MADIBAZ rugby coach David Maidza is looking for further improvement from his exciting young squad when they face University of Johannesburg (UJ) in a Varsity Cup match in Johannesburg tonight (7pm).
After thumping Maties 45-29 in their opening game, Maidza knows his team will have their work cut out as they bid to subdue a UJ team who played out a thrilling 18-18 draw against Tuks last week.
“It’s about carrying on the work that was started in this first game. It will count for nothing if we don’t keep on improving every single game,” Maidza said.
He said the Johannesburg team had a good pack of forwards, which the Madibaz would have to counter strongly to stem the orange tide.
“We’ve got a good squad that we can always count on. It’s not about the 23 that ran on against Maties, it’s about the 36 players we’ve put together. Overall, I thought the boys did very well for the first game,” Maidza said.
“We went out and executed what we wanted to do. We stuck to a lot of our structures and we played as a team.
“I’m very happy about that. But there will always be things to work on and there are a few things we need to tie up.
“I thought the forwards really laid the foundation and put us on a good footing.
“When you score tries like that and your kicker is kicking well, it deflates the opposition with those extra points stretching the lead and not giving them opportunities to come back.”
Maidza said his team’s strong mauling play, which produced five of the six tries, and their ball control through the phases was to be commended.
He was happy to come away with a bonus point in addition to the win.
“The first game is now done and dusted. We have to prepare really well for our game against UJ.”
The Madibaz will be without the services of vice-captain Jarryd Buys, who has a niggling groin injury. He has been replaced by Donovan Marais at fullback.
Right wing Ayabulela Dlepu takes Marais’s spot on the bench, with winger Tythan Adams moving into Dlepu’s position from the left.
New addition Yamkela Ngam joins the team at left wing, while Simon Kerrod comes into the side in place of replacement prop Enoch Mnyaka.
Maidza said the training sessions had gone well ahead of their first away match.
“The spirits are still high and the boys know we have a huge task to tackle [today].”
The Madibaz team is: Donovan Marais, Tythan Adams, Michael Bernardt, Andile Jho, Yamkela Ngam, Gavin Hauptfleisch, Daniel Acker, Timothy Agaba, Marcel Groenewald, Christopher Cloete, Cameron Lindsay, Stefan Willemse, Dexter Fahey, Martin Ferreira, Roy Godfrey (capt). Replacements: Greg Bauer, Nicolas Roebech, Louis Fourie, Wade Elliot, Ivan Ludick, Stefanus Booysen, Ayabula Dlepu, Simon Kerrod.