Issues need fixing and PE side has to improve, says Maidza
Madibaz must stick to their structures and not panic after they narrowly lost their third consecutive Varsity Cup match, coach David Maidza said.
A heart-breaking 32-29 defeat against Wits left the Madibaz second from bottom on the log – and facing a possible relegation battle.
The Port Elizabeth side fought until the final whistle, but were held at bay by a stubborn Wits side, who are in second place on the log.
All eyes will be on Maidza’s side on Monday when they host North West University at the Madibaz Stadium in a must-win match.
It could be a clash that defines the Port Elizabeth student side’s future in the competition.
The Madibaz led 20-18 at the break against Wits, but they were unable to withstand a fierce onslaught in the second period.
“We are still searching for our first win, but I do not want the guys to panic and go out of structure,” the coach said.
“I thought that after half time we did not control the game very well. We played a lot in our own half and that sapped our energy.
“We have been building all along to play the game that we can control. Once we started playing properly in the Wits half and making sure they brought the ball back to us, we started playing some rugby.
“So there are things to work on – we have to go back to the drawing board and make sure we fix our issues and keep on improving.
“It was a massive improvement. We fought hard and there were fewer errors. Now we must keep on working. There is no other way.
“The Madibaz are not far from what we are trying to search for as a team in terms of total performance.
“We are working towards that and this game showed glimpses of that.
“We have to come out and at least put out 60 or 70 minutes of good rugby in every game.”
With five games left, Maidza said his team would fight for every available point.
“We are an Eastern Cape team and we’ll always have to scrap and fight for every single bone out there.
“The Madibaz have to work hard and this is where the development of Eastern Cape rugby is.
“The team must start putting good results on the board.
“It is hard work, but we must find that first win,” the coach said.
The Madibaz scored three tries against Wits and the five pointers – bagged by Justin Hollis, Ruben le Roux and Wynand Grassmann – will have given Maidza renewed hope.
The Maties continued to set a hot pace at the top of the Varsity Cup log when they thumped CUT Ixias 75-12 in Stellenbosch.
That result left Stellenbosch University on top of the log, with 19 points from four games after an impressive start to the tournament.
So far, the Maties have scored 186 points and will be the team to beat this season.
Wits, with three wins from four outings, are second with 15 points.
The three Eastern Cape teams playing in the Varsity Shield all ended up on the losing side.
The University of the Western Cape beat Walter Sisulu University 42-5, Rhodes were beaten 26-7 by the Tshwane University of Technology) and Fort Hare went down 22-18 against the University of KwaZulu-Natal.