FNB Wits recovered from last week’s loss with a strong 25-15 win against CUT.

Wits entered the second round of the FNB Varsity Cup with a strong recovery from their loss against Maties last week. Wits recorded their first win of 2019, beating FNB Central University of Technology (CUT) 25-15 despite the heavy rainfall and slippery fields at Wits Rugby Stadium on Monday, February 11.

The home team played to a full and lively crowd of mostly Wits supporters. Within the opening 10 minutes of the match, Wits winger Kwanele Ngema pushed past CUT defenders to secure the first try of the match. Unfortunately, the conversion attempt by Wits meant the home team was unable to score an additional two points and led the game with a score of 5-0.

Wits tried to maintain a strong ball possession and go for another try, but CUT upped their defense and stood firm. After a successful penalty kick awarded to CUT, the away team was able to bring up the score to 5-3. Wits fought back and after a second conversion opportunity was awarded to Wits, the home team successfully maintained their lead with a score of 8-3. A second penalty kick awarded to CUT in the final minutes of the first half resulted in the away team beginning to close the gap with a score of 8-6.

The second half of the game saw the heavy downpour resulting in some sloppy play on the field resulting in multiple handling errors. Another penalty awarded to CUT saw the away team lead the game with a score of 8-9. 

Wits responded quickly by securing a try, bringing the score to 13-9. Another two penalties scored in quick succession by CUT brought the away team back to the lead with 13-15. 

The fast-paced game was brought to a temporary halt as players were taken off the field due to lightning. Once play resumed another successful try by Ngema and a final converted try saw the home team taking the match with a score of 25-15.

Ngema’s performance earned him his second Moment of the Match award. Wits prop, Bhekisa Shongwe, said that despite the sloppy play caused by the rain, he felt confident about Wits’ win. “I’m feeling positive. There’s still lots of work to be done but we’re up for the challenge and not settling for anything less,” he told Wits Vuvuzela.

Wits will play their next Varsity Cup game against FNB Shimlas at Wits Rugby Stadium on February 18. They are currently third on the log with 5 points.

FEATURED IMAGE: FNB Wits rugby captain Constant Beckerling pushing past CUT defenders.
Photo: Dominic Barnardt/Varsity Sports