Varsity Cup

Wits win Varsity Shield title

2012-04-02 19:44
Charles Baggott (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Wits, despite being down to 13 men at one stage, secured their place in the Varsity Cup next year with a hard-fought 19-17 victory over defending Varsity Shield champions, CUT, in a dramatic final in Bloemfontein on Monday.

The result means that CUT will line up against the Ikey Tigers in the promotion/relegation match which will serve as one of two curtain-raisers to the Varsity Cup Final in Pretoria next Monday.

The home side stormed onto the front foot from the start, pinning Wits in their 22 until captain Inus Kritzinger broke on the blindside of an attacking scrum and put right wing Alec Mhlanga over for a simple try.

Wits then managed to find their feet on attack, after both sides narrowly missed long-range penalty attempts, and rampaged towards the 22 where they were awarded a penalty in front of the poles which was knocked over by flyhalf Kyle Peyper to get the visitors on the board.

CUT flyhalf Jannie Myburgh restored the eight-point lead for CUT when he added a penalty just before the first strategy break, but Wits who came out firing when play resumed and they were rewarded when big lock Rinus Bothma crashed over for a try from a line-out drive.

The conversion from Peyper levelled the scores at 10-10, which prompted an immediate response from the home team who thundered back into the Wits 22 where they camped for some time as the Wits defence underwent a tough examination.

To their credit Wits stood firm and held off the onslaught from the Bloemfontein side until a moment of individual brilliance handed them the lead for the first time in the match on the stroke of half-time.

Outside centre Bronson Lange got the ball on the left and put a grubber through Mhlanga's legs before picking it up deftly and turning on the pace to strike a massive blow for his team who had done well to absorb the pressure and take a 15-10 lead into the break.

The side from Johannesburg extended that lead when Peyper knocked over a penalty early in the second half, and CUT suddenly found themselves chasing the game in front of their home crowd.

Myburgh reduced the deficit with a penalty, and Wits were placed firmly on the back foot when replacement back and former captain David Turnbull was shown a yellow card for standing on the chest of CUT left wing Seabelo Senatla.

The home side set about using their one-man advantage by forcing the stretched Witsies to defend desperately and things got even worse for the visitors when tighthead prop Phakamilu Zuma saw yellow after repeated infringements from his team - reducing the visitors to just 13 men.

CUT battled to capitalise despite their advantage and with Wits showing plenty of heart to hold them off the pressure started to mount on the men from Bloemfontein with time running out.

Wits managed to strike the next blow when Peyper slotted a sensational drop-goal from near the halfway line which restored the seven-point lead, leaving the game nicely poised with the home side needing a converted try to get back in front.

They kept hammering away and the Wits defence finally cracked when replacement front row forward Petri Coetzee forced his way over near the right corner, but Myburgh could not convert which meant that Wits held on to their slender 19-17 lead with ten minutes left.

Although the home side threw everything at the visitors in the dying stages Wits continued to show the character which had marked their performance to secure a famous victory and book their place in the Varsity Cup for the next two years.

Scorers:

CUT:

Tries: Mhlanga, Coetzee
Con: Myburgh
Pens: Myburgh 2

Wits:

Tries: Bothma, Lange
Con: Peyper
Pens: Peyper 2
DG: Peyper

Teams:

CUT: 15 Noel Marx, 14 Alec Mhlanga, 13 Charlie Hitchcock, 12 Gerrit Smith, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Jannie Myburgh, 9 Inus Kritzinger, 8 Ruan Lombard, 7 Francis Sisita, 6 Francois Harvey, 5 Gavin Annandale, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Petri Coetzee, 2 Baksteen van Heerden, 1 Rudi Britz.

Substitutes: 16 Deon Gouws, 17 Rudie Fuls, 18 Grant Shai, 19 Shaun McGeer, 20 Stephen Griesel, 21 Leon Pretorius, 22 Maphelo Mpondo, 23 Danie van der Merwe.

Wits: 15 Blake Dismore, 14 Josh Durbach, 13 Bronson Lange, 12 Ryan Odendaal, 11 Riaan Arends (vice-captain), 10 Kyle Peyper, 9 Brent Crossley, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 Devin Montgomery (captain), 6 Thato Mavundla, 5 Charles Baggott, 4 Rinus Bothma, 3 Phakamilu Zuma, 2 Piers Cooper, 1 Katlego Kgame.

Substitutes: 16 Peter van Biljon, 17 Oliver Rochat, 18 Sam Peters, 19 Heinke Hartdegen, 20 David Turnbull, 21 Nkululeko Gamede, 22 Zunaid Kock, 23 Juandre Kirkham.

Referee: Gerrie de Bruin



Wits - 2012 Varsity Shield champions (Gallo Images)

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Tips on how to set your fitness goals

Before you embark on a fitness or training programme, set yourself clear and realistic long-term and short-term goals.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice
Fixtures
09 February 2015
NWU-Pukke v FNB NMMU MADIBAZ, Potch 16:45
CUT v UJ, Bloemfontein 18:30
FNB UFS SHIMLAS v FNB UP - TUKS, Bloemfontein 18:30
UCT v Maties, Cape Town 19:00
16 February 2015
FNB NMMU MADIBAZ v CUT, PE 16:45
FNB UP - TUKS v UCT, Pretoria 18:30
UJ v FNB UFS SHIMLAS, Johannesburg 18:30
Maties v NWU-Pukke, Stellenbosch 19:00
23 February 2015
CUT v FNB UFS SHIMLAS, Bloemfontein 16:45
UCT v FNB NMMU MADIBAZ, Cape Town 18:30
UJ v NWU-Pukke, Johannesburg 18:30
FNB UP - TUKS v Maties, Pretoria 19:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Vote

Who will you be supporting in this year's Varsity Cup competition?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.