FNB NMMU-Madibaz skipper Kevin Kaba is banking on his team's "never-say-die" attitude to help them overcome a tough period after two successive losses in the FNB Varsity Cup rugby competition. The Port Elizabeth university have faced formidable opponents in NWU-Pukke and UP-Tuks in their last two matches, but Kaba is determined to encourage his teammates to play to their potential. They face another demanding encounter when they take on Stellenbosch University in Stellenbosch on Monday. "It's been tough going down in the previous two games, especially in the manner in which we did," said Kaba as he looked back on their season so far. "But the team realise that these things are part of the game and we need to get ourselves back to the level we know we're capable of playing at." Despite the setbacks after a fine opening win over UCT, Kaba said he had been encouraged by the team's approach to their matches. "The guys' commitment and an attitude of always playing to the final whistle have been big positives and something that can't really be coached." The eighth man, who was the Player That Rocks in the UCT game, said they had already learnt some valuable lessons following the first three rounds of Varsity Cup action. "The main one has been how big a difference the so-called small things can make on the field. "For example, guys sticking to their roles on attack and being disciplined on defence are the sorts of things we realise we have to execute more effectively." He added they would place a strong focus on adhering to their roles, as well as aiming for better ball retention. "We knew how tough the competition would be before we started, but we just have to stick to our plans and work from there." Kaba said a number of players had stood out so far, but he stressed that their main focus was to deliver consistently good team performances. Looking ahead to Monday's clash against Maties, he said they knew they would have to be . . .
FNB NMMU-Madibaz coach David Maidza wants his team to execute their game plan more efficiently when they run out in Pretoria on Monday to tackle University of Pretoria in their FNB Varsity Cup rugby game. After a strong performance in their opening match against UCT, the Madibaz came up short against defending champions NWU-Pukke in Potchefstroom this week, losing 37-7. Maidza said the disappointment after the game was evident in the silence in the bus on the trip back to Johannesburg, but he added they were not disillusioned and were determined to improve against Tuks. "Having had a look at the game again, the young men know that they could have executed our gameplan better," he said. "I felt at times we did not handle the pressure well but we know that most of the situations are things we can control and fix for the next game." The Madibaz coach said he was particularly pleased that the team never gave up against Pukke. "That is credit to them for showing good character to play until the end." Maidza said they knew they were facing a good side in Pukke and that the number of turnovers they conceded counted against them. "We were disappointed in that we did not control the possession we had and, of course, Pukke were going to take full advantage of these errors." He said he was confident the players would continue to work for each other, knowing that they could improve on their performance. "The spirit is really good," said Maidza. "I can easily say that this is a group who want to achieve their best this year on the rugby field." He acknowledged that Tuks would be another big challenge on Monday and said the team would be focused on implementing their strategy much better. "We agreed that we did not execute our gameplan well. That started with our set-pieces which led to us not having a good launching pad. "Furthermore we gave away too much ball in the amount of decision-making errors we made. "We need to have better focus . . .
During its rugby world cup debut, gaming app Retro Rugby took the sporting world by storm, causing more competitiveness than a real-life match, between office mates and pub pals across the nation. Now, the vintage – and super addictive – game returns to celebrate the Six Nations and is a must for any rugby fan around the world. Using a simple swipe gesture, users control the attacking player to navigate the field – avoid clashing with defenders and posts, to score a try. As the user progresses, the timer counts down and the defenders become more active to make for exciting and addictive gameplay. There’s no better time, than half time to put your skills to the test and swipe your way up the leader board to glory. Select your team colours to support your nation and gear up to win the cup for your country. Gain all the excitement previous Six Nations tournaments have provided, such as England’s tense 25-21 victory over Wales in 2016, to round off the Triple Crown and become tournament winners! All we can predict for this year is that Retro Rugby will keep the excitement going after the 80 minutes are over. To download Retro Rugby, visit the App Store or for android devices download the game via Google Play. For further information about the game, visit www.brighthouse.co.uk/retro-rugby. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
International Rugby star David Pocock of Australia, will kick off his six-month sabbatical in South Africa next week (Friday February 3, 2017), joining newly established conservation organization WildArk to announce the acquisition of its first wildlife conservancy, in partnership with EcoTraining, Africa’s leading guide training organization. Pocock, who is an ambassador for WildArk, will join Australian founders’ Mark and Sophie Hutchinson of Sydney and EcoTraining Managing Director Anton Lategan of South Africa, on the company's first property, known as ‘Pridelands’. WildArk is committed to securing parts of identified green belts around the world and is working with leading environmental scientists to restore, manage and protect the rich biodiversity of these areas as a way of conserving wildlife. At 4,500 acres, Pridelands, a former hunting farm, presents a magnificent example of intact vegetation of Combretum woodland. “This is a fantastic step for our organization, and I’m incredibly proud to realise our first conservancy for African wildlife,” said WildArk founder Mark Hutchinson. “The partnership with our close colleagues at EcoTraining, will help build ecologically sound restoration of habitat, open another 4,500 acres into a greater conservancy that includes state owned, private and community areas, allow freedom of wildlife movement and provide local job creation. It is hopefully the first of many WildArk conservancies that adjoin existing networks of private, state or community-owned conservation areas.” Lategan, a passionate advocate for conservation in Southern Africa, also realised a 20-year personal dream in the acquisition of Pridelands. “Our desire is to restore the farm to migrational and residential wildlife such as lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo. The property already has general plains game, leopard and hyena – with excellent cheetah sightings and reports that lions came through the fence briefly!” Lategan said. Anton’s . . .
FNB NMMU-Madibaz captain Kevin Kaba believes the right attitude will go a long towards making his team competitive when the FNB Varsity Cup gets under way on Monday. The 22-year-old loose forward, who was born in Ghana but grew up in Queenstown, will be at the forefront of the Madibaz's bid to make an impact in the popular tournament. After a tough season last year, the Port Elizabeth outfit kick off their campaign against UCT in Cape Town, knowing that no teams can be taken lightly. "We need to pitch up with the right frame of mind to all our games, whether we are facing the ‘bigger' or ‘smaller' universities," said Kaba. He said they would be looking to improve their performances by not putting themselves under pressure. "We tend to do that at times, but we need to make sure we go out there with cool heads and try to keep calm when the heat is on." Kaba, who will start the season at eighth man, said the team's strength was their willingness to maintain an attacking approach. "We are a team who like to run with the ball. Most of the squad have played together before so we have a good understanding of each other." Having learnt the game in the icy conditions of winters spent at Queen's College, Kaba said he was used to the demanding tests rugby could throw at you and was looking forward to his leadership role with the Madibaz. "It's an exciting challenge," said the third-year accounting student. "Dealing with the different personalities in the team and getting to know everyone will help me to grow as a person and leader." He was also positive about the team's prospects. "I definitely think the squad can make our fans proud this year. We have worked hard and just need to focus on executing our plans out there." Due to renovations at the Madibaz Stadium, the NMMU side will play all their games away this season, leaving them without the benefit of home support. "We have accepted that we will be playing all our games away," said . . .
Having lost a number of senior players, the University of Johannesburg will make a fresh start when the popular FNB Varsity Cup competition kicks off on Monday. Under the guidance of head coach Werner Janse van Rensburg and captain Jannes Snyman, UJ will have a tough opener in Johannesburg against defending champions North-West University. While they have a number of new faces in their squad, Janse van Rensburg said they were motivated to be the best they could be "in the challenging circumstances that the Varsity Cup brings". "We are at the start of a new cycle, having lost quite a few senior players who have been involved over the last four years due to them completing their degrees," he said. "We have two new senior additions to our team in centre Sipho Phiri and flyhalf Ewan Adams, along with some young players who will form the greater part of our squad, which will help them gain experience for future Varsity Cup competitions. "The squad is completed by a few stalwarts who have been with us for the last few years." The UJ mentor said their challenge would be to maintain a strong sense of self-belief. "We know we have to handle whatever comes our way in terms of the opposition and the attention on you during this competition. "The test for our players will be to keep believing in what we are doing and knowing that it is good enough to get results." Janse van Rensburg said the squad, who began preparations for the competition last year, were full of excitement as the opening game approached. "There are also some nerves but the guys are looking forward to what this experience will bring. We can't wait to get going as it is a fantastic competition to play in." After initial strength and conditioning phases in October, the squad continued their preparations from late November to mid-December before a break until January 3. "We have had some good contributions in friendly matches against University of Pretoria and Wits," said Janse . . .
Even though they face the demanding challenge of playing all their matches away this year, coach David Maidza's FNB NMMU-Madibaz team are focused purely on producing a strong showing in the FNB Varsity Cup. The Madibaz kick off their campaign against UCT in Cape Town on January 30 and an upgrade to the Madibaz stadium venue, which has not yet been completed, means they will not have the benefit of home support in the tournament. Maidza acknowledged that it would be a test for the squad, but said they would not let that concern them in their planning for the upcoming competition. "Whatever the situation, we all know we are privileged to be representing NMMU in the Varsity Cup and we are only focusing on putting in good performances," he said. "We have a good team to look after the needs, physically and mentally, of these talented young men." After experiencing a testing season last year, Maidza said their aim would be to inject an improvement into their performances. "If we can do that we can better our log position from the last two years," he said. "This is a fresh start for everyone in the squad and with that we need to build a good team ethos, which will in turn give us good performances on the field." The Madibaz scored their only victory last season against UCT to avoid the relegation match and they will meet the same opponents in their opening game this month. "It is always important to have a good start," said Maidza. "That good start can be a win or a solid performance and that is our simple aim." The Madibaz mentor said he was happy with the squad's preparations. "We started last year at the beginning of November, followed by a two-week break before resuming on January 3. "The boys have worked hard during this period and the preparations have been sound." Maidza said they had continued with their process of looking within the Madibaz ranks for the best talent. "With this in mind, I am happy to say that the majority . . .
BRONSON WEIR - BELHAR RUGBY CLUB The game of rugby is more than just a sport. It creates a sense of community for both players and the supporters. This is one of the most important roles that it has played to Bronson Weir from Belhar in Cape Town. Weir’s passion for the game grew as a young boy when rugby took away the dangers of ending up in troublesome situations. Now, many years down the line, Weir was recognised as Old Mutual’s most outstanding volunteer by combining his love for playing rugby, and his volunteering efforts to develop youth in the area. A marketing consultant at Old Mutual for the past four years and a rugby player himself, Weir recognised the need for school rugby to receive proper conditioning and support, so he started coaching at Excelsior High school in 2007. He saw the opportunity to secure additional financial support - from the Old Mutual Foundation and registered his organisation as part of the staff volunteerism programme. The Belhar Rugby Club now has a practice facility that is home to four league rugby teams; both boys and girl schools rugby, as well as a gym facility. Earlier this year, the club hosted the Springboks as part of the #LoveRugby campaign, which proved to be a great success and offered the club an opportunity to showcase its exceptional facility available to players and teams alike. Weir believes there is a great synergy between rugby and work and said that “through the game of rugby, we can install discipline and focus. It teaches you to play and work together as a team and these are invaluable skills to have in a work place environment as well. ” One of Weir’s coaching career highlights was: “seeing the guys succeed on a provisional level. Knowing that we are able to supply a talented player with all the support and conditioning that he needs to reach his full potential. Often it’s the case that these guys don’t have any support available due to their underprivileged backgrounds. Being part of a . . .
World Renowned Rugby Innovation Summit to be hosted in Cape Town in December! The internationally acclaimed and globally recognised Rugby Innovation Summit is heading to Cape Town this December. Hosted at the Century City Conference Centre and Hotel from 6 - 8 December, this unique sport summit is the only sporting conference specifically targeted for elite and grassroots rugby and is a must attend for sport coaches, sport development officers, performance coaches and rugby agents. The summit has been carefully designed to optimise attack, improve performance and reduce injury across every level of the game and will cover a host of crucial topics ranging from physical conditioning, skill development, mental training, decision making, coaching strategy, technology innovation and injury prevention. The rugby focused summit will also incorporate live player-testing and an interactive vendor show, covering all areas of rugby performance, sports performance and injury. Attendees will be enriched with invaluable insights into the latest, cutting-edge rugby practices from a host of world class rugby and sports coaches as well as leading medical, performance coaches and sports scientists. Rugby fanatics can look forward to informative and interactive sessions with: England defensive coach, Paul Gustard as well as the Golden Lions high performance manager, Bart Schoeman and Argentina’s current skills coach German Fernandez, to mention just a few. Since Rugby Union turned professional following the hugely successful Rugby World Cup in South Africa in 1995, the game has evolved at an incredible speed, with players becoming bigger, stronger and fitter than ever before. With the influx of technology, data analytics and video analysis over the last decade, rugby has become more systematic and better coached than ever before. The need to host high performance summits such as these is essential! If you’re serious about creating a well-rounded sports team or a . . .
South Africa’s rugby fraternity can look forward to working with five former Springboks as part of the Investec International Rugby Academy’s courses which will be held at St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg these December holidays. Among the iconic line-up of coaches spending a week with aspiring players (aged 7 to 17) and school coaches are former Springbok players Braam van Straaten (fly-half), Dick Muir (centre), Andre Pretorius (fly-half), Ian MacDonald (flank) and Marius Hurter (prop); as well as former Bath Rugby player Hentie Maartens (scrum-half) and current Sharks Strength and Conditioning Coach Mark Steele. The Investec International Rugby Academy’s players’ and coaches courses will take place from 10 to 16 December at St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg. Visit www.investecacademy.com or contact Bernadine on 031 940 5565 or email@example.com. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .