AMBITIOUS Madibaz coach David Maidza says his team will reset their goals and maintain their hunger for success ahead of their crunch Varsity Cup rugby match against the University of Cape Town at the NMMU Stadium tonight (kick-off 7pm).
After impressive wins over the Maties and the University of Johannesburg, Maidza knows another win would leave his team well positioned to make the play-offs.
“Now it’s just a matter of refocusing and setting the goals for the Ikeys game,” he said.
“It’s another game and another challenge where we’ve got to step up and keep on with the hunger we’ve shown so far.
“I think if we keep showing the character we’ve shown in the last two games it will definitely help our progress through the round-robin matches. The boys really stepped up against UJ. That was one of the best performances from a team perspective I’ve ever been involved in in my coaching career.”
He said the forwards had done well to stem the mauls against UJ, while the backs had stopped any plays that went wide. “Defensively we just stumped them.”
Despite having very little possession, Maidza’s men managed to hold back the orange tide at the UJ stadium.
Although he was happy with the result, Maidza said playing defensively for most of the 80 minutes was far from ideal.
“What was also not good was our error rate – I think we handed over too much ball for them to play with. We can definitely look at that and see if we can improve on it.”
Maidza said unforced errors, knock-ons and other mistakes had cost them penalty after penalty.
“We were pretty good with that against Maties and I think we can do the job against UCT.
“After the tough match against UJ, we have had to manage the players’ training schedule very carefully.”
He said the team management had been tasked with reshuffling the lineup after a number of players suffered body blows.
First on the injury list is tighthead prop Dexter Fahey, whose knee ligaments injury will see him replaced by Simon Kerrod. This has resulted in Marzuq Maarman coming onto the bench to cover for the props.
Lock Cameron Lindsay will be out of action because of an ankle injury and utility forward Louis Fourie will take his place for the Ikeys match.
New additions Matthew Tweedle and Andre Barnard join the replacements at number 18 and 19 respectively.
“After the UJ game, there were definitely a number of sore bodies but the spirits are at high levels. The training sessions have been productive and we are hoping to keep improving week in, week out.”
The teams are:
Madibaz: Donovan Marais, Tythan Adams, Michael Bernardt, Andile Jho, Yamkela Ngam, Gavin Hauptfleisch, Daniel Acker, Timothy Agaba, Wade Elliot, Christopher Cloete, Louis Fourie, Stefan Willemse, Simon Kerrod, Martin Ferreira, Roy Godfrey (captain). Replacements: Jody Reyneke, Abongile Mnyaka, Matthew Tweedle, Andre Barnard, Ivan Ludick, Stefanus Booysen, Ayabula Dlepu, Marzuq Maarman.
UCT: Martin Sauls, Richard Stewart, Huw Jones, Nic Holton, Lihleli Xoli, Dean Grant, Liam Slatem (captain), Guy Alexander, Shaun McDonald, Jason Klaasen, James Kilroe, Jan Uys, Digby Webb, Chad Soloman, Joel Carew. Replacements: Neil Rautenbach, Michael Kennedy, Vince Jobo, Zakeyo Tinetenda, James Alexander, Ross Jones-Davies, Suwilanji Chibale, David Maasch.