Madibaz stepped up their game

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 14:06
Large madibaz break tackle 800

VARSITY CUP REACTION: NMMU-Madibaz took a step in the right direction in their Varsity Cup opener on Monday, which delighted head coach David Maidza.

Maidza had cause for concern after watching his side struggle in their pre-season encounter against Maties. However, he was pleasantly surprised with the way his charges went about their business against UCT-Ikeys, which saw them bag a bonus-point victory.

"The team put in a good shift [against UCT], after struggling a bit in the pre-season. The gear we went into was certainly a step up and that's what we are looking for every week to continue improving on our plan," Maidza told rugby365.com.

However, things certainly did not go their way in the opening 20 minutes of the match but they were able to regroup during the first strategic break.

"We identified that UCT rely on ball possession and spreading the opposition defence, so we set our plan to ensure we are in control of possession and that we nullify them running at us. However, we fell into their trap in the opening minutes.

"We drifted off our plan and they placed us under a lot of pressure but then we regrouped and the team responded well. There are some good, mature players in the squad who took responsibility of getting things back on track.

"Everyone put their hand up and made sure we ended up sticking to the structure and systems. The control was much better from that point, which ultimately led us to asking more questions with ball-in-hand and not giving possession away too quickly.

"We then put them under pressure and we tried to get off the line much quicker defensively. So that combination allowed us a little bit of time to get points on the board," he added.

Maidza was under no illusion that things will only get tougher from this point, starting with a trip to Potchefstroom to take on defending champions Pukke.

"It was a good start but we know that this competition is won in April, so we have to make sure that we put our best foot forward in each game. We will discuss a way forward for what will be an immense challenge against Pukke and we will be more than glad to get into that and see how we stand against the best in the competition.

"We cannot rest on our laurels. Yes, we picked up five points but there are seven more goals to achieve on route to the playoffs," he stated.

By Tauriq Ebrahim
@Tauriq365
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
VARSITY CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool CUP
Team P W D L Pts
UP-Tuks 8 7 0 1 34
Maties 8 7 0 1 34
UJ 8 5 0 3 25
Shimlas 8 5 0 3 23
Wits 8 4 0 4 21
NWU-Pukke 8 4 0 4 19
NMMU-Madibaz 8 2 0 6 11
UCT-Ikeys 8 2 0 6 9
CUT-Ixias 8 0 0 8 3
Pool SHIELD
Team P W D L Pts
UWC 6 5 0 1 27
Fort Hare 6 4 0 2 20
UKZN-Impi 6 4 0 2 20
WSU 6 3 0 3 14
CPUT 6 2 0 4 10
TUT 6 2 0 4 9
Rhodes 6 1 0 5 6