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, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 52 | 24
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
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