Pukke should ‘outsmart’ rivals

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:06
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VARSITY CUP REACTION: Despite a 20-15 win against UCT-Ikey Tigers, NWU-Pukke head coach Jonathan Mokuena admits that the hard labour starts now as they prepare for  Shimlas.

After last week's  9-31 defeat to Maties in Stellenbosch, the Potchefstroom side redeemed themselves in front of their home crowd on Monday night.

Pukke dominated much of the proceedings and led 20-6 for most the match. However, a late try by Gary Porter handed UCT a more flattering scoreline.

"The scoreline did not reflect the true nature of the game," Mokuena told rugby365.com.

"The game was not that tight. On the contrary, we had a few opportunities where we failed to penalise UCT.  In the end, they scored a seven-point try.

"Nevertheless, I am happy with boys ability to adapt to rainy conditions. It rained throughout the match which served as an equaliser for UCT, and we were forced to change the game plan.

"The boys adapted quite well,  kept out focused and went  through the phases which made it looked like we were playing in dry conditions,"

NWU-Pukke's defence has been solid throughout the season. The Potchefstroom side only conceded five tries thus far and Monday night proved no different.

"Defensively I am happy with my side. Up and until now we only conceded five tries, which accumulates to one try per match.

"After [our] Maties defeat we were a little dejected but had to work hard and got in the right frame of mind which help us with the win," he added.

Heading into Round Five, it does not get any easier for the reigning champs as they travel to Bloemfontein to take on the second place Shimlas. There is only one point separating the two sides occupying the second and third place on the log.  

"I am reluctant to say that one game is more important than the other, unfortunately, there are some games who proves more vital due to points difference, bonus point and the log. And the upcoming match against Shimlas is of utmost importance [in terms of the play-offs].    

"They are currently in form and defeating them would have to mean that my players should be able to think on our feet and outsmart them. There is not one game where you can say with confidence you are going to win.   

"But in the end, the team that focus on their own processes and consistency will make it in the end," he added.

By Leezil Hendricks

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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