wits Vuvuzela, “One of our goals was to be competitive as a university. In the past, the team that is promoted is thought to be an easy game but all our games were competitive.”

He added that he is “proud of the brand of rugby we played, it was exciting and we want to build and expand on that”.
Wits joined the Varsity Shield in 2011, winning the tournament in 2012 leading to a promotion to the Varsity Cup 2013 tournament. The team were subsequently relegated to the Varsity Shield for the 2015 season. Beckerling said, “The major growth of our team has happened behind the scenes, it was a process that started in 2015 when we were relegated and we had to start building with new players and a new coach.”

Van As said that the team was looking towards the 2019 Varsity Cup season. “We want to establish ourselves in the top four universities in the country to achieve this we need to keep improving,” he said. Processes to strengthen the Wits side for the 2019 season are already underway, Beckerling said, “Depth within the squad is important but the players that are recruited need to fit into the Wits rugby culture.”

FEATURED PHOTO: Wits Varsity Cup team of 2018 Photo: Mary Sayegh 

Wits VuvuzelaMaties destroys NWU to win Varsity Cup, April 17, 2018
Wits VuvuzelaCurtain closes on Wits’ historic Varsity Cup season, April 4, 2018
Wits VuvuzelaFNB Wits can only hold thumbs for semi’s, March 20, 2018