Wits snatches victory against Johannesburg neighbour to gain a spot in the semi-finals of the Under-20 version of the annual competition. 

FNB Wits Young Guns beat FNB University of Johannesburg (UJ) Young Guns 25-19 on Monday, April 4, to advance to the semi-finals of the Varsity Cup Young Guns league.  

Both teams were competitive in the first half with Wits pushing back against UJ, blocking the Orange Army’s advances. But the boys in blue prevailed over the visitors, leading with a score of 15-7 by the break.

Wits’ decent lead was cut short after the restart, as UJ’s flanker Kyle Ehrke scored a try, converted by Kelvin Berriman, earning the visitors seven points. Wits made a comeback with flyhalf Eben Hyman scoring a try. The game quickly got too intense with the UJ side making strong advances, earning them a yellow card. A penalty kick for Wits and a try by UJ Young Guns saw the visitors with a slight edge, 18-19. However, Wits made a comeback with a try five minutes from the final whistle, finishing with a score of 25-19. 

Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela after the game, FNB Wits Young Guns head coach Roland Bernard said that he was very happy with the win as the team qualified for the semi-finals. However, he said there were lots of opportunities lost in the game and “would like to change how we play”.  

Wits Young Guns captain Zukhanye Dubulekhwele, affectionately known as ‘Dubs said that the team had put a lot of pressure on themselves and that they should have been more comfortable. He added that going forward they should be “more clinical”, have accuracy and precision. 

UJ’s Berriman said that his team had “good execution, however, we weren’t able to finish”. 

Supporters of the FNB Wits Young Guns came out in their numbers to support their home team. Takalani Madima, a third-year BSc student, said that “It was a close play, and I am happy Wits won, however, the referee’s decisions were questionable.” 

The FNB Wits Young Guns will play on home soil against the University of Cape Town on Monday, April 10 at 16h30.

Wits and UJ engage in a scrum during an FNB Young Guns match at the Wits Rugby Stadium on April 3, 2023. Photo: Sbongile Molambo

FEATURED IMAGE: FNB UJ Young Guns tackle an FNB Wits Young Guns player during the second half of the match. Photo: Sbongile Molambo