Maties still looking for their groove
REACTION: Maties may have come away with a victory in Round Two of the Varsity Cup but they are yet to find their groove and emulate their 2016 performances.
Maties made things hard for themselves against a determined Wits outfit at the Danie Craven Stadium but managed to walk away with a 21-14, despite playing half of the match with 14 players.
"Our performance was better but we made it difficult for ourselves. We ended up playing with 14 players for half of the match due to two players getting two yellow cards - one of which received two yellows, which resulted in a red card.
"We haven't played to our potential yet but at least we won against a good Wits outfit.
"We made a lot of decision-making errors, especially in the first half, and if we were able to improve that then we would have made life a lot easier for ourselves.
"I feel like our set-pieces went a lot better and we will now need to maintain that standard. However, our defence still needs a bit of work. We found ourselves running out of numbers too easily and we were missing our one-on-one tackles, so we will certainly be placing a lot of emphasis on that.
"In terms of attack, I feel that we still need to add a bit more variation," head coach Hawies Fourie told rugby365.com.
Maties headed into the encounter with a new-look pack of forwards, following numerous injuries in their opening round defeat to Tuks, however, Fourie did not use that as an excuse for the poor performance and is fully focussed on what lies ahead.
"We suffered numerous injuries after the Tuks match which disrupted things a little but that had no bearing on the performance. All that we need to do is stick to what we want to do and ensure that we make the right decisions at certain times in the match.
"We want to improve on our performances and we need to do it quickly because Pukke are a quality side that plays good rugby," he added.
Maties' injuries woes were dealt a new blow as lock Ernst van Rhyn picked up a shoulder injury.
Fourie remains adamant - and is more convinced now - that Wits will certainly be a contender for a semifinal spot.
By Tauriq Ebrahim