After two heartbreaking losses, FNB NMMU-Madibaz are targeting an away win against the in-form Shimlas in the third round of the FNB Varsity Cup on Monday evening.

“We are going to Shimlas to win,” said Madibaz head coach David Maidza.

“We owe it to ourselves to cut down on unforced errors and turn the pressure we created in both matches into points. This was the real difference between winning and losing.”

Maidza said their nervous start against Maties contributed largely to the result.

“In any competitive game you cannot play catch-up. We need to start asserting ourselves by controlling the ball better and becoming more patient and composed when we have the ball.

“I am lucky to have a group of hungry and dedicated boys that know the importance of getting back on track and my work is to keep on assisting each one to realise his potential.”

He said he believed that they had gone into the first two games with the right game plan, but that their execution had not been precise.

“We all know that improvements have to be made and that is why we have worked hard this week to prepare for Shimlas.”

Maidza said their indifferent start to the tournament had not changed their focus.

“We had a good look at the game against Maties and, apart from us starting poorly, we feel that we don’t need to hit the panic button.

“I am more than confident that we have a core group of diligent student-athletes that can turn the results around.”

He said they needed to keep on improving on their focus areas through hard, intelligent work.

Although these were early days, Maidza said they knew they had to start winning to be in contention for the play-offs.

“The boys have been positive and the disappointment from Monday is being left behind. The next big job lies ahead.”

He said lock Jayson Reinecke would miss the match due to a concussion sustained during the Maties match.

Shimlas saw off Tuks by one point this week and are currently second on the log.

Kick-off is at 6.30pm.

Team: 15 Keanu Vers; 14 Ivan-John du Preez; 13 Riaan Esterhuizen; 12 Jeremy Ward; 11 Yamkela Ngam; 10 Thomas Kean; 9 Ivan Ludick (C); 8 Kevin Kaba (VC); 7 Andisa Ntsila; 6 Henry Brown; 5 Gerrit Huisamen; 4 Tyler Paul; 3 Nicholaas Oosthuizen; 2 Warrick Venter; 1 Marzuq Maarman.
Replacements: 16 Tango Balekile (hooker); 17 Nemo Roelofse (prop); 18 Elandre van der Merwe (utility forward); 19 Hayden Tharrat (utility forward); 20 Sibusiso Ngcokovane (scrumhalf); 21 Simon Bolze (utility back); 22 Lindelwu Zungu (utility back); 23 Ronald Beyl (prop).

Charles Ward of Madibaz in action during the FNB Varsity Cup second-round encounter against Maties. Photo: Saspa

Issued by: Full Stop Communications