Varsity Cup – Can Wits be competitive?
January 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
Wits did some serious recruiting and development during 2012 and had relatively successful season in the two club leagues they played in finishing 3rd behind UJ and Roodepoort in the GLRU’s Pirates Grand Challenge winning 5 from 7 games and finishing 4th behind UJ, Pukke and Rustenburg Impala in the Predator League winning 9 from 13 with 2 draws against Pukke and Rustenburg Impala.
In pre-season matches in November their two teams beat TUT, last year’s Varsity Cup wooden spooners, 37-18 and 34-2.
Fortunately the Varsity Cup rules allow for a two year settling in period, which reduces the pressure as they will not be battling for their Varsity Cup life in their first season, but they obviously will want to be competitive and finish better than last. That will be a tough ask in a competition that features South Africa’s top universities.
Even traditional whipping boy, NMMU, has made massive progress over the past few years, finishing above UCT and TUT last year and beating the SWD Eagles in a pre-season work up while pushing the Southern Kings close last weekend.
Witsies will play a warm-up match against GLRU club rivals, Raiders, in a curtain raiser to the Golden Lions vs Cheetahs match.
During 2012 they recruited, amongst others, the Durban born Scotland u/20 JRWC scrumhalf, Matt Torrance, and the Tonga u/20 JRWC flyhalf, Latiume Fosita.
They have put together a talented squad of young players with 20 of the 30 players having played representative rugby at schoolboy or junior levels.
But, all said and done, Wits has a tough task ahead of them this year and while they may finish last they will hope to at least provide the big boys with competitive games and not to be whipping boys.
Wits team for Saturday’s game vs Raiders:
|14||Jacques Erasmus||22||Lions u/19||Lions u/21||Lions VC|
|13||Kayde Fisher||21||KZN CW||Sharks u/19||Sharks u/21|
|12||Jared Meyer||21||Lions CW||Sharks u/19||Sharks u/21||Sharks VC|
|11||Riaan Arends||24||EP CW||SA Schools||Lions u/19||Lions u/21||SA Students|
|10||Latiume Fosita||20||Auckland Juniors||Tonga u/20|
|9||Matt Torrance||20||KZN CW||Scotland u/20|
|8||Jason Fraser||21||Lions u/21|
|6||Pieter van Biljon||20||FS Grant Khomo|
|5||Devin Montgomery||23||Lions u/19 (Amateurs)||Lions u/21 (Amateurs)|
|4||Rinus Bothma||23||Lions CW|
|16||KK Kgame||21||Lions AW||SA Schools Academy||Lions u/19||Lions u/21|
|17||Hannes Ludick||23||Valke AW||Valke u/21||Valke|
|19||Carel Greeff||22||Leopards CW||Sharks u/19||Lions u/21|
|20||Thato Mavundla</td||23||Griffons CW||Lions u/19|
|23||Mandla Dube||22||Lions AW||Sharks u/19|