UJ face a character test

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 14:11
Large uj players dejected 2017 800

REACTION: A new-look UJ outfit suffered their second consecutive Varsity Cup defeat on Monday and now faces a test of their character if they want to turn their season around.

It may be early days but there is still hope for the Johannesburg side as teams have already shown that they are able to turn around a losing start - namely, Tuks 2016 when they reached the 2016 semifinals after opening their season with three consecutive defeats.

Despite the defeats, head coach Werner Janse van Rensburg still believes his side are showing progress.

"It [progress] is slower than what we would like it to be but we always knew where we were. Between the two matches, we had 13 guys making their debut. It's not an excuse but it is a new side and we are in a similar situation to where the Lions were a few years ago.

"So what we have are a bunch of guys who haven't played together before but in saying that, we can make it click. Things can look totally different if we manage to get one or two results in our favour. It's a tough start for us and we have seen slow progression but it's progression nonetheless," Janse van Rensburg told rugby365.com.

UJ may have gone down 29-47 to Shimlas in Johannesburg on Monday but Janse van Rensburg believes the outcome came down to a short period in the encounter when Shimlas made the most of his side's errors.

"It was quite closely contested until 50 minutes, then from there for about a 10-minute spell, we made bad errors - conceded a yellow card and a turnover try which ultimately stretched their lead. I think we went to sleep in that period and they used their opportunities.

"We did quite well in passages but we are simply making more errors than whoever we play against. They [Shimlas] looked calmer and they need to be given the accolade for the result.

"We acknowledge that period [of conceding those quick points] wasn't great and we will keep working on those fundamentals of the game but those errors come down to player responsibility in terms of having a better attitude towards protecting the ball," he added.

UJ will now enjoy a bye week and it may have come at a good time for the young side as they can now regroup before a stretch of six consecutive matches.

"It [the bye] will now give some players a chance to rest and recover from knocks and niggles they have picked up. It also allows the team to have a more relaxed week at training where we can concentrate on the things we need to do and see how we can improve from this point forward.

"We will only know the impact of this bye after our next few matches," he stated.

By Tauriq Ebrahim

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Team P W D L Pts
Maties 7 6 1 0 31
NWU-Pukke 6 5 0 1 25
Wits 7 4 1 2 23
UJ 6 4 0 2 21
UCT-Ikeys 6 3 0 3 15
Shimlas 6 3 0 3 14
UP-Tuks 6 1 0 5 7
CUT-Ixias 6 1 0 5 6
NMMU-Madibaz 6 0 0 6 3