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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.
The Croxley Wits Cricket Club beat out the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) yesterday in a time-limited format that lasted 9 hours.
Both teams were expected to bat twice but Wits only took to the pitch once after bowling out VUT in both innings.
While Wits emerged victorious their win was not easy with VUT putting up a strong bowling performance. The Wits wickets tumbled after they lost their batting partnership of player-coach Neil Levenson and JC Maritz. VUT put pressure on Wits on the first innings but Wits managed to win the innings with just one wicket. In the second innings Wits bowled out VUT on 48, winning to the match by 112.
“VUT is struggling a bit, it has lost quite a few players because a lot [of players] moved to another university so it’s been quite tough for them”, Levenson said.
VUT coach Orkie Engelbrecht said his team’s biggest competitor in the league is Wits and he knew this was not going to be an easy game for them.
“The highlight of the game is the discipline in bowling on both sides … Wits is doing very well with the catchers”, Engelbrecht told Wits Vuvuzela.
Nono Pongolo, first team captain for Wits, said they had the best bowling team in the league even though their batting still needed some work.
“Our batting is still coming together because we’re still quite a youngish team. There are 18 and 19-year-old players in our team … So there’s a lot of learning but also we’re trying to win the game so it’s not easy,” he added.
Wits will face Dobsonville, their toughest competitor in the league, in two week’s time.
Croxley Wits Cricket Club have played five games since the league started, winning three with six more games to play.