Wits University saw the Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby League champions being crowned on Wednesday evening in Johannesburg as Steinhoff Junction triumphed 37-5 over Steinhoff Pearson, in a fairly one sided game.
The day began with the third\fourth place game take place as a curtain raiser to the final, where Steinhoff Medics ran out 24-20 winners in a tightly contested battle, over last season’s champions the Steinhoff Humanities Titans.
Both Steinhoff Junction and Steinhoff Pearson can be considered ‘new boys’ in the league, having joined the Steinhoff Koshuis ranks two seasons ago. So the final that was played was both sides’ first final in their history and the new champions will represent FNB Wits next year in the Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby League that features other rugby playing universities from around the country.
The game kicked in front of a good crowd, with Steinhoff Pearson holding the most support in the stands, as they cheered their boys on, hoping for their side to be crowned champions.
The match was fairly tight in the beginning, with both sides not looking to give too much away as they played with caution. The opportunity to get points on the board fell to Steinhoff Pearson, with a penalty which they unfortunately missed to keep the scores deadlocked at 0-0 in the first 10 minutes.
About 4 minutes later Steinhoff Junction got an opportunity of their own and flyhalf Jared Fuller stepped up and sent his attempt through the sticks to send his side to a 3-0 lead. Steinhoff Pearson were penalised again after an infringement from one of their men and Steinhoff Junction opted to add to their slender lead with Fuller making sure again to add the extra three and take the score to 6-0.
With momentum firmly with Steinhoff Junction, they scored a try two minutes later, where a good set of hands from their backs saw Tendai Musasike catch the last pass on the wing and round it off with a magnificent converted try under the poles. Steinhoff Pearson then knew they needed to find a way back into the game before the task at hand got tougher. They were awarded a scrum in the Steinhoff Junction 22m area, which resulted in a pick up from the base by their eighthman, who offloaded the ball, which eventually saw Claude Tshidibi dot down in the corner for an unconverted five pointer.
With half time looming, both sides looked to try eat away at each other’s defences but it was Steinhoff Junction who succeeded, when Jared Fuller broke through the middle of the park from just inside the Steinhoff Pearson half to cross the white chalk and convert his own try, giving Steinhoff Junction a 20-5 lead at the interval.
The second half saw the men separated from the boys, with Steinhoff Junction keeping the scoreboard ticking. Early in the half they received a penalty that Fuller dispatched once more and added another three-pointer to his teams lead. Ten minutes later this was followed by another converted try by the in-form flyhalf, who again managed to dance his way past the Steinhoff Pearson defence from his own half this time and dive over under the poles to set up an easy conversion for himself.
With the score at 27-5, Steinhoff Pearson knew they needed a miracle to get back in the fierce battle, but it wasn’t to be for them, instead Steinhoff Junction added to their lead, when towards the end Victor Mongwe did the business by scoring a converted try. Jared Fuller made no mistake when he was asked to add another three-pointer off a penalty towards the end.
The final whistle eventually sounded and Steinhoff Pearson were put out of their misery whilst Steinhoff Junction were crowned the new Wits Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby League champions of 2017, coming out eventual 37-5 winners.
Steinhoff Junction: 37
Tries: Jared Fuller (2), Tendai Musasike (1), Victor Mongwe (1)
Cons: Jared Fuller (4)
Pens: Jared Fuller (4)
Steinhoff Pearson: 5
Tries: Claude Tshidibi (1)
Steinhoff Junction XV: 1. Dylan Solomon, 2. Victor Mongwe, 3. Tendai Musasike, 4. Tafar Mbizi, 5. Christiaan Kleyhans, 6. Mathew Whittaker, 7. Matlari Baloyi, 8. Daniel de Jesus, 9. Aston Silver, 10. Jared Fuller, 11. Tameem Rewat, 12. Renaldo Dorfling, 13. Mark Harel, 14. Iaaian Mcdulling, 15. Zuko Delubom
Steinhoff Pearson XV: 1. Sibusiso Taongai, 2. Andile Maillabo, 3. Miguel Curadibicua, 4. Phillip Matande, 5. Johnny Ilunga, 6. Dafadzwa Makombe, 7. Amon Dlamini, 8. Claude Tshidibi, 9. Njabulo Shangase, 10. Brian Bagombeto, 11. Panashe Mischetwa, 12. Enoch Ilembwa, 13. Kukami Manamela, 14. Tatenda Muchat’baa, 15. Talent Sagombeto
By Sifiso Nyawo