A terrible first half performance contributed to the Walter Sisulu University All Blacks crashing to a disappointing 50-24 defeat at the hands of the University of the Western Cape in their Varsity Shield clash at the BCM Stadium on Monday night.
A massive effort from the powerful UWC forward pack gave the visitors great front foot ball throughout the match, allowing their skilful back line the freedom of the field as they ran in eight tries to three in a superb display of attacking rugby.
The All Blacks however did themselves no favours in the match as constant mistakes and knock ons robbed them of any momentum that they were trying to gain, which always left them on the back foot.
UWC completely dominated the first half as with the wind at their back they got off to a fast start that the All Blacks never recovered from as they built an almost unassailable lead by the break.
It took just six minutes for the visitors to get on the board as massive early pressure on the All Blacks tryline ended with UWC flank Shane Orderson crashing over in the left hand corner, with flyhalf Aidenn Cupido then missing the conversion.
Three minutes later UWC scored their second as they swung the ball from one side of the field to the next with centre Michaine Fick hitting a gap and diving over to the right of the posts.
Cupido made no mistake with his second kick to put UWC 13-0 up.
A comedy of errors in the 27th minute then saw WSU slip further behind.
First they lost their own line out and then UWC won a tight head after knocking the ball on, which allowed them to get right onto the WSU try line, with prop Justin Theys then crashing over next to the uprights for a converted score.
A fantastic solo effort from UWC scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies four minutes later then sealed the bonus point, as he picked the ball up off the base of a scrum in the All Blacks half, sniped down the blind side, stepped outside a defender and put on the afterburners to dive over towards the right hand corner.
Cupido’s conversion saw the visitors head into the half time break in a commanding position.
The second half was then a much more even affair as WSU responded well, but costly mistakes meant they couldn’t get close.
They will however take heart from winning the second half 24-21.
However it was UWC who picked up where they left off as Fick scored his second try in the right hand corner giving them a 34-0 lead after 43 minutes.
The home side then finally got the crowd rocking in the 55th minute as a fantastic break from in their own half saw the All Blacks attack down the one side of the field and then the next, ending with outside centre Ludwe Jack going over in the right hand corner.
The touchline conversion from fullback Zizipho Kayi then cut the deficit further.
Three minutes later and the packed crowd were in raptures as they scored again.
A huge kick into the UWC 22m meant they had a 5m defensive line out which they lost, with the home side then hammering away at the line until flank Lubabalo Lento smashed over next to the right hand uprights, with Kayi’s conversion making it 34-16.
At this point the All Blacks may have been envisioning an unlikely comeback, but two tries in two minutes to flank Orderson and wing Kurt-Lee Arendse put UWC 50-16 up in the 70th minute, with the All Blacks then going over for a consolation try after the full time hooter