MADIBAZ coach David Maidza was happy with the cohesive and determined performance from his players when they beat Tuks 19-9 in a Varsity Cup match on Monday.
He said the Madibaz did well to maintain control of the game in foul weather conditions that caused play to break down on several occasions.
“The playing conditions were even worse than last week’s game against Wits,” Maidza said.
“Having said that, there weren’t many handling errors from either team. It was actually a high-quality game.
“I think the boys did very well to stick to the systems and structures and really played together as a team.”
He said he was heartened by the improvement shown in various facets of their game that had been lacking in previous weeks.
After consecutive home defeats to the Pukke and Ikeys, the Madibaz have regained their momentum and will enter the final stages of the competition with their confidence sky high.
After six matches the log standings are: Pukke (23), Ikeys (19), Madibaz (17), Tuks (16), Maties (16), Shimlas (13), University of Johannesburg (9), Wits (2).
“Every week it’s a case of improving those facets that we’re not great at. I thought our defensive effort was brilliant and our game management was also spot on.”
Maidza said where there had been handling errors, these had been on the attack rather than in their key defensive aspects.
The men from Port Elizabeth have now jumped two places in the standings and currently lie third overall behind Ikeys and log leaders Pukke.
They face Shimlas in their final must-win match of the round-robin section on Monday.
“There’s no other way of us getting into the semis apart from winning. We know what we have to do when we get to Bloem on Monday.”
Although sixth-placed Shimlas have trailed Madibaz throughout the tournament, Maidza said they still posed a serious challenge. “I think Shimlas have been a bit unfortunate in a lot of their games this season and they will definitely have an eye on the semis.”
He said every team was a potential threat; therefore his side would have to ensure that their energy and concentration levels were high and their tactics correct.
“It’s going to be a tough game. We know it’s not going to be easy for us to get through, especially playing away from home.
“Our destiny is in our hands – now we just need to grab it.”
The Madibaz know that the margins for error will be small against a Shimlas side who will be determined to end their campaign with a flourish. – George Byron