PASSIONATE Madibaz coach David Maidza has not given up on a coveted spot in the Varsity Cup semifinals, despite his team crashing to a 26-13 defeat to the University of Cape Town at the NMMU Stadium.
After winning their opening two matches against the Maties and the University of Johannesburg, the Madibaz’ loss to Ikeys on Monday was their first on home soil since last year.
“I’m definitely not feeling down and I told the players that their heads shouldn’t be down right now either,” Maidza said.
“I thought the boys were fantastic. You cannot fault them for their effort on the field and I’m feeling very positive about that.
“You have to give it to them, Ikeys used their opportunities. When their chances to score came, they took them,” Maidza said.
“We had a lot of ball to execute. Unfortunately, we just didn’t finish off properly, especially in the last 15 to 20 minutes of the second half.
“It’s important for us to understand that if you go out and don’t take the opportunities that you create you’ll come off second best.
“I think that will be one of the lessons we can take from this.”
However, Maidza said the team would not be going back to the drawing board after Monday night’s encounter. “I’m not going to look at this result and try to reinvent the wheel. I think we’re on a good track.”
The wisest approach would be to play to his team’s own strengths and continue doing what they did best. “These are the things that happen. Sometimes you give some and sometimes you take some.
“We took it on the chin and we’ve just got to get up again and refocus our energies on the next game against Pukke.”
Although he expected another tough home game against the team from North-West University (Pukke), Maidza said his squad would prepare with the same intensity as for any other match.
A single point now separates third-placed Madibaz, second- placed NWU-Pukke and new log leaders Tuks.
“We’re within striking range of the top and that’s what we’re looking for. We want to be there come the end of the round robin component – in the semifinal spot.”
“Doing so means they have to keep moving forward and not make mistakes in the remaining fixtures.” “We’ve got a group of players who show character and we will definitely go from strength to strength. This loss is just a little blip along the way.”
The Madibaz coach knows that after Monday’s loss the margin for error will be small as his team hunts down Varsity Cup glory.