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A blend of youth and experience is important for Madibaz

Continuity is proving to be the rocket fuel that has propelled FNB Madibaz to its successful run in the 2024 FNB Varsity Shield campaign. 


This is the view of captain Leon van der Merwe who pinpoints several aspects that have built confidence within the squad. 


“I believe that the continuity we have achieved in recent years in the squad is paying dividends as we have a good blend of youth and experience.” 


More senior players within the setup meant that it was easier for newcomers to slot in as they could, in effect, watch and learn, Van der Merwe says. 


This has created a strong connection between the players, which has led to better on-field performances. According to Van der Merwe, the chemistry extends to his role as the leader. 


“The support I have received as captain this year has been incredible. Our leadership group, the management and the players have all made it easy to captain the team while focusing on my game.” 

Van der Merwe says Madibaz pride themselves on their defensive systems. 


“We are comfortable on defence and our focus is on transition play from defence to attack. 


“We back our defence to force a mistake from the opposition and that gives us a chance to counter from the turnover before they have had a chance to set their defence system.” 


The captain highlights the 29-7 victory over FNB TUT as there was no doubt they had gone into that encounter with a target on their back. 


“It was good to beat them away from home. We knew it was going to be tough because many teams have gone to Pretoria and failed to win.” 


Van der Merwe says the dominant display by their forwards in front of a partisan crowd was the difference between the two sides. 


“Our performance in the first half against TUT was excellent, especially from the forwards as we scored two maul tries and two tries from pick-and-go situations.” 

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