Wits romped to a bonus-point win over UWC to climb out of the relegation zone, while Tuks thrashed CUT and UJ claimed a win over the Madibaz in round six of the Varsity Cup on Monday.
In the first match of the round, Wits claimed a 51-12 bonus-point victory over UWC in Johannesburg.
Several teams face a fight for survival in the latter stages of this year’s competition. At the end of the current season, the two lowest-ranked sides on the combined 2021-22 log will be relegated to the Varsity Shield. Wits will breathe easier after securing a crucial result at Wits Rugby Stadium on Monday. Meanwhile, the pressure will mount on UWC, who remain in the relegation zone.
Wits absorbed a lot of early pressure and then struck from turnover ball. Two point-of-origin tries and two successful conversions boosted the hosts into a commanding 18-0 lead after 20 minutes. Scrumhalf Hlumelo Ndudula scored a second try thereafter, while halfback partner Chris Humphries secured the team’s four-try bonus point on the stroke of half time. The tempo of the FNB Wits attack wreaked havoc upon the visitors’ defence. The hosts maintained their intensity after the break to surpass the half-century mark. Humphries finished the contest with a haul of 20 points.
In Gqeberha, UJ recorded a well-deserved 24-9 win over the Madibaz. Two early converted tries by hooker Darnell Osuagwu gave the visitors a 14-0 lead, which is how it stayed until the start of the third quarter when flyhalf Jonathan Viljoen kicked a penalty goal. Replacement flank Philip Apea-Adu scored the Orange Army’s third try of the night in the 64th minute, but they were unable to get another for the bonus point.
Instead, it was fullback Kyle Cyster who got the Madibaz on the board with a consolation point-of-origin try. In Pretoria, No 8 Divan Venter scored two of UP-Tuks’ nine tries as they thrashed the winless CUT Ixias 61-12.
The match between UFS Shimlas and the UCT Ikeys was postponed due to lightning and will be played at 9am on Tuesday, 22 March.
Varsity Cup Round 6 results and scorers:
Wits 51 (35) – Tries: Hlumelo Ndudula (1×7, 1×5), Luhle Matyolweni (2×7), Chris Humphries, Wian de Lange. Conversions: Humphries (6). Penalty: Humphries.
UWC 12 (3) – Try: Romuald Ntumba (1×7). Conversion: Lyle Hendricks. Penalty: Hendricks.
Player That Rocks: Azi Afrika (Wits)
Maties 20 (20) – Tries: Sean Swart, Nevaldo Fleurs. Conversions: Fleurs (2). Penalties (2).
NWU Eagles 12 (7) – Tries: Sampie Swiegers (2). Conversion: Nivan Petersen.
Player That Rocks: Juan Beukes (Maties)
UP-Tuks 61 (33) – Tries: Ethan Burger, Divan Venter (1×5, 1×7), Kabelo Mokoena, Stephen Smit, Tharquinn Manuel (1×7), Werner Fourie, Orateng Koikanyang, Mihlali Stamper (1×7). Conversions: Clyde Lewis (2), Walter Visser (3).CUT Ixias 12 (7) – Tries: Jan Kotze, Matthew Sekele. Conversion: Zinedene Booysen.
Player That Rocks: Kabelo Mokoena (UP-Tuks)
Madibaz 9 (0) – Tries: Kyle Cyster (1×7). Conversion: Siphosethu Dlongodlongo.
UJ 24 (14) – Tries: Darnell Osuagwu (2), Philip Apea-Adu. Conversions: Jonathan Viljoen (3). Penalty: Viljoen.
Player That Rocks: Mpho Kubheka (UJ)
Photo: Catherine Kotze/Varsity Cup/ASEM Engage