Wits outwit UCT
VARSITY CUP REPORT: Wits ended their Varsity Cup campaign in spectacular fashion as they surged clear in the second half to beat UCT-Ikey Tigers 35-23 in Johannesburg.
In a game where only pride was at stake, the teams were determined to end on a high note. Not an ideal ending for UCT but Wits will be really proud of their 2017 campaign.
After just three minutes of play, Wits found themselves on the board courtesy of scrumhalf Ruan Cloete's try. Flyhalf Warren Gilbert added the extras 7-0.
The hosts extended their lead with a Kwanele Ngema try. Gilbert again successful from the tee, 14-0 as the sides broke for a strategy break.
Fresh from the strategy break UCT hit back. No.8 Nyasha Tarusenga and centre Hendrik Lategan scored two tries in quick succession. Robert Anderson added the extras as his side took a 16-14 lead at the break.
With the pace not working in Wits' favour, the hosts used their strength to take control of proceedings as the forwards Luvuyo Papuma and CJ Greef both bulldozed themselves over the whitewash to add their names to the score sheet.
Gilbert converted both tries as his side took a 30-16 lead ahead of the second strategy break.
UCT's defence was again on the backfoot as another forward, this time hooker CJ Conradie powered his way over the try-line to take the lead to 35-16 after 68 minutes of play.
The Ikey-Tigers roared back and just before full-time, Joel Smith scored for the visitors. Anderson added the extras, however, it proved a little too late.
Tries: Cloete, Ngema, Papuma, Greef, Conradie
Cons: Gilbert 4
Tries: Tarusenge, Latergan, Smith
Cons: Anderson 3
Wits: 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Tyrone Green, 11 Joshua Jarvis, 10 Warren Gilbert, 9 Ruan Cloete, 8 Constant Beckerling, 7 Conor 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 Luxolo Ntsepe, 21 Brandon Hewitt, 22 AJ van Blerk, 23 Ameer Williams.
UCT-Ikeys: 15 Lohan Lubbe, 14 Rayno Mapoe, 13 Tristan Mouton, 12 Hendrik Lategan, 11 Joel Smith, 10 Robert Anderson, 9 Michael Henning, 8 Nyasha Tarusenga, 7 Kuyenzeka Xaba, 6 Jason Klaasen (captain), 5 Gary Porter, 4 Duncan Saffy, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Cuan Hablutzel, 1 Wayrin Losper.
Replacements: 16 Msizi Zondi, 17 William Day, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Alva Senderayi, 20 Sanele Malwane, 21 Hilio de Abreu, 22 Suwilanji Chibale, 23 Luke Stringer.
Referee: Lesego Legoete
Assistant referee: Local