Varsity Cup | Home
- Created on Monday, 04 March 2013 11:49
There are no easy games in the Varsity Cup and FNB Wits have the task of taking on the finalists of last year's competition in their next two games.
Whilst this is a daunting task considering Wits' difficult introduction into the Varsity Cup this year, the players are looking forward to running up against the best rugby university in the country.
The competition is taking its toll on the Witsies as there are a few injuries to key players, but typical of coach Andy Royle, he sees this as an opportunity for other players to show what they are made of.
He commented: "We have to understand who is able to play at this level of rugby and there is no better opportunity than when you are playing the defending champions at their ground.
"Our aim this year was to learn lessons as it is 2014 that is important for us as that will be the promotion/relegation year, I just never realised how brutal those lessons would be on the players and the coaching and management staff," he said.
Royle said that his team's first month in the competition have shown just how strong the competition really is.
"The greatest lesson we have learned over the last month is that whilst we (Wits) are students who play rugby, the top sides in this competition are rugby professionals who attend universities," said Royle.
"I have been happy with our ability to score tries against very good defences, but if we do not take personal responsibility on defence, Monday is going to be another very long evening for us.
"Our biggest task at this stage is keeping the players motivated to keep playing to their full potential, but this is difficult for a group of amateur players playing week in, week out against professionals," he added.
Forwards coach Kyle Condon said that Wits have identified their weaknesses and worked hard to tighten their game up.
"We have put a lot of effort into ball retention and defensive patterns this week as these two things have been our Achilles heel to date.
"Nearly 80% of our tries have been conceded from turnover ball, and as we all know, at this level if you give up the ball, chances are you will concede eight points shortly thereafter," said Condon.
By Robert Kent