After a nail-biting final the FNB UKZN rugby team beat FNB Wits 24-29 and raised the 2015 Varsity Shield trophy at Wits Stadium Monday night.
With a back and forth banter of ball possession for the first 15 minutes of the game, UKZN’s right flanker and captain scored- after which they were dominant throughout the match.
“It came down to the little details and maybe we just wanted it [the win] more,” said UKZN head coach, Ryan Strudwick.
UKZN’s defence was impressive tonight as it broke the Wits offensive line multiple times when they pushed to attempt tries. The winning team focused on their defence during the past week’s training as it has let them down in the last few games, which played a key role in their victory according to Strudwick.
“Obviously we are disappointed. Every final has pressure and we couldn’t handle it,” said Wits head coach, Hugo van As.
With Wits losing plenty of balls in front of the try-line, Van As nit-picks that there were many opportunities, but the players just couldn’t pull through.
UKZN captain and over all player of the tournament, Lwazi Ngcungana, said that his team won because they were much more clinical and switched-on in the game than the Wits team. “We were also motivated in the fact that we couldn’t lose three times to Wits in one tournament,” said Ngcungana.
The Wits team’s desperation to win led to many unnecessary mistakes in the last 20 minutes, until hooker, Ferdinand Kelly, dropped over the try-line with two minutes of game time left. Still, this spark of good play came too late.
“We have a very young side and yet we had a good season. We just weren’t able to put our play into action tonight,” said Wits captain, Richard Crossman.
Published: Wits Vuvuzela on 7 April 2015