NMMU-Madibaz head coach David Maidza is playing his cards close to his chest in the lead-up to their second-round Varsity Cup clash against Maties on Monday night. The team suffered an agonising opening round defeat to UJ in a rain-marred match that could have gone either way until the dying moments. Maidza says: ‘I felt that the conditions on the day did not really allow us to play our game fully. We analysed the match on video and identified certain areas that needed work and there was good response from the boys this week. I was happy after the review to see them realising the areas that we could have taken advantage of and knowing that we did create opportunities for ourselves.’
Maidza says this was a positive to take forward in the competition and especially on Monday: ‘We need to work for our first win – especially in front of our fans. We owe it to them and ourselves to improve on the areas that were lacking last week and everyone is really excited going into the Maties game.’ The visitors were 26-16 winners a year ago. Maidza says Maties had appointed a new, astute coach in Hawies Fourie and that their systems and style of play would have changed under his leadership: ‘So we will do our homework and find the game plan best suited for Monday.’
Team discussions centred on the fact that there were six games remaining and they wanted to make each one count. Maidza says: ‘Starting with Maties, we want to put on a good show. We need to maximise home advantage so that we can come away with a win.’ He refrained from commenting on any strategic changes to the team and their match plan.
The fact that the match would be televised did not play a factor in the team’s approach. He says: ‘We do not take into account whether we are on TV or not. Our focus is on us and how we improve with every match. That is what we want to analyse at the end of each match and ultimately at the end of the competition.’
Team: 15 Lindelwe Zunga; 14 Keanu Vers; 13 Jeremy Ward; 12 Andile Jho; 11 Yamkela Ngam; 10 Simon Nord Bolze; 9 Ivan Ludick (C); 8 Kevin Aneh Kaba; 7 Henry Brown; 6 Jason Reinecke; 5 Gerrit Huisamen; 4 Elandre van der Merwe; 3 Nemo Roelofse; 2 Tango Balekile; 1 Nicholaas Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Pierre Jamieson (hooker); 17 Marzuq Maarman (prop); 18 Wynand Grassman (utility forward); 19 Andisa Ntsila (utility forward); 20 Sibusiso Ngcokovane (scrumhalf); 21 Thomas Kean (utility back); 22 Khaya Malotana (utility back); 23 James Ronald Beyl (prop).
Photo credit: SASPA