Silly mistakes are Ikeys' achilles heel

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 12:04
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REACTION: UCT-Ikeys may have ended their winless streak in the Varsity Cup, but silly mistakes are still a major concern for head coach Christiaan Esterhuizen.

A late try by Rico Lategan secured UCT-Ikeys a 21-12 win against CUT at a windy Green Mile.  

"To say the win was a relief is an understatement," Esterhuizen told rugby365.com.

"The windy conditions made it hard, nonetheless Stefano de Gouveia and Lohan Lubbe’s kicking got us in the right areas. And apart from the wind, it is the handling errors and soft turnovers to them that calls for concern."

Despite going down to 13-men after Xaba Kuyenzeka’s sending off and captain Jason Klaasen’s red card for a tip-tackle on CUT wing Gorden Madonsela, the coach is not reading too much into the disciplinary factors.

"In our warm-up match and our Varsity Cup opener we averaged six penalties per match. And Monday [against CUT] we were penalised 20 times. I feel like there is some sort of inconsistency among officials, which makes it hard to prepare the side.

"In the yellow card incident, the player was on his feet contesting for the ball and Kuyenzeka was in his right, however, the red card was an unfortunate tip-tackle. Hopefully, the punishment is not that harsh.

"One positive thing is my players' fighting spirit. To play with 14-men for the majority of the match, we were even down to 13-men at one point and the guys defended like their lives depend on it," he added.

UCT-Ikeys' next Varsity match is against the in-form Shimlas. However, the coach realises that heading into the match with a game plan is not in UCT’s nature and hopes that the win has sparked his side ahead of Round Three.   

"Bloemfontein is tough to go to and Shimlas have been the in-form side. But I hope the win has given my side confidence ahead of the match.

"I was concerned when CUT level matters. The last minutes of the match they were deep in our half which meant any mistake could have swayed the game in their favour. Luckily, we didn’t concede a penalty and won a penalty.

"The initial plan was to tap-kick the ball and just ran out of our half, and grab the draw. But the players did the tap-kick thing and went the different route.

“It did go against what I requested which is a typical UCT thing, luckily it paid off," Esterhuizen added.

By Leezil Hendricks
@Leezil07
@Rugby365.com

 

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VARSITY CUP
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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
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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