The FNB NMMU-Madibaz Young Guns rugby team will have a spring in their step when they travel to Cape Town on Sunday for their Varsity Cup showdown with UCT on Monday.
After losing their opening game to Maties, the Madibaz hit back with a 39-34 win against the Cape Town outfit in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
They crossed for five tries to pick up a bonus point and coach Zane Bosch said they would be looking for a repeat performance in the return game.
“We were very happy with our showing, scoring five tries to UCT’s four,” he said. “After looking at the logs following the game, we are the best second-placed team in the three pools.”
The pool winners will qualify for the competition semifinals, along with the team with the best record among the section runners-up.
Bosch said it was essential, therefore, they registered a second win over UCT, with a bonus point. The Cape Town side has yet to win a game, having also lost twice to Maties.
He added that their team had been disrupted before this week’s UCT clash because tighthead prop Daniel Voight had fallen ill in the warm-up and was unable to play.
“This meant we had to use two loosehead props, which badly disrupted our scrummaging. From that, we conceded a penalty try after a scrum close to our line.
“We also had a penalty try ruled against us after collapsing a driving maul, but generally speaking our performance was much improved.”
The Madibaz coach said they had battled to find their rhythm in their first match against Maties because of their late start to the season.
However, he added he was satisfied with the team’s effort against UCT and he felt that another full haul on Monday would give them a good chance of making the playoffs.
Bosch said they had named the same squad for the return match against UCT.
“But this time Daniel Voight will be there to take his place in the starting line-up,” he said.
Madibaz, who will fly to Cape Town on Sunday, will finish off their pool matches when they host Maties on March 20.
In the senior Varsity Cup, Madibaz will be targeting their second win of the season when they play Wits in Johannesburg on Monday.
Wits are fresh from a notable 22-13 win over NWU-Pukke this week, while Madibaz lost their fourth match in a row against the University of Johannesburg after defeating UCT in the first game.