UJ dominate Jo'burg derby
Full-back Kobus de Kock ran in four tries as UJ cruised to a resounding 63-24 victory over Wits in their Johannesburg derby on Monday.
The visitors ran in nine tries at the Wits Rugby Stadium to emphatically beat their local rivals who fought hard, but came away empty-handed after scoring three tries.
UJ got on the front foot early on, surging into the opposition 22 and forcing Wits to defend from the outset. De Kock opened UJ's account when he glided over, and although he could not convert the lead was soon 10-0 after wing JR Esterhuizen broke out a big hand-off to go over in the corner.
The visitors camped inside the Wits 22 as they continued to turn the screws and loosehead prop Wiseman Kamanga was next on the scoresheet when he peeled off a driving maul for their third try.
Wits found themselves trailing 18-0 at the strategy break, and they responded by taking the game to UJ, marching into the 22 where No.8 Carel Greef crashed over for their opening try which was welcome relief for the home fans.
However, UJ hit back immediately when De Kock cruised over for his second try which also wrapped up the bonus point for the visitors.
Wits were doing their best to soak up the pressure, but UJ's former Baby Bok scrumhalf Vian van der Watt exposed a hole in the Wits midfield and got the pass away to his captain Justin Wheeler who got over for their fifth try.
Despite the huge deficit Wits refused to give in and they were rewarded when loosehead prop Hannes Ludik forced his way over from close range to close the gap to 34-16 at the break.
De Kock wrapped up his hat-trick soon after half-time and the tries kept flowing for the visitors as replacement hooker AJ le Roux went over shortly aferwards to extend their advantage to 47-16.
Wits showed their fighting spirit once more when some nifty passing following a tighthead scrum saw Greef go over for his second try, but UJ hit back straight away as De Kock took advantage of some sloppy defending to run in his fourth try.
The bonus-point win sees UJ go to the top of the log, with the result of the clash between UP-Tuks and Maties to decide whether they will stay there, whilst Wits are still searching for their first Varsity Cup victory after another heavy defeat in their debut season.
Tries: Greef 2, Ludik
Cons: Peyper 3
Tries: De Kock 4, Esterhuizen, Kamanga, Wheeler, Le Roux, Botha
Cons: De Kock 6
Wits: 15 Greg Blom, 14 Jacques Erasmus, 13 Kayde Fisher, 12 Jared Meyer, 11 Riaan Arends, 10 Kyle Peyper, 9 Brent Crossley, 8 Carel Greef, 7 Rinus Bothma, 6 Thato Mavundla, 5 Charles Baggot, 4 Devin Montgomery (captain), 3 Phakamilu Zuma, 2 Pierce Cooper, 1 Hannes Ludik.
Replacements: 16 Rory Anderson, 17 Bradley van Niekerk, 18 Katlego Ntsie, 19 Jason Fraser, 20 Mathew Torrance, 21 Nkuli Gamede, 22 Josh Durbach, 23 Katlego Kgame.
UJ: 15 Kobus De Kock, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Bradley Moolman, 12 Luan Steenkamp, 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Divan van Zyl, 9 Vian van der Watt, 8 RJ Liebenberg, 7 Justin Wheeler (captain), 6 Kobus Porter, 5 Johan van der Hoogt, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Wiseman Kamanga.
Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Van Zyl Botha, 18 David Antonites, 19 Thilip Marole, 20 Jacques Pretorius, 21 Adriaan Vermeulen, 22 Tommy Damba, 23 Njabulo Mkize.
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge