UJ secured their first win of the 2019 Varsity Cup season with a comprehensive 37-16 victory over Wits at UJ Stadium on Monday night.
It was Wits’ second loss in five matches, and while they had the edge over UJ on the Varsity Cup log going into the match (eighth and sixth respectively), it was UJ that produced a more clinical performance to celebrate after an entertaining encounter in Johannesburg.
The hosts led 17-0 at halftime after a first half they had dominated.
The handling errors made and the turnovers conceded proved costly for Wits, while their possession advantage in the opening 40 also went to waste.
UJ scored two tries in the first half through Odwa Nkunjana and a seven-pointer thanks to Shaun Williams. Mashudu Raphunga added a conversion and a penalty to take then 17-0 up at halftime.
Wits responded in the 52nd minute with a try by Adrian van Blerk, and shortly afterwards, a seven-point run-in from Kasende Kapepula took them within striking range of UJ at 20-16.
Two quick penalty kicks by UJ, followed by a converted try, gave them some breathing space on the scoreboard again.
And with five minutes to go, a converted five-pointer by Adriaan Bester made UJ’s lead – and ultimately their win – a commanding one.
UJ’s toughest one yet will be at the Danie Craven Stadium next week, when they take on defending champions Maties, while Wits have a bye.
UJ 37 – Tries: Odwa Nkunjana (2), Adriaan Bester, Shaun Williams (7-point try). Conversions: Mashudu Raphunga (3), Shaun Williams. Penalties: Raphunga (3).
Wits 16 – Tries: Adrian van Blerk, Kasende Kapepul. Conversions: Chris Humphries (2).@WynonaLouw