Wits crowned Varsity Shield champs

Wits scored five unanswered tries to thump UWC 39-2 in the Varsity Shield final at Wits Rugby Stadium on Monday.

The hosts, who had already qualified for next year's Varsity Cup after topping the Shield log, opened the scoring in the fifth minute as scrumhalf Ruan Cloete went over from a 5m lineout. Flyhalf Warren Gilbert failed to convert.

UWC flyhalf Aidynn Cupido then put the visitors on the board when he kicked a penalty in the 12th minute.

Wits hit back a minute later as wing Kwanele Ngema made the break and sent centre Kyle Wesemann in for the try. Gilbert converted to put Wits 13-2 ahead.

(Play was interrupted by a power failure in the 23rd minute, resuming after about 30 minutes.)

Gilbert kicked a drop goal, before lock Graham Logan went over 10 minutes later to score Wits’ third try, with Gilbert adding the extras to put the home side ahead 23-2 at half-time.

UWC remained scoreless in the second half as Wits ran in two converted tries through hooker CJ Conradie and No 8 Constant Beckerling to secure the win and the 2016 Varsity Shield title.

Wits – Tries: Ruan Cloete, Kyle Wesemann, Graham Logan, CJ Conradie, Constant Beckelring. Conversions: Warren Gilbert (4). Drop goal: Gilbert.
UWC – Penalty: Aidynn Cupido.

Wits – 15 Luxolo Ntsepe, 14 Kwanele Ngema, 13 Joshua Jarvis, 12 Kyle Wesemann, 11 Sicelo Champions, 10 Warren Gilbert (c), 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 Tijde Visser.
Subs: 16 Craig Hume, 17 Ameer Williams, 18 Fraser Mitchell, 19 Ayabulela Mdudi, 20 Wian Coetzee, 21 Thato Marobela, 22 AJ van Blerk, 23 Brandon Palmer.

UWC – 15 Jacquin Moses, 14 Gordon-Wayne Plaatjies, 13 Courtney Cupido, 12 Lubabalo Faleni, 11 Minenhle Mthethwa, 10 Aidynn Cupido, 9 Clayton Daniels, 8 Matthew Faught, 7 Matthew le Roux, 6 Jeremy Papier, 5 Jose Julies, 4 Brandon Valentyn, 3 Tahriq Allen, 2 Peter Wanjiru, 1 Kelvin de Bruyn (c).
Subs: 16 Keenan Douw, 17 Wayron Losper, 18 Sabelo Dlamini, 19 Verno Treu, 20 Matthew Nortje, 21 Malikhaya Wana, 22 Monre Lingeveldt, 23 Robin Paulse.

Photo: Catherine Kotze/SASPA