FNB Wits had a weak performance at this past Varsity Cup tournament

FNB Wits’ glimmer of hope of making it to the semi-finals of the FNB Varsity Cup tournament was put out by a harrowing defeat of 15-74 by FNB NWU at the Fanie du Toit Stadium earlier this month.

Wits bowed out sixth on the log with a total score of 16 points.

This was two positions down and an astounding nine points less than what they had achieved in last year’s tournament when they lost to FNB Maties in the semi-final stage of the tournament.

Wits only won three of their eight games played in the tournament.

“We haven’t achieved all our goals of the season”, Wits rugby coach Hugo van As told Wits Vuvuzela.

The boys were no match to NWU’s stellar play and Schalk Hugo’s slick converting boot in particular.

“Pukke outclassed us,” FNB Wits Rugby manager Ferdinand Kelly said.

“Nonetheless, it is something we will learn from. Come 2020 we will be back stronger,” said Kelly.

Wits Rugby lost star players Wandisile Simelane, Tyrone Green and Gianni Lombard before the season when they signed up to the Lions.

“As a club we want our players to grow, that is what we are there for,” said Van As.

Van As explained that the youthful squad will gain exposure on the field. “They are the next generation of players who will help us achieve our goals going forward,” he said.

FNB Wits had a shaky start of the tournament when they lost 33-17 to FNB Maties in the first round.

The Braamfontein team, however, redeemed themselves in the second round on home ground where they hammered FNB CUT 25-15. Winger Kwanele Ngema set the tone for the evening by scoring a try within 10 minutes of the game.

Of the four home games played at the Wits Rugby Stadium, Wits only lost one to Gauteng rival FNB UJ.

Having lost 39-16 in the fifth round, Van As said, “The UJ game did not work out as planned, UJ came out hungry”.

Wits had a slim victory of 30-29 against FNB Ikeys in the eighth round played on Monday, March 18. After the match, Wits captain Constant Beckerling said the match was bitter-sweet.

Former Wits Young Guns player Hendrik Wehmeyer had passed away the week before in a motorcycle accident while speedster fullback Daniel Kapepula lost his girlfriend Christine Osborne that same week.

“The team support each other just as a family does,” Brydges said.

FNB Maties seeks to defend their Varsity Cup title against FNB Tuks in the final round of the tournament on Monday, April 15, at the Danie Craven Stadium.

*FNB Maties were crowned this year’s FNB Varsity Cup champions after thrashing FNB Tuks 34-12 in the finals played at the Danie Craven Stadium on Monday, April 15.

FEATURED IMAGE: FNB Wits hope to bounce back in the 2020 FNB Varsity Cup tournament. Photo: Lutho Mtongana