Wits continue blooding youngsters

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:54
Large hugo van as wits 2017 800

VARSITY CUP REACTION: Wits have already given two 2016 SA Schools players a taste of the Varsity Cup and we can expect to see more young players being given a chance to shine in the competition. Tauriq Ebrahim reports.

Wandisile Simelane announced himself onto the Varsity Cup stage by grabbing his side's opening try of the match while Manuel Rass was brought on as a replacement in the 41-3 victory over CUT-Ixias.

Head coach Hugo van As was glad he was able to bring them into the game and has stated that he will hand debuts to a few other players in the coming weeks.

"They [Simelane and Rass] were part of our pre-season but the whole process [of giving them game time] was put on hold for a few weeks, however, to have them back now, improves our quality and it's far more than their performance on the field.

"A guy like Wandi [Wandisile Simelane] brings another dimension to our attack but hopefully in the next two or three weeks we can add two or three more [young players], which is good news for the squad as a whole," van As told rugby365.com.

Wits may have recorded their first victory of the 2017 campaign on Monday by a comfortable margin, however, van As and his team are hungry to improve their standards.

"The team is hungry to improve, so that will be our first priority. After the game, the team felt that there is a lot of room for improvement because it was not the complete performance at all.

"It [the match] was much harder than what the scoreboard reflects and we really had to work hard for that victory. In spite of that, we still admit that we can be better as there were opportunities we could have taken but we are grateful for the win.

"Our outside backs are performing well but they can be better. It is up to us [management] to find the balance [of where to use certain players] in order to achieve the best out of the team on the night," he added.

While Wits may feel that they can improve their attacking performance, they managed to achieve a defensive objective of not conceding a try on the night.

By Tauriq Ebrahim
@Tauriq365
@rugby365com

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Brumbies v Highlanders 13 | 18
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Bristol v Gloucester 14 | 32
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Pool CUP
Team P W D L Pts
UP-Tuks 7 6 0 1 29
Maties 7 6 0 1 29
UJ 7 5 0 2 25
Shimlas 8 5 0 3 23
NWU-Pukke 7 4 0 3 18
Wits 7 3 0 4 16
UCT-Ikeys 7 2 0 5 9
NMMU-Madibaz 7 1 0 6 6
CUT-Ixias 7 0 0 7 3
Pool SHIELD
Team P W D L Pts
UWC 6 5 0 1 27
Fort Hare 6 4 0 2 20
UKZN-Impi 6 4 0 2 20
WSU 6 3 0 3 14
CPUT 6 2 0 4 10
TUT 6 2 0 4 9
Rhodes 6 1 0 5 6