FNB Madibaz and FNB CUT face each other in an all-or-nothing promotion/relegation battle tomorrow in Potchefstroom. The winners will advance to the FNB Varsity Cup in 2024 while the losers will compete in the FNB Varsity Shield next year. Kick-off is at 15:00.
Madibaz advanced to the play-off courtesy of their second-place finish on the Shield log while CUT’s seventh-place finish on the Varsity log put them in this precarious position.
Madibaz mentor David Manuel isn’t a fan of making any one game seem more important than another despite what’s at stake in tomorrow’s match. As far as he is concerned, their normal preparation protocols were the best way to get the team game-ready this week.
“We know that we have to give it our all. We have done our analysis and know what they will bring to the match. We know what a dangerous side they are with ball in hand and they are quick to capitalise on any mistakes.”
Staying in the fight until the final whistle will be critical in Potchefstroom, says Manuel.
“You cannot afford to give away soft points because psychologically it becomes very difficult to close the gap. It will be tough, but we are prepared to grind it out to give ourselves a chance.”
CUT coach Melusi Mthethwa says with seven Varsity Cup games behind them, they know how physical the competition is.
“The boys understand that Monday's game is very important for both teams, but for us as CUT, every single game in the Varsity Cup was important. Not one game we played was easy. We are fighting and we will continue to fight for every single inch.
“We respect the Madibaz, we respect the way that they play, but we are concentrating on us and we are going to Potch to go and play winning rugby and correctly close our competition. There is nothing more I would love to see than the boys putting in a massive effort for themselves.”
FNB CUT: 15 Titus Ricoman, 14 Gouveia Adielson, 13 Bester Zac, 12 de Beer Jandré, 11 Malumane Tsepo, 10 Rheeder Christian, 9 Swartbooi Xavier, 8 Stander Ulrich, 7 Cloete Jacobus, 6 Sekele Matthew, 5 Strydom Kevin, 4 Marubelela Asekho, 3 Augestyn Zran, 2 Ntaopane Tokelo, 1 Bessenger Jan.
FNB Madibaz: 15 Myburg Kehan, 14 Konza Kholiwe, 13 Kruger Henry, 12 Delport Troy, 11 Bophi Khakalethu, 10 November Chadwyn, 9 Mavuso Mpumelelo, 8 van der Merwe Leon, 7 Bobelo Alwaba, 6 Hlupheko Mzwakhe, 5 Tokwe Umna, 4 Kachungunu Christopher, 3 Limba Aqhamile, 2 Olivier Keaton, 1 Kuse Endinako.