A seven-point try from wing Matt Macdonald helped Wits beat UJ 7-6 for their first-ever derby win in Johannesburg on Monday. DYLAN JACK reports.
In a rain-affected game, both teams showed plenty of intent to run the ball but lacked the accuracy and decision-making to turn their chances into points.
It was a historic day for Hugo van As’ team, who sealed their first win over UJ in the Varsity Cup in dramatic fashion, despite trailing their opponents and enduring a malfunctioning set piece.
UJ led for most of the game, thanks to two first-half penalties from flyhalf PW Steenkamp. However, the visitors did find themselves on the back foot for much of the contest and were forced to make nearly three times as many tackles as their opponents.
Somewhat ironically, Wits stole the lead just after it appeared that they had spurned their best chance to get on the scoreboard when replacement flyhalf Christian Humphries missed a kickable penalty. It should also be noted the UJ’s Steenkamp and Shaun-Christian Baxter shanked a penalty each when either would have been enough of a buffer to give them the win.
Humphries made amends soon after as he made a linebreak from inside his own half, before handing the ball to MacDonald to finish, leading to emphatic celebrations from the Wits students.
Wits – Try: Matt MacDonald.
UJ – Penalties: PW Steenkamp (2).
Wits – 15 Daniel Kasende, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Sicelo Champion, 12 Aidynn Cupido, 11 Matt MacDonald, 10 Kurt Webster, 9 Runaldo Pedro, 8 Travis Gordon, 7 Phillip Krause, 6 Constant Beckerling, 5 Anton Gerber, 4 Kevin du Randt, 3 CJ Greef, 2 Justin Brandon, 1 Ebot Buma.
Subs: 16 Mulalo Sadiki, 17 Keagan Glade, 18 Reynard Cronje, 19 Emmanuel Tshituka, 20 Cal Smid, 21 Hlumelo Ndudula, 22 Chris Humphries, 23 Lwazi Monakali.
UJ – 15 Shaun Williams, 14 Matt Matsinya, 13 Musawenkosi Tshabalala, 12 Siphesihle Radebe, 11 Tatendaishe Mujawo, 10 PW Steenkamp, 9 Divan Henning, 8 Edwin Jansen, 7 Kwagga van Niekerk, 6 CJ Masuku, 5 Tyler Brown, 4 Andre Meyer, 3 Chergin Fillies, 2 Pierre Rabe, 1 Luke Fortuin.
Subs: 16 Darnell Osuagwu, 17 Nkosikhona Masuku, 18 Cohen Kiewit, 19 Buhlebenkosi Qaba, 20 Kelvin Kanenungo, 21 Wynand Botha, 22 Seun Maduna, 23 Shaun-Christian Baxter.
Photo: Dominic Barnardt /Varsity Sports