Bragging rights in the Jo'burg Derby went to hosts FNB Wits for the first time in FNB Varsity Cup history, but only just after a 7-6 win over FNB UJ.
Wits welcomed their crosstown rivals to a mildly chilly Wits Rugby Stadium, determined to follow-up their season-opening victory in the Cape with another at home. Befitting the status of the match, it was one that was tightly contested, with nerves playing a role in missed opportunities - especially for the hosts who'd never beaten UJ in this tournament.
The first half started off in a very cagey manner, with both sides not giving much away early on. The Orange Army (though dressed in their black away kit) did however get on the board first, with a penalty from 35m out. Flyhalf PW Steenkamp made light of work of the kick at goal. It didn’t take long for them to add to their tally, with Wits being penalised once more. Steenkamp was once again up to the task, guiding his side into the break leading 6-0.
The second half continued in much the same vain as the first. UJ were, however, strong defensively despite Wits throwing everything they had at them – most notably quick-footed fullback Daniel Kasende. Wits did have an opportunity to half the decifit with a penalty awarded 30m out. Substitute kicker Chris Humphries failed to knock it over, with the slight breeze taking the attempt astray. UJ were then afforded an opportunity of their own but once again the breeze came into play, taking Baxter's kick wide of the uprights.
Inside the last 10 minutes, it was the Witsies who had the last laugh of the game, with the backs running riot to eventually see winger Matt MacDonald sliding over for an unconverted point-of-origin try, to see Wits take a narrow one-point lead - which they were able to hold on to for a famous victory.
FNB Player that Rocks: Aidynn Cupido (FNB Wits)
Steers Kinging Moment: Daniel Kasende (FNB Wits)
FNB Wits: 7 (0)
Try: Matt McDonald (point-of-origin)
FNB UJ: 6 (6)
Penalties: PW Steenkamp 2
FNB 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 Greeff, 2 Justin Brandon (captain), 1 Ebot Buma.
Replacements: 16 Mulalo Sadiki, 17 Reynard Cronjé, 18 Keagan Glade, 19 Emmanuel Tshituka, 20 Cal Smid, 21 Hlumelo Ndudula, 22 Christian Humphries, 23 Lwazi Monakali.
Coach: Hugo van As
FNB UJ: 15 Shaun Williams, 14 Siphamandla Matsinya, 13 Musawenkosi Tshabalala, 12 Siphesihle Radebe, 11 Tatendaishe Mujawo, 10 PW Steenkamp, 9 Divan Henning, 8 Edwin Jansen (captain), 7 Kwagga van Niekerk, 6 Kelvin Kanenungo, 5 Tyler Brown, 4 André Meyer, 3 Chergin Fillies, 2 Pierre Rabie, 1 Luke Fortuin.
Replacements: 16 Darnell Osuagwu, 17 Nkosikhona Masuku, 18 Cohen Kiewit, 19 Buhle Qaba, 20 Kelvin Kanenungo, 21 Wynand Botha, 22 Seun Maduna, 23 Shaun-Christian Baxter.
Coach: Dewey Swartbooi