Tendai Dube & Lutho Mtongana
The Young Doctors (Medics) celebrate their 16-13 win against Masakhane in the finals of the internal rugby league. Photo: Lutho Mtongana
CORRECTION: Wits Vuvuzela initially reported that Men’s Res won against the Engineers but it was the Engineers that won the game. We regret the error.
After a 10-year losing steak, the Medics have finally claimed the top spot on the internal rugby league by beating Masakhane 16 – 13 at Wits University last night.
The Young Doctors scored the winning try of a high-pressured game that saw both teams at 13-all in the last ten minutes.
“My favourite part of the game was when Charl Stonewall Bosman (medics) slotted that drop goal”, medics captain, Patrick Chappel said.
“It was a tremendously difficult game, it was really tough, there has been a slow rivalry between us and Masakhane for a while now but it was fantastic and the boys are over the moon,” said Chappel.
Although the game ended sadly for the Masakhane boys their captain, Katlego Maseko believes the team put their all in the game.
“The team played amazingly, I think the boys put their all and their hearts into it but as captain, I let them down”, Maseko said.
“We deserved more from the outcome of the game,” he added.
The first half of the game showed Medics leading 13–0 against Masakhane but the Masakhane boys came back hard after an intense pep talk from their captain, telling the team to put out their hands, face-up and grab for the coveted trophy. In the second half Masakhane managed to equalise the score 13-all, but it fell short as the Medics scored once more.
The evening started with a “curtain raiser” match between, Mens Residence playing once again against the recently disqualified Engineers, Engineers won 47-8.
Humanities (Titans) and South African Hellenic Association (SHA) also played a “bowl final”, where the Titans walked away 64-0.
DEFEAT: Commerce team player lies on the floor after losing the game. Photo by: Lutho Mtongana
After being out of the game for three weeks, rugby side Masakhane thundered their way to second on the Wits internal league log with a resounding 52-0 win against Commerce on Wednesday night.
The team, which has not played in a while owing to a lack of availability of their opponents, returned to the league with a strong team effort and even better defence.
“I want my 50, I want my 50, tell Steve I want my 50!”chanted captain Katlego Maseko, motivating his team as the first half ended 44-0. Steve is one of the flankers and scored one of the tries of the night.
Masakhane managed a total of eight tries, with two impressive break-away tries.
“Two best moments from yesterdays match for me is firstly, Uzi’s cross kick try and secondly, when Greg threw the ball through his legs to Steve and then Steve did the same thing for Ryan,” said Maseko.
Two other games were played last night. The winning sides walked all over their opponents leaving the losing sides pointless.
The Midrand Graduate Institute (MGI) Tigers opened the night and lost their game 55-0 to Humanities (Titans). Mens Res (Raiders) won21-0 against South African Hellenic Association (SHA).
Masakhane is still the second on the log, ahead of them is the Medics (Young Doctors). There is one last round of games, next week, Masakhane taking on SHA, before the play-offs start on the August 27.
Wits rugby team Medics “Young Doctors” is currently number one at the university, having lost none of their matches this year from ten teams. Their latest victory was against Monash for the Rugby Internal League play off.
Following Young Doctors is Masakhane with 208 points and the Engineers with 173 points. The SA Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) which still have not won any games since the league started, managed only 50 points and continue to remain at the bottom this semester.
SAUJS have not played any games this semester and have been troubled since their team had a leadership deficit – their manager only just returned two weeks ago from a two month trip overseas. Alan Leonard, Rugby Internal League coordinator, said, “If SAUJS cannot continue then the scores for SAUJS will be wiped out and it will be as if they had not played. That levels the playing field”.
Meanwhile, Masakhane is determined to take the Medics on in the finale after they lost only one game last semester against the Medics. Katlego Maseko, Masakhane captain said his team had no problems, had “the best defence in the league” and he hoped to see Medics in the final.
Even though the Medics have done extremely well their captain, Donovan Heslop disclosed that “one part of our game that needs work is our defence and kicking, this has always been a problem with us our strongest asset has been our attack, we have very exciting players who are able to create tries when needed.”
TEAM HUG: The Medics rejoice after winning a game. Photo by: Tendai Dube
For the past three years the Medics have only made it to the semi-finals, not winning the cup. Heslop said this time, “Our goal is to make the final and hopefully win the league.”
As for Mens Res, they opened this semester with another loss. Leonard said, “Last week their fitness was not up to scratch and they seem to change their team every week.”
“I think the other teams have got stronger but also with the disruptions the teams have not played the same number of games,” he added.
Monash captain, Tatenda Mtemeri said that one of the reasons for their lack lustre performance well is that they had a lot of new players most of which were under 19. They had only three seniors remaining.
However, it’s not really a Super 6 anymore; this year all teams will play until the semi-finals. This means that all teams on the league, Medics, Masakhane, Engineers, Commerce, Monash, Humanities (Titans), Mens Res (Raiders), South African Hellenic Association (SHA), MGI Tigers and SAUJs will be part of the remaining three rounds of the games.
The Rugby Internal League Final will take place on September 10, with only three rounds left until the play-offs. The last week will see a five game round if SAUJS emerges from its leadership crises and continue to play, according to Leonard.
Close on the Medics’ heels for winner, according to the current standing, looks likely to be Masakhane or the Engineers.