Cape Town - Wits were too strong for UWC, dominating the Varsity Shield Final at Wits Rugby Stadium and running out 39-2 winners.
Although Wits had already secured Varsity Cup promotion for 2017, there were no signs of complacency as they scored as early as the fifth minute through scrumhalf Ruan Cloete.
Wits dominated the first 20 minutes of the match, as UWC struggled to gain possession and conceded numerous penalties. UWC pulled back two points through a successful penalty kick by their star flyhalf Aidynn Cupido, but it wasn’t long before Kyle Wesemann crossed over for Wits’ second try after a brilliant breakaway run by Kwanele Ngema.
In the 23rd minute the lights went out as Wits Rugby Stadium experienced a power outage and the players went back into their changing rooms. Play resumed 30 minutes later.
Flyhalf Warren Gilbert continued to pull the strings for Wits and soon slotted a slick drop goal from just outside the 22 to extend his side’s lead to 15-2.
Graham Logan crossed over after a strong driving maul to add a third try on the stroke of half time. Wits led 23-2 at the break.
The second half was more evenly matched. It took 20 minutes for either team to score, with hooker CJ Conradie getting over for the home side. Nine minutes later, Wits’ Beckerling was over for another try, as his side’s forwards continued to dominate up front.
UWC gave it their all and strung together a few good moves in the final five minutes, but it was too little too late as Wits were crowned 2016 Varsity Shield champions.
Player That Rocks: Constant Beckerling (Wits)
Tries: Ruan Cloete, Kyle Wesemann, Graham Logan, CJ Conradie, Constant Beckerling
Cons: Warren Gilbert (4)
Drop goals: Warren Gilbert
Pens: 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