UJ book place in the final

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

University of Johannesburg (UJ) booked a berth in the Pirates Grand Challenge final when they beat Raiders 30-11 in the semifinals at Wits rugby field on Saturday.

Raiders had the better part of the game in the first half and attacked their opponents with driving mauls.

They also constantly pinned UJ in their own 22m but bad kicking and inexperience were their downfall.

In the second stage Raiders lost rhythm and committed blunders that put the UJ side back into the game.

UJ made the most of their second half chances to capitalise on Raiders' shaky defence.

Credit should go to UJ's flyhalf Ryno Luus who put up a great performance and grabbed five penalties and a try to steer his side to a convincing victory.

Raiders enjoyed a 6-3 lead in the 38th minute through two penalties from Duayne Saayman but hooker and captain Neil Visagie gave UJ a 8-6 cushion at the break.

With minutes before full-time UJ lock Rudy Matthee increased the tally to 30-6 and Saayman claimed the first try by Raiders to make the final score 30-11.

UJ coach Hugo van As said: "We made things difficult for us for allowing Raiders too much space in the first half.

" But I am excited that my boys recovered in the second half and used their opportunities effectively,'' said an excited Saayman.

Mustafa Boomgaardt, Raiders chairman said:

"Credit must go to my boys who showed no respect to one of the best institutions in the country.''