The NMMU-Madibaz were down but not out after their loss against Ikeys in the third round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International in Cape Town on Monday night. The Port Elizabeth team went down 40-13 to the University of Cape Town side at the UCT Rugby Fields in windy conditions. Madibaz coach David Maidza said: ‘We have to give credit to UCT, they played better on the night and they handled the wind factor better than we did.’
Despite the team’s loss against the defending Varsity Cup champions, Maidza remained positive about his team’s efforts and optimistic about their chances in the competition. Maidza added: ‘I thought the boys really put in a sterling performance. Taking into account that we have a young squad, I think there really was great effort from the team. There was no lacking in putting their bodies on the line on the night.’ According to Maidza, the team did not start out as well as they could have from the whistle, which proved to be one of their major downfalls during the match: ‘Also not leading at half-time with the wind at our backs definitely did not assist our force.’
He said there were a few minor technical issues the team would need to tighten up on come the fourth round of the tournament: ‘We couldn’t stop UCT’s ball well and their scrums were very well structured, so they were solid up front. This is something we need to work on doing for next week’s game. But the boys have been improving with every match and they really did put in a fantastic effort on Monday.’ Maidza said the team just needed to keep looking ahead to the next match and finding ways to improve their game: ‘We need to regroup and come out fighting again. Our next game is at home and we need to take advantage of that.’ The Madibaz are set to take on UJ at the NMMU Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth on March 2 at 19:00.
Photo: Madibaz’s Brian Skosana in action during the third round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International against FNB Ikeys in Cape Town on Monday night.