The FNB Madibaz will be up for the challenge of facing some of the top teams in the FNB Varsity Cup when the final block of matches gets underway on Monday.
Coach André Tredoux knows it will not be easy as they will be up against three of the top four teams on the table in FNB Maties, FNB UP-Tuks and log-leaders FNB UCT.
“As a team, we want to grow and improve,” he says. “We have three very tough games coming up and would like to fight for everything.
"We want to measure ourselves against the best. Maties are a quality side, combining speed and power; Tukkies are all about physicality; and Ikeys play a brand of fast running rugby, combined with an experienced pack of forwards.
“We realise that we will have to protect our possession much better and be prepared to man up at the set-pieces and on defence. We know it will be hard, but we look forward to this challenge.”
Tredoux says the week’s delay in the competition created an opportunity to regroup after the tough start.
“It has given a few players the opportunity to recover from the niggles that come with playing three games in a week. It’s also given the coaches the opportunity to keep improving on our various systems.
“We are constantly working on our set-piece and defence, while also trying to focus on a fast, attacking game.”
The FNB Madibaz are playing in the FNB Varsity Cup for the first time since 2018, having earned promotion from the FNB Varsity Shield last year, and the coach says the fighting spirit of the players has been outstanding.
“As coaches, we can’t fault the efforts of the players. They have never given up and that can be seen in the fact that we have picked up the most bonus points in the competition.”
The team came within a whisker of recording their first win in their most recent game, losing 24-20 to FNB UFS Shimlas after conceding a stoppage-time try.
Tredoux said the match was typical of the courage his players had shown.
“The Shimlas match was a game we targeted and the boys were in it to the end. Our defence was immense against them and we even outscored them three tries to two.
“We just have to keep improving on our systems and play for each other. I know the boys will give everything in the last three games.
“As we enter the final week, we would like to thank Varsity Cup for putting on such a good tournament and all the support and encouragement we have received.”
– Article courtesy Full Stop Communications