'The Blue Machine stops for nothing.' Patria from NWU-Pukke have taken this slogan to heart as has been evident in their resounding wins over Bastion and Northernz during the last couple of weeks in the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championships.
Bastion were thumped 16-9 in Johannesburg, whilst Northernz were laid to rest 24-11 in Port Elizabeth.
Patria's prim, Jean Olivier, captained the side last year but an injury has kept him sidelined for the better part of the season. He did, however, play 40 minutes against Northernz last time out and it's only a matter of time before he is back to his destructive best.
Said Olivier: "To be honest, it was a bit bad playing so far away from home but just before kick-off we received an SMS saying that everyone in the hostel is sitting in the passageways, waiting for us to play.
"That's the thing about Patria, we function as a unit. The team is nothing without everybody's support," Olivier told varsitycup.co.za this week.
Patria's main strike weapons are the foreign duo of Johan Deysel at outside centre and Claude Bouwer on his inside. Both hail from Namibia.
"They are down to earth, hard blokes who are playing some excellent rugby.
"In the forwards it's hard to single any one out. Our locks are very mobile, but it's as a unit that the eight guys manage to dominate as they do," Olivier explained.
According to Patria's Rupert Oberholzer, the hostel is benefitting from ample depth in key positions this year. The hard yard they've put in during the pre-season are also reaping rewards.
The coaches, affectionately dubbed 'Oom Bill' and 'Oom Burger', have left no stone unturned in ensuring their side is at the peak of their prowess.
Come Monday night when Patria face Vishuis at the Fanie du Toit in Potch they will, again, have to fire on all cylinders.
Olivier concluded: "It's a game we have to win if we want to host a home semifinal. We thrive on our support, so we are going to ensure that we play the semi's in front of our own crowd."
By Bertie Jacobs