Wits prune inconsistent Ixias
VARSITY CUP REPORT: Wits came good in Round Three as they bagged their first 2017 Varsity Cup victory when they ran in five tries to defeat CUT-Ixias 41-3 in Johannesburg.
Wits secured a bonus point in the 59th minute match as their backline proved tough to handle. CUT looked promising with ball-in-hand but a combination of numerous errors and excellent Wits defence saw them leave the match try-less and suffer their second consecutive defeat in the campaign.
Wits dominated the early possession and it took just three minutes for them to open the scoring. After Warren Gilbert kicked them into CUT's half, the forwards went to work and created an overlap on the outside for Wandisile Simelane to grab the opening try on debut. Gilbert converted to ensure a 7-0 lead.
Wits remained on top and spent much time inside the Ixias' half but were unable to add to the scoreline at the first strategic break.
CUT got themselves on the board immediately after the break when flyhalf Martin Jacobs slammed home a penalty from inside his own half to reduce the deficit to 3-7 after 21 minutes. But Wits restored their seven point lead a minute later when Gilbert grabbed his first penalty of the match, 10-3.
The visitors were reduced to 14-men in the 26th minute when Dian Dry was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tip tackle and immediately conceded three points when Gilbert slotted his second penalty of the match to extend Wits' lead to 13-3.
Wits finished the half on the front foot as Graham Logan ensured their second try of the game was a seven pointer when he rounded off numerous phases of play. Gilbert added the conversion to ensure a 22-3 lead at the half-time break.
CUT came out firing in the second half but brilliant Wits defence kept them at bay. The visitors were once again down to 14 men in the 52nd minute when hooker Stefan Jacobs was shown a yellow card for repeated infringements at the breakdown.
Wits took full advantage by grabbing their third try of the match. From a five-metre line-out, Wits secured the ball and mauled their way over! Hooker Justin Brandon emerged with the ball to claim the five-pointer. Gilbert added the conversion to extend their lead to 29-3.
The home side were riding high and grabbed their bonus-point in the 59th minute when No.8 Constant Beckerling benefitted from their dominance at scrum time on CUT's five-metre line. Gilbert missed the conversion though but the lead was now 34-3.
Wits found themselves down to 14-men in the 61st minute when debutant Manuel Rass was sent to the bin for a high tackle but the Ixias were unable to take advantage of the extra man.
The home side would have the final say though as replacement Ameer Williams scored his side's fifth try of the match with the final play of the game. Gilbert converted to round off the victory.
Tries: Simelane, Logan, Brandon, Beckerling, Williams
Cons: Gilbert 4
Pens: Gilbert 2
Pen: M Jacobs
Yellow cards: Dian Dry (CUT-Ixias, 26); Stefan Jacobs (CUT-Ixias, 52); Manuel Rass (Wits, 61)
Wits: 15 Luxulo Ntsepe, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Josh Jarvis, 12 Brandan Hewitt, 11 Wandisile Simelane, 10 Warren Gilbert (captain), 9 Ruan Cloete, 8 Constant Beckerling, 7 Conor-Terrah Brockschmidt, 6 Ruan Macdonald, 5 Rhyno Herbst, 4 Graham Logan, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 2 CJ Conradie, 1 CJ Greeff.
Replacements: 16 Justin Brandon, 17 Brandon Palmer, 18 Pascal Snyman, 19 Jethro de Lange, 20 Karl Erasmus, 21 Manuel Rass, 22 Jarred Branco, 23 Ameer Williams.
CUT-Ixias: 15 Denzil Fiff, 14 Masego Toolo, 3 Waldo Putter, 12 Pieter Toua, 11 Gorden Madonsela, 10 Martin Jacobs, 9 Ruben Heymans, 8 Stefan Kruger, 7 Sylvester Makakole, 6 Dean Rossouw (captain), 5 Rayno Nel, 4 Pieter Venter, 3 Hendrik Smit, 2 Stefan Jacobs, 1 Jean Volkwyn.
Replacements: 16 Theunis Truter, 17 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 18 Kyle Ess, 19 Kian Skippers, 20 Dian Dry, 21 Dean Jacobs, 22 Ruan Wasserman, 23 Denver Kleu.
Referee: Archie Sehlako
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Willie Vos