Two-time champions FNB CPUT are travelling to Gqeberha for the second time this season where they will face off against FNB Madibaz in the first semi-final of the 2023 FNB Varsity Shield tomorrow at 15:30.
Last year CPUT were seconds away from winning the Varsity Shield trophy for a record-breaking third consecutive time. FNB UFH beat them 28-27 on the stroke of full-time in Alice.
Despite losing two games in this year's round-robin stages, CPUT captain Keanan Solomons believes they have what it takes to beat Madibaz, again. CPUT got the better of Madibaz in round four, beating them 35-32 at the very same venue. (Watch highlights HERE)
"First of all, we are grateful to be in the semi-finals after two losses," says Solomons. "This is the second time playing against Madibaz and we will stick to everything that has worked for us during this campaign. We keep it simple, as with every previous game."
CPUT head coach Alastair Theys is very cautious to not dwell too much on their recent win over Madibaz.
"Beating Madibaz at their home ground does give a bit of an edge to CPUT, but I am sure they wouldn't want it to happen again. We have analysed their last game against UWC and will use this in preparing our game plan.
"Key areas that we will be focusing on is how we attack against Madibaz and the defence strategy that we will be putting in place.
"It is a semi-final and [it] can go either way but the mindset needs to be 'it is just another game' as this will take the external pressure off our preparation and the game."
FNB CPUT: 15 Stadler Caine Martin, 14HartoghHeinrico Keastin,13BloysIwaan, 12Williams Keenan, 11Maritz Linton Shawn, 10Maseti Oyintando Honour, 9Engelbrecht Hugan, 8van der Heever Roland Leonard, 7Solomons Keanan Matteo, 6KlaasenChé Oliver, 5Kubheka Lungelo, 4Salman Anenceba, 3Mafenyana Masivuye, 2Shasha Duke (Shakes), 1Josephus Jacques-Lynn Graham.
Semi-final fixtures HERE.
by Lyndon Julius