FNB Wits may be a higher hill to climb for the visiting FNB CUT in Joburg, even higher than the FNB Tuks hill turned out to be in the first round of the Varsity Cup 2019 season.
This is the feeling one gets when talking to the Ixias head coach, Pieter Bergh, ahead of the second round encounter with Constant Beckerling’s giant slayers.
Both teams come off losses in the first round, but the pressure on FNB Wits should be greater next Monday, as this will be their first home match in 2019 season.
“We were forced to make several changes for this match, due to injuries and niggles. Unfortunately, a small rugby university such as CUT will always be exposed to the challenges of depth during injuries, but when someone has to step up as replacement, it always creates opportunities for the ‘new’ player,” coach Pieter Bergh adds.
“Although I am satisfied with our growth so far in the season, I also believe we should maintain the upward curve in our development in this season.
“We need to step up and be counted, as this match will be demanding in all aspects of an intervarsity clash in Varsity Cup,” Bergh stressed.
FNB Wits is well known as a side who never backs down from any challenge on the rugby field – regardless how big their famous opponents are. Just ask the FNB Maties, who had to sweat to contain the fiery “in-your-face” FNB Wits defensive and offensive approach.
FNB CUT Ixias can expect nothing less from Beckerling’s troops.
“They will be coming hard at us; for the full 80 minutes.
“We simply need to take them on at every level of the game. This what we prepared for. This is what we need to do. This is the war we signed up for,” Bergh emphasized.
On paper, this could turn out to be one of the toughest encounters of the season. Both teams are highly talented and very competitive.
The eventual victors in this clash will probably be the team who plays with the best discipline for the full 80 minutes.
FNB CUT: 15. Cohan Jasper; 14. Jason Raubenheimer; 13. Ruan Wasserman; 12. Heinrich Bitzi; 11. Karabo Maqeba; 10. Marc Morrison; 9. Nikky Hattingh. 8. Andre Hanekom; 7. Luvuyo Ndevo; 6. Ruan Smit; 5. Brandon Fortuin; 4. SJ Wessels; 3. Henco Smit; 2. Anrich Alberts; 1. Edward Davids.
Reserves: 16. Ruben Cross; 17. Quinton Vorster; 18. Tebogo Masemola; 19. Stefan Kruger; 20. Johannes Terblanche; 21. Estiaan van Rensburg; 22. Johan Nel; 23. Message Nkosi.