UJ bites the dust

Daniel Maartins scores a try for Shimlas.

FNB UJ suffered a smashing defeat at the hands of FNB Shimlas, with two tries right at the end saving the home side from an embarrassing scoreline.

The second game and second home defeat for the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in the FNB Varsity Cup ended in a 47–29 win for the team from the University of the Free State on 6 February. Both sides played a fast, running game of rugby, but the visitors in blue were evidently more confident in their game plan. They were also more aggressive in their attacks, more clinical in their passing and offloads and stronger in defence.

Both teams targeted the sides of the try lines with backline runs, but Shimlas always had a player ready to receive a pass or make a tackle when it mattered.

In spite of what happened on the field, the crowd of diehard fans never stopped cheering their team on at the top of their lungs. Loud music played while the UJ faithful danced, chanted and sang, led by the mascots and cheerleaders.

UJ coach, Werner Janse van Rensburg hastily shook the hands of his opposite coaching staff after the game, before telling media he would not comment on the match and left through the tunnel.

Shimlas coach, Hendro Scholtz said, “We had the smaller pack so we tried to avoid physical contact, it worked well.” He added that the wet conditions on the day suited his team’s style of play and they were able to choke UJ’s dangerous runs.

A moment of silence was held before kick-off, in honour of former Springbok scrumhalf, Joost van der Westhuizen, who died earlier that day after suffering from motor neurone disease (MND).

Related article: Local rugby club pays homage to Joost

Nicholas Zaal and Andile Dlodlo

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