Cape Town - Madibaz captain
Riaan Esterhuizen wants his team to emulate their defensive display in the
semi-finals when they face Cape Peninsula University of Technology in the Varsity Shield final on Thursday.
The match will take place at
the Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth, kicking off at 18:15.
It will feature the top two
Shield teams this season after the Nelson Mandela University outfit went
through the round-robin phase unbeaten and CPUT lost just once - to their PE rivals.
The Madibaz won their
head-to-head encounter 38-21, but Esterhuizen said they were well aware of the
attacking abilities of their opponents, which would test their defensive
think we did really well on defence in the semi-final against University of
KwaZulu-Natal, not conceding a point,” he said, referring
to last Thursday’s 46-0 win.
we know that CPUT are a quality side and have registered a number of high
scores against other teams. That shows they have a good attack and our defence
will need to be on point again.”
He added that the Cape team
liked to play at a fast tempo, but backed his team’s
structures to cope with what lay ahead.
guys’ hearts and attitude are in the right place for
defence, as we showed against UKZN, and we will be ready for their tactics.
the first game of the season they showed their intentions with their fast play
and quick taps. It is similar to how UKZN play, so we know we need to be
prepared for that.”
Although many of the players
in a relatively young team have not appeared in a playoff before, Esterhuizen
said they were excited about the opportunity.
“It’s true that we don’t
have a lot of experience in these sorts of matches so we don’t quite know what to expect.
the guys are confident enough to put up a good performance and not let anything
fact that it is a final doesn’t mean we need to
change anything. The stage is a bit bigger, but the strategy we have followed
in winning seven games is not going to change.
focus will remain on what our jobs are and how best we can execute our
strategy. That has been the recipe for our success this season.”
The Madibaz skipper added that
they were looking forward to playing in front of their home fans.
supporters have really come out in their numbers to back us - especially the students from the residences, as well
as family and friends,” said Esterhuizen.
“It’s awesome to have that support and the final gives us
another opportunity to play some good rugby and repay them for the faith they
have shown in us.”