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Eagles going to protect “own backyard” at all costs

If it’s up to FNB NWU Eagles, they will make it three out of three against FNB UCT Ikeys when the two sides meet tonight in the second semi-final of the 2024 FNB Varsity Cup at the Fanie du Toit Sports Ground in Potchefstroom. Kick-off is at 19:00.  


The defending champions beat the Ikey Tigers in last year’s final (27-25) and a week ago ran out 30-18 victors over their opponents from the Cape in their last round-robin match.  


Eagles' tighthead prop Mpho Kubheka says it’s business as usual for the Eagles and they will prepare for the game the same way they prepare for other games.  


“The team feels good, we’re in good condition and we were expecting to win (last week) and face Ikeys again. We’ve played them a few times; we know how to prepare for them, and we won’t prepare differently. We take every week the same, train as hard as we can and control what we can so on Monday we will make sure we do what we need to do.”  


Flanker Marvelous Mashimbyi highlights the need for his team to step up.  


“It’s going to be a tough game; it won’t be easy, and they will come for us … We must work together as a team and keep up with our solid defence because we’re playing against a good attacking side.”  


There were lessons to be learned from their previous match against UCT, says flyhalf Zinedine Robinson. 


“I think they are a very good side; I think the strength we have is our pack of forwards and back line. I feel we have a good maul and scrum as well. The thing we learned the most is that they never stop playing rugby, no matter what the score is. They never go lie down no matter what and that just motivates us to also not stop playing.”  


Forward Jason Jansen believes it will all come down to the crowd.   


“It’s always tough for opposition teams to come and play here because our crowd is always behind us and playing here gives us more energy. Coach Burger always says, ‘We don’t mess up in our backyard’, so we must protect it with pride.”  



by Lesiba Dikhoba  

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