Wits are rugby champs

Wits are the 2016 Varsity Shield champions.

It was an intense season but Wits emerged victorious at the Varsity Shield final by beating their visitors from the western Cape 39-2 at home last night. The team’s performance also sees them moving to the top tier Varsity Cup next year.

The Braamfontein outfit dominated the proceedings in the first 20 minutes, scoring 2 tries in the process, one by scrumhalf Ruan Cloete just 5 minutes into game Kyle Wesemann’s try followed shortly after. The University of Western Cape (UWC) responded with a penalty by flyhalf Aidynn Cupido, the team’s only scoring chance converted for the evening.

After the game was interrupted 23 minutes into the game by a blackout in the area.

After the recommencement, Wits captain Warren Gilbert increased the score through a dropgoal outside the 22 to make it 15-2.  Heading into the half-time break, Graham Logan capitalised on a long rolling maul to give Wits a 23-2 lead.

The second half was less easy for the Wits team who defended their line for the better part of the initial stages.  UWC couldn’t crack the defense though despite a number of abortive attempts.  CJ Conradie put the match beyond UWC’s reach with a clinical try before Constant Beckerling sealed the match with his.

Full time score: FNB Wits 39-02 FNB UWC


Wits: 39

Tries: Ruan Cloete, Kyle Wesemann, Graham Logan, CJ Conradie, Constant Beckerling
Conversions: Warren Gilbert (4)
Drop goals: Warren Gilbert

UWC: 2

Penalty: Aidynn Cupido



15 Luxolo Ntsepe, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Joshua Jarvis, 12 Kyle Wesemann, 11 Sicelo Champion, 10 Warren Gilbert, 9 Ruan Cloete, 8 Constant Beckerling, 7 Conor Brockschmidt, 6 Ruan MacDonald, 5. Mitchell Fraser, 4 Graham Logan, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 2 CJ Conradie, 1 Tidje Visser


16 Craig Hume, 17 Ameer Willaims, 18 Mitchell Crossman, 19 Ayabulela Mdudi, 20 Wian Coetzee, 21 Thato Marubela, 22 Adriaan van Blerk, 23 Brandon Palmer


15 Jacquin Moses, 14 Octovane van Staden, 13 Courtney Cupido, 12 Lubabalo Faleni, 11 Minenhle Mthethwa, 10 Aidynn Cupido, 9 Clayton Daniels, 8 Matthew Faught, , 7 Jeremy Papier, 6 Verno Treu, 5 Matthew le Roux, 4 Brandon Valentyn, 3 Tahriq Allen, 2 Peter Wanjiru, 1 Kelvin de Bruyn


16 Keenan Douw, 17 Wayron Losper, 18 Sabelo Dlamini, 19 Byron Burgess, 20 Matthew Nortje, 21 Melikhaya Wana, 22 Monre Lingeveldt, 23 Robin Paulse


Wits boys shield their position on top

Tendai Dube and Lutho Mtongana

The Wits Varsity Shield team is back with a competitive bang, sitting top of the log with three wins and a draw in their first four matches of the season.
FNB Wits has been unstoppable since the season kicked off a month ago and this week was no different when the boys drew 37-all against the University of the Western Cape (UWC) at home.
Wits captain and flank Richard Crossman said the team has been fortunate in getting this far in the Cup.
“It’s been a huge transformation, we have a whole bunch of new guys, new management, and they are all fresh from matric. We only have two or three senior guys,” said Crossman.
Although they are currently leading the log, the team still have to work hard to stay ahead of the game and, according to Crossman, are training intensely.
“Our weaknesses is that we are young and inexperienced but that could also be our strength because our guys are young and are willing to learn,” Crossman said.
In their first game of the year the Wits boys went head-to-head against a normally challenging Fort Hare, and defeated them with a solid 39-24 win.
They then proceeded to squash the TUT Vikings with 71-36 in their next match on February 19.

CROSSING THE LINE: Richard Crossman, Wits Rugby Captain, flank  Photo: Tendai Dube

CROSSING THE LINE: Richard Crossman, Wits Rugby Captain, flank Photo: Tendai Dube

On March 9 Wits will be playing against Fort Hare on the Wits Rugby Field and Crossman is determine that they will come out on top once again with their home ground advantage.
There are five teams in the Varsity Shield this year: UWC, Wits, Fort Hare, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). Wits needs to finish at the top of the log at the end of the season to secure a chance to move back into the Varsity Cup.

Big five in the posts

Keegan Boulle, a Tuks reserve, scores the fourth goal in their game against UCT on Monday. Photo: Provided

Keegan Boulle, Tuks reserve, scores the fourth goal in their game against UCT on Monday. Photo: Provided

A RESOUNDING defeat on Monday night took away any hopes the University of Cape Town (UCT) team had of moving up from the bottom of the Varsity Football log.

Goal after goal, it became obvious that the University of Pretoria (Tuks) players were not going to let the UCT team squeeze in one redeeming goal for themselves.

The team from the coast were at a slight disadvantage as Tuks played on their home ground, the Ama Tuks Stadium, with their fans cheering them on every step of the way. [pullquote align=”right”]By the 90th minute the outwitted UCT team had watched five flashes of fire go off, signalling five goals at their goalposts[/pullquote]

UCT goalkeeper Bevan Adonis showed some promise in the fifth minute of the game with an impressive diving save. The opening goal by Tuks’s Desmond Khuzwayo was the catalyst that kept Adonis diving and sliding in the goalposts.

Man of the match Dean Wilkinson then scored a clean shot on goal, which made it obvious that Tuks were out to win.

Mbongeni Masilela put his boot in with a third goal.

Keegan Boulle, a reserve put on late in the game, added two more goals to Tuks’s tally. By the 90th minute the outwitted UCT team had watched five flashes of fire go off, signalling five goals at their goalposts.

Back home

More disappointment took place on the field closer to home at Milpark Stadium. Wits were beaten by the visiting team from the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

The 2-0 victory pushed the Wits team down to seventh spot on the log after the gains they had made last week with their 1-0 win over UCT.



Scoring boots lift Wits

The third round of Varsity Football was explosive indeed, with the Wits student team winning their first match of the campaign.


In their second away game, Wits beat UCT 1-0 at the Green Mile in Cape Town. Winger Neo Makua netted a last-minute goal, pulling Wits from the bottom of the log to a comfortable fifth position.

This left UCT as stragglers on the log.

LOG: The Varsity Football log as it stands right now. Photo: Provided

LOG: The Varsity Football log as it stands right now. Photo: Provided

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) also won their game, scoring one goal against North West University (NWU) – Mafikeng Campus – on the losers’ home ground.

Wits have scored the least goals in the campaign so far and have also conceded the most goals – eight in three games.

Booted off

NWU have been the highest scoring team in the tournament with 10 goals under their belt.

Until last Monday they had never lost a match. NWU have now conceded two goals and lost one match.

TUT has now taken top spot on the log and are now the only undefeated team in the competition.

Their unbeaten streak makes them early favourites to take the tournament, but there are still six weeks to go.

Strong defence play led to draws between Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and University of Pretoria (Tuks) and between the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the University of Free State .

Wits will take on UWC today at 7pm on their home ground, Milpark Stadium.



Wits top Varsity Shield log

Wits ran in six tries to top the Varsity Shield log at home last night, despite a late comeback by the visitors.

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) placed some early pressure on the home side but were unable to cross the line in the first half.

The result means Wits are two points clear at the top of the table, although second-placed Central University of Technology (CUT) have a game in hand.

Centre, Bronson Lange, charged down a kick and ran the ball over to score Wits’ second try of the night. This meant the home side lead 17-2 at the break in what was a more closely contested first half than the scoreboard suggested.

Wits lock, Charles Baggott, scored the first of what would be a binge of tries in the second half.



An incredible display of pace, stepping and some juggling skills then allowed winger Riaan Arends to finish what would become the try of the match. Arends ran from deep in the visitors half, dodged several UWC defenders and just managed to hang on to the ball when a desperate tackle on the try line almost knocked it from his grasp.

The final result of 43-20 flatters UWC, who had just two points until late in the game when they hit back with a pair of tries.

Wits will be hoping to make it three wins in a row when they travel to the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) on February 20.