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
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13 | 7
Sat, 17 February 2018
Cardiff Blues v Munster 25 | 18
Lions v Sharks 26 | 19
Leinster v Scarlets 20 | 13
VARSITY CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Maties 4 4 0 0 19
Wits 4 3 0 1 15
Shimlas 4 3 0 1 14
UCT-Ikeys 4 2 0 2 11
NWU-Pukke 3 2 0 1 10
UJ 3 1 0 2 6
CUT-Ixias 3 1 0 2 5
NMMU-Madibaz 3 0 0 3 3
UP-Tuks 3 0 0 3 2