FNB Wits gets closer to the finals, defeating FNB UKZN again, with a score of 40-26, after a tough game in the Rugby Varsity Shield cup, last night.
Wits scored the first try of the game within 10 minutes putting them in the lead by eight points.
UKZN did not back down and after a sloppy move from Wits their captain, Lwazi Ngcungama, leveled the scores when he was given a chance to score a penalty.
However, Wits scored another try shortly thereafter through their centre Marx Koch and just before half-time Ayabulela Mdudi gave Wits in a comfortable lead of 16 points when he scored Wits’s third try.
At the half-time break, Wits coach, Hugo van As said Wits was making a lot of mistakes, receiving a lot of yellow cards that could be avoided.
“We’ll cut down in our mistakes. A lot of penalties against us, a lot of discipline issues, not sure of the interpretation of the law… if we want to get continuity we would have to pick up on our discipline,” said the coach.
However, Wits was not the only team making mistakes as UKZN Coach, Ryan Strudwick also admitted that his team was struggling with defence, making the rest of the game a bit hard.
In the second half of the game, UKZN picked up its pace after a “stern talking” from their coach.
UKZN, toughened their defence and their handling, giving Wits a run for their place at the top. They [UKZN] were sitting on 21 points, putting them just 11 points behind, when Marius Louw scored a try. Siphatisene Dube’s try a few moments later brought them even closer to Wits, taking UKZN up to 26 points.
Wits closed the game a with Brandton Hewitt’s try followed by Tommy Damba’s conversion in the last 10 minutes of the game, Wits Captain, Richard Crossman admitted that they did not play to their “maximum” capacity.
“It was a tough one…I think we showed them too much respect we let them come at us we didn’t play our game tonight,” Crossman said.
Ngcungama said they played a “scrappy game” and was “really disappointed” as the captain of the team but hoped to do better so that they stand a chance to make it to the finals.
Wits hopes to not only have a place in the finale but to take the finals home while UKZN has to play and win against Fort Hare on March 30 to be guaranteed a place in the finals.