After picking up their first victory of the 2017 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International, the FNB Ikey Tigers are looking to build on their strong foundation that will undoubtedly be tested when they travel to Bloemfontein on Monday to take on FNB Shimlas.
Coach Christiaan Esterhuizen hailed what was a massive defensive performance from his team last time out, noting that it highlighted the character and fight in this FNB Ikey Tigers team. “The result is a huge morale boost. I think the win came at just the right time,” he said.
Despite the euphoria of victory, coach Esterhuizen has said that his team have been working hard to ensure they don’t repeat their previous errors. “It’s amazing what a win can do. The mood around the camp is very positive, but at the same time we know that our performance wasn’t perfect and that there are things we need to work on and improve,” he said.
One thing the team has done well recently is defend. In their last game against FNB Madibaz, the FNB Ikey Tigers were playing with fourteen players for almost half the match. At one stage, the team was forced to keep their opponents out with only thirteen players behind the ball. However, they will need more than a strong defence to overcome FNB Shimlas, who have won both of their opening games thus far.
“Shimlas are two [wins] from two [matches], so they’re full of confidence at the moment. Our defence has proven to be quite well organised, and the stats show that again as we only missed eight percent of our tackles in our last match, so we want to build on that base and drop our error rate. It gets better every week, but it’s not where we want it yet. We want to play with a solid defence, along with an emphasis on our accuracy and being more clinical going forward,” coach Esterhuizen concluded.
The FNB Ikey Tigers have named a largely unchanged side for Monday’s clash:
FNB UCT starting XV: 1 Wayrin Losper, 2 Cuan Hablutzel, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 4 Nama Xaba, 5 Duncan Saffy, 6 Jason Klaasen (C), 7 Luke Stringer, 8 Nyasha Tarusenga, 9 Stefano de Gouveia, 10 Jez Mcintyre, 11 Joel Smith, 12 Rico Lategan, 13 Tristan Mouton, 14 Rayno Mapoe, 15 Lohan Lubbe.
Substitutions: 16 Martin Chandler, 17 William Day, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazebuko, 19 Sanele Malwane, 20 Alva Senderayi 21 Matthew Redman, 22 Rob Anderson, 23 Hilio De Abreu.
By Wessley Thring