FNB Shimlas will look to return to winning ways against FNB CUT in Bloemfontein at the CUT Rugby Stadium on Monday 20 February 2017 in the fourth round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International.
The FNB Shimlas practice on Thursday evening was intense and focused and you could sense the urgency of the coaching team as well the players. The urgency is due to the 22-7 loss against FNB UCT in Round Three of the Varsity Cup, in their own backyard. Luckily for FNB Shimlas, other teams lost as well, and therefore they retained the top-of-the-log spot with 10 points.
If you look at the statistics of the game, the FNB Shimlas did not perform well in the lineouts, where they lost nine attacking lineout balls. The wet conditions and hooker Hanno Snyman’s withdrawal just before the game started complicated their set piece. FNB Shimlas also had to make eighty tackles behind the gain line, which put the FNB Shimlas defence under huge pressure, creating gaps in the defence. The coaching team are holding their thumbs after flanker Daniel Maartens injured his shoulder and needs to pass a late fitness test.
“At the video session we realised that we didn’t play well in all the phases of the game and we were not able to adapt to the circumstances,” said coach Hendro Scholtz. “The whole team needs to step up, there are no excuses for the loss.”
FNB CUT have not won a Varsity Cup game as yet, and currently find themselves in the last spot on the Varsity Cup log. FNB CUT play a physical game, especially with their big loose trio, who carry the ball well, putting the team on the front foot and testing the opposition defence.
“We will stick to our systems, the players need to realise that all fifteen players on the field need to do their work. If one slips up, our system won’t work. The local derby is always tough and we know CUT is a team that grinds it out till the end. We simply cannot underestimate them; it would be a huge mistake,” said Scholtz.
The local derby between FNB Shimlas and FNB CUT will be a tough game, as proven in the past and nothing can be taken for granted.
“We know that even if FNB CUT lose to every other team in the Varsity Cup, they will still be coming for us. They are always motivated to defeat Shimlas; that is what makes local derbies so tough and last week once again showed that there are no easy games in this competition.”
The local derby between FNB Shimlas and FNB CUT kicks off at 16:45 and will be live on SuperSport.
FNB Shimlas starting XV: Sechaba Motsoela, Carel Wynand Coetzee, , Lihleli Xoli, Stephen Janse Van Rensburg (C), Marco Mason, Nicholas Naude , Dian Badenhorst, Wilandre Kotzenburg, Phumzile Maqondwana , Daniel Maartens, Neil Claasen, Raymond Woest ,Ruan Kramer,Hanno Snyman, Kwenzokuhle Blose
Replacements: Francois Steyn, Johan Kotze, Thabiso Msiza, Ruben Schoeman, Musa Mahlasela, Armand Pretorius , Vuyani Maqina , Niel Stannard
By Xander Snyders