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Hunt: Confederation Cup campaign helped Wits beat Pirates

Gavin Hunt gives instructions to Bidvest Wits.

Bidvest Wits head coach Gavin Hunt believes the challenges of their CAF Confederation Cup campaign paid dividends against Orlando Pirates on Sunday.

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The Clever Boys finished bottom of their Confederation Cup group after failing to win any of their games, but Hunt is convinced the experience of playing in Africa contributed significantly to their success in the Nedbank Cup round of 32.

A thrilling goal-fest at Orlando Stadium ended 3-3 after extra-time, after which Wits won 3-2 on penalties to book their place in the last 16.

"There's so much I can say but I'd rather stay away from that, I think CAF makes you strong, it makes you mentally strong and all the diversity we had in CAF, you can't believe what we had in CAF, we came here and you know, that's why we battle away," Hunt said after the game, as quoted by SuperSport.com.

"We're strong mentally, physically, down to 10 [players], we always looked like we could have a chance, yes they had chances at the end but we had the best chances of the game, real 100 percent chances over the course of the game.

"[Deon] Hotto in the first five minutes of the game, I mean he's just got to roll it in, we hit the post and obviously we had some other ones. Fantastic spirit, we've got fantastic spirit, we might not have the best, but we always got a good spirit and that's the most important thing.

"I'll say it again what we went through in CAF, no human being can go through what we've been through. I knew we could withstand things like this."