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 at crucial times, especially when we have ball in hand, so that we can ask more defensive questions of the opposition.”
FNB NMMU-Madibaz squad: 15 Lindelwu Zungu, 14 Jixie Molapo, 13 Siphumelele Msutwana, 12 Andile Jho (vice-capt), 11 Athi Mayinje, 10 Simon Bolze, 9 Luvo Claassen, 8 Kevin Kaba (capt), 7 Henry Brown, 6 SF Nieuwoudt, 5 Gerrit Huisamen, 4 Janse Roux, 3 James Beyl, 2 JP Jamieson, 1 Nicolaas Oosthuizen.
Replacements: Jedwyn Harty, Xandre Vos, Nicolas Roebeck, Jayson Reinecke, Rouche Nel, Jordan Koekemoer, Ivan-John du Preez, Robert Izaks.