Wits rugby make history by taking the top spot. 

The Wits rugby first team have recorded a historical victory against North West University (Pukke) by winning the Pirates Grand Challenge for the first time since 1967 on Saturday, September 7 at the Alberton Rugby Club.

Although a tense match, Witsies edged out the defending champions, Pukke, and won 36–33.

Winger Lwazi Monakali scored the winning try that bagged the victory for the team.

“It is a special time for the team, as this is the second time we have won the Championships in 109 years. This win is more than just rugby and we are proud of being part of a great institution that achieves goals on the sporting field as well,” said head coach Hugo van As, who added that the team played well in the final and had a productive season.

“It’s a huge honour, to bring back the trophy after so many years. It meant a lot to the team as we have been playing good rugby the past few years but didn’t have a trophy to show for it,” said team captain Justin Brandon.

The 22-year-old told Wits Vuvuzela that, “Typically rugby finals are physical. It was a fight till the last minute to secure the win.

“We absorbed a lot [of] pressure for a long time without conceding any points and we did give away a few soft tries that kept them in the game but that’s final rugby,” said the third-year BSc property studies student, adding that winning was a magical moment that would be remembered by the whole team.

Daniel Kapepula, a fullback who scored a try in the first half of the game, said “It was an amazing contest against a really resilient Pukke team and the game was played with great respect and sportsmanship, and as an athlete that’s what we strive for.”

He told Wits Vuvuzela that “We obviously would love to win more silverware next season, mainly focusing on Varsity Cup and we hope to do better than we did.”
Van As said that he hopes the team will build on its win, adding that, “we have established a good platform” for the team to continue achieving its goals.

“We want to build on our win and take it to the next level,” Van As said.

FEATURED IMAGE: The Wits rugby team celebrate after their historic win. Photo: Provided

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