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UKZN coach Naseeb Abrahams says TUT victory came at the right time

A sense of relief filled the Durban Howard College Stadium last week after FNB UKZN won their first game of the 2024 FNB Varsity Shield competition when they beat FNB TUT.  

The Impis’ slow start to the season had many starting to believe that the men from KZN are heading towards a similar season they had last year.  


No wonder coach Naseeb Abrahams says the victory over TUT came at the right time as they needed the psychological boost. 


“The win last week was massive for the players. The first three games, not going in our favour affected the boys mentally. But to come back the way they did shows the calibre of players that we have and their ability.” 


A big hurdle faces UKZN on Friday 22 March in Durban as they come up against log leaders FNB UP-Tuks who are fresh off the massive victory over FNB Varsity College last week.  


“We’ve got a huge game against Tuks. They are a Varsity Cup level team and they have played at that level for a long time. It will be a good test of our program and for our boys as well and we expect a big physical game against them,” says Abrahams. 


With all teams apart from Tuks, Varsity College and FNB Madibaz and FNB Varsity having only a single victory to their names, the Impis should consider themselves fortunate to be sitting just outside of a semi-final spot in fifth position.  


Abrahams admits to this.  


“I believe we are a bit unfortunate to find ourselves where we are. I did say it before that this Varsity Shield will be a tough campaign as all teams are quite strong. And it looks like it could be anybody’s game even at this point in the season.” 


With the odds not completely in their favour, UKZN are up against FNB UFH and FNB CPUT after their Tuks encounter with the former two teams also chasing that fourth-place position.  


“At this point, it’s just about taking each game at a time. We will get through Tuks, and then we can worry about UFH and then about CPUT. We just have to put our foot forward and see where we land at the end of the competition,” says Abrahams.  


by Mpendulo Letsoalo  



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