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Maties looking to defend the title

FNB Maties will be looking to successfully retain their title as champions of the inaugural FNB Varsity Cup Women’s tournament when they kick off their campaign against FNB UKZN at the Howard College Stadium in Durban on Friday 22 March. 

 


According to Maties head coach Johann Zeier, nobody knew what to expect from the competition last year, but it was great for the development of the game. 

 

“Yes, we had no idea what the intensity or speed of the women’s game would be. This year we are kind of preparing for the same. We don’t know what to expect because we don't know to what level people have upped their game.” 

 

Zeier admits Maties were not able to retain all their players from last year because a lot of the ladies have either graduated or finished their studies whilst some went to overseas clubs and others just finished playing rugby. 

 

“It’s a mixed bag of reasons, but some of them have just moved on. We have retained some of the ladies, but we have had to start quite fresh with a bit of a newer squad. If you look at it in terms of three-year phases, I would say we are now in year one with the average age being a lot lower in our squad this year.”   

 


Zeier believes the big challenge this year will be that they have no idea how opposing teams have developed.  

 

“It’s quite difficult to tell. So we are just trying to focus on ourselves and try to be as prepared as we can be for the game. We have been through quite a tough pre-season. It was longer than last year and the players’ workload was much more.  

 

“The preparation has been quite demanding and the ladies have done well to get through it. I think we are in a good place at the moment.” 

 

“Our first game will give us a benchmark as to where we stand with regards to the rest of the competition.” 


PROVISIONAL SQUAD (subject to change):

Erin Bond, Michaella Evlambiou, Lungelo Mvelase, Sesethu Ntamnani, Christien Langenhoven, Ziane Muller, Vunene Miyambo, Andisiwe Mkiva, Tiffany Roberts, Sisipho Mkeli, Taebron Jursa, Maria Masebe, Jihaan Benito, Ankia Viljoen, Danai Makota, Janke Oosthuizen, Liza Slabbert, Stefney-Rose de Vries, Joelle Botha, Taliyah Bussack, Lara Schats, Elme Kruger, Ropafadzo Madyah, Zelmari Pretorius, Mijeane Fryer, Anoescka Andreas, Whitney Gordon, Kayleen Muggels, Leah Cilliers, Lindokuhle Mtsweni, Emma Oliver, Lisa Malherbe.


For a full fixture list, click HERE.  

 

by Adnaan Mohammed 

 

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