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Maties mentally prepared to take on Shimlas in semi-final

Updated: Apr 14

Playing a semi-final at home doesn’t always guarantee a pathway to the final. 


This is according to FNB Maties head coach Kabamba Floors ahead of his team’s encounter against FNB UFS Shimlas in the first semi-final of the 2024 FNB Varsity Cup on Monday 15 April at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch. Kick-off is at 16:45.   


Floors says his players will have to be mentally prepared to dig deep if they want to beat Shimlas. 


“Yes, playing at home makes one's preparation much easier because you don’t have to travel, and you have the crowd behind you. However, you still must make sure you perform and produce the goods on the day. 


“Shimlas is a well-coached team. They only lost two games. We beat them once and Ikeys won their first game against them. It's not easy playing them in Bloemfontein. They would have learnt a lot from our previous encounter, and I think that it will be a very evenly matched game.” 


Floors says the Maroon Machine will have to make full use of their opportunities and not give Shimlas any opportunities to play their natural game. 


“They are a team that challenges you by giving the ball air and moving it around the park. So, we will have to be on top of our game in the way we are going to approach it. 


“We strive to play with a balance between structure and giving the players the freedom to play what they see in front of them. We don’t just throw the ball around but try to stick to our structure and adapt to the situation within that structure. 


“We would like to think we have a good set piece with our lineouts and mauls. This gives us a solid platform if the need arises to move the ball. In the playoffs it’s all about reading the situation and game management.” 


If Maties manage to beat Shimlas and FNB NWU Eagles win their semi-final against FNB UCT Ikeys, Floors and his team will have to travel to tackle the defending champions on their home turf in Potchefstroom. However, if the Ikeys beat the Eagles and Maties win their semi-final, the two Cape Universities will face off in the final in Cape Town. 


“It will be nice to have a Cape Town final, but we will have to dig deep to win our game whilst Ikeys will get another chance to tackle the Eagles in Potchefstroom. At least we don’t have to travel to Shimlas in the Free State. So, we are happy with the situation we currently find ourselves in,” says Floors.  



by Adnaan Mohamed  

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