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Stage set for epic Tuks and Madibaz battle

All eyes will be on Pretoria tomorrow (Friday 12 April, 15:00) when FNB UP-Tuks and FNB Madibaz face off to determine who will finish top of the 2024 FNB Varsity Shield log. The winner will play in the FNB Varsity Cup next season.  


Tuks and Madibaz are the only unbeaten teams in this year’s competition. Both have already secured a home semi-final and will know who their opponents are after the last round-robin matches on Friday.  


Madibaz coach David Manuel has called for an undiluted 80-minute effort from his team. He also acknowledges they will go into the contest as the underdogs.  


“We are ready to embrace this ultimate test. At the same time, we are excited about the challenge ahead.” 


Manuel says his charges are looking forward to measuring themselves against the best. 


“We will focus on the things that we can control and not get worried about the externals that we can’t. It will be a case of each player trying to lift his game by one or two per cent and I just want them to be warriors for 80 minutes.” 


Manuel, who is in his third year as Madibaz's coach, says it has taken some time to build the systems they needed to perform effectively at this level. 


“For example, I think we did well to handle the onslaught from Varsity College last Friday, but I still feel we lacked a bit of the killer instinct. 


“But that’s the sort of thing that happens with a relatively young side. I am blessed with the efforts the players have delivered this season. 


“We have built our defensive and attacking systems, and [know] when to kick strategically, and now it’s a matter of trying to play within those systems for as long as possible.” 


He is pleased with their on-field discipline, which stems from their attention to detail in all facets of the game, says Manuel. 


“That has been very encouraging. Every Friday afternoon there are glimpses of what they are capable of achieving.” 

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