TOUGH-TALKING Madibaz coach David Maidza says his team must improve their discipline if they want to beat Pukke on Monday and progress to the Varsity Cup rugby final.
Speaking after his team squeezed into the semifinals despite losing 34-33 to Shimlas, Maidza felt playing away from home in Potchefstroom would not be a major disadvantage.
Maidza commended his men for their gritty display in “clawing their way back” into the Shimlas match, which he described as a good advert for Varsity Cup rugby.
“It was a tight game and in the bigger picture that’s how we went through. Having said that, I wasn’t pleased that our ill-discipline could have cost us our qualification.”
The Madibaz picked up two yellow cards in a hard-fought match that saw them whittled down to 13 men at one stage.
“The game is normally lost by the team that makes the most mistakes and we allowed Shimlas to get back into the game and score points from some of our errors.”
Maidza said they would not get away with a similar performance in the semifinals.
“We need to be better than that.”
The Madibaz suffered their biggest loss of the tournament (52-16) at the hands of Pukke at the start of the competition in Port Elizabeth.
“Having lost to them pretty badly in the fourth round, we know exactly where their strength lies.
“But it’s a new game altogether and that’s how we’re going to treat it.”
He said home ground advantage to their opponents would be negligible.
“At the knockout stage, it doesn’t really count. We’ve actually been pretty good away from home and we’re looking forward to the game.
“We’ve worked hard to get where we are and cannot just go through the motions now.
“We need to go out and put all facets of our game into top gear because we know we’re meeting top-quality opposition.”
Pukke lost just one of their seven round-robin encounters, while the Madibaz have had mixed fortunes with four wins and three defeats.
“We haven’t fired on all cylinders in every single game and have had a bit of a stop-start campaign,” Maidza conceded.
“But when we’re playing well, we’ve shown we’re definitely a force to be reckoned with.”
He said his men fully deserved to “enjoy this moment” after a tough tournament.
“It’s critical for this game and beyond this campaign that we really get our structures right and perform well.”
Maidza said their on-field example would be crucial to the continued success of the club.
“It’s important for all the players who come into the side in the future to understand the culture, the ethos and everything the Madibaz stand for.”
The game will be televised live on SuperSport from 7pm. – George Byron