Wits hang on for victory
23 July 2012 | KOKETSO RAMOREI
JOHANNESBURG - Bothma’s name was certainly on the lips of rugby fans at Wits stadium, scoring the hat-trick that guaranteed the students their whisker-thin, two-point win.
Wits went into this weekend’s round of encounters in second place, trailing log leaders University of Johannesburg by just six points.
For Springs, it was an opportunity to accumulate points to make it into the play-offs.
Dawie van Nieuwenhuyzen took Springs into the comfort zone when he slotted five penalties for a 15-13 lead in the first half.
While most of the action was taking place in the centre of the park, at this stage, the intensity of the game was at a peak.
Wits were never at ease in the first stanza, making fatal mistakes which Springs could have converted to even more points.
Bothma responded harshly, scoring two tries that Kyle Peyper could have converted but missed the mark.
Springs had a number of scoring chances and were dominating the first half, but experience and resilience from the students kept the pack together.
And it was a penalty from Peyper that put Wits back into the game.
With energy levels high and intense, Wits proved that their position on the log was no fluke.
Anton van Deventer made sure that his name was also included on the scoresheet, scoring a converted try for the visitors.
But Piers Cooper, who came in as a substitute, crossed the white line in the 60th minute through a ball that made a steady build up leading to the try.
Following Cooper’s try, David Turnbull kept the audience on their feet for at least a minute when he made a remarkable breakaway run from a pass by Sheldon Breedt.
Before his run could bear fruit, Springs made sure that the gates were closed and denied him entry.
Bothma sealed the win when he clinched his third converted try of the afternoon and it was at this moment that Springs were reassured that their efforts to tame the students were in vain.
In other games at the weekend, Alberton got a 83-0 lashing from UJ while Boksburg’s visit to Brakpan was unsuccessful, losing 66-30.
Pirates hosted Benoni and showed no mercy to their visitors, hammering them 40-3.
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