Minor changes have been made to the starting line-up of the FNB NMMU-Madibaz squad for their third home game as they attempt a comeback in the fifth round of the FNB Varsity Cup, presented by Steinhoff International, in Port Elizabeth on Monday night.
Although the team have suffered three straight defeats, the most recent being their 42-13 loss against FNB UJ earlier this week, they aim to show progress when they take on FNB Shimlas at the NMMU Madibaz Stadium from 6.30pm.
“The most important thing for us to do now is to tighten up our own playing, but we do want to strengthen the team a bit,” said Madibaz head coach David Maidza.
Rather than start from scratch, Maidza has opted to make very few changes to the squad as they work to rectify their mistakes as a team.
Warrick Venter will sit out Monday’s game due to a slight knock to the knee, while Dane Van der Westerhuizen returns at hooker.
Left lock Rob Louw will move to the bench, replaced by Stephan Zaayman in the number four jersey.
Rudolph Odendaal comes in at number seven to replace Jody Reneke who moves to the bench for next week’s game.
Ivan-John du Preez returns to the replacements as utility forward for Monday’s tussle after sitting out the last game, while Tyler Paul moves across from left to right lock.
Maidza said that Shimlas would be tough competition come next week’s game and that the Madibaz would be focusing on fixing their own errors rather than looking at the opponents.
“We obviously will need to work on some strategies in terms of how we contend with their tactics, but the most important thing for us to do right now is focus on improving on the errors we have been making over the past few weeks.
“It’s not that we are 30 points poorer than the opposition, I think the main problem that we have at the moment is that we are making too many errors, but that can be fixed,” said Maidza.
He said that although the players were making a good effort, they were trying too many things individually rather than structurally as a team.
“Because of this, we are getting out of structure and out of shape and are getting punished as a result.
“We are ending up in our own half too often and it’s not doing us any favours. We don’t need to change anything besides mentally being more accurate and not losing as much possession as we have been doing.
“Shimlas are a very good side but we need to focus on ourselves and once we fix our mistakes I think we can impose more pressure on the opposition,” he said.
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FNB Madibaz: 15 Jarryd Buys (captain), 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Michael Bernardt, 12 Devon Lailvaux, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Steven Hansel, 9 Ivan Ludick, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Rudolph Odendaal, 6 CJ Velleman (vice captain), 5 Tyler Paul, 4 Stephen Zaayman, 3 Brendan Olivier, 2 Dane van der Westerhuizen, 1 Arno Ebersohn Replacements: 16 Jody Reneke, 17 Steven Robesson, 18 Rob Louw, 19 Ivan-John du Preez, 20 Daniel Acker, 21 Andile Jho, 22 Brian Skosana, 23 Marzuq Maarman
C J Velleman will return as vice-captain of the FNB NMMU-Madibaz for the fifth round of the FNB Varsity Cup, presented by Steinhoff International, against FNB Shimlas in Port Elizabeth on Monday night. Photo: Saspa
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