The FNB NMMU-Madibaz are not taking anything for granted now that they have stumbled upon the winning recipe in this year’s FNB Varsity Cup rugby tournament.
After several near misses, the Port Elizabeth-based side registered their first victory of the competition when they defeated Ikeys 46-33 in Johannesburg on Monday.
Digging deep and having the will to win were the key elements in their success against the Cape Town side, said head coach David Maidza.
“At the second half strategy break the message was for us to hold on to the ball better and carry it through more phases.
“This was heeded and the boys’ concentration levels late in the game proved good for us.”
Although flanker Brandon Brown was named the Player that Rocks on the evening, Maidza was full of praise for his entire squad.
“The whole team from the starting fifteen to the bench worked hard as a unit.”
He was however quick to point out that the same strategies might not necessarily guarantee the same outcome against Tukkies in the Mother City on Thursday.
“This is a different challenge and we have to meet it likewise.
“Tukkies have a different game to UCT and we have to do our homework and meet the challenge with enthusiasm.”
Although he admitted that there was still room for improvement, he was pleased for his players.
“I’m so happy for the boys for all the hard work they have put in to finally have a win under their belts.
“We of course want to take the positives out of this game and push on to finish off well in the last two matches.”
Maidza said the victory had given them a measure of breathing space in terms of the promotion-relegation playoffs.
“There is a bit of daylight between ourselves and the bottom side, but we have to keep putting in good performances to finish off the season with more than just one win.”
Although one would have expected the Madibaz to have gained a lot of confidence from the win, Maidza was careful not to be drawn into the discussion of whether a lack of self-belief had hampered them during the campaign.
Kevin Kaba and JP Jamieson, who suffered a knee injury and concussion respectively, will not be considered for the Tukkies match.
The Madibaz will conclude their tournament against CUT in Cape Town on Monday.
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