It is Round Three of the FNB Varsity Shield presented by Steinhoff International and FNB FNB UWC take on FNB Rhodes in Cape Town. The two teams have had similar starts to the campaign having won their first matches against FNB CPUT and FNB UFH respectively, and losing out to FNB UFH and FNB WSU in week two’s fixtures. Both teams will be looking to bounce back in this fixture and FNB UWC will be feeling confident coming back to their home ground.
The home side will be looking to forget the result of last week’s match where they went down 32-31 to FNB UFH in a tightly contested game down in Alice. According to vice-captain Brandon Valentyn, the conditions in the Easter Cape (weather and spectators) were against the Cape side and the experience of the home side came to the fore at crucial moments in the game.
“If we are going to do well on Monday we will need to minimise our mistakes and keep our foot on the paddle. In both our first two matches we were on the front foot having healthy leads until we became complacent and found ourselves on the back foot. Fort Hare are experienced in this competition and they punished us whenever our concentration lapsed,” said Valentyn.
FNB UWC will be wary of the threat that their opponents possess after defeating the team that they (FNB UWC) lost to and the experienced Valentyn is fully aware of this.
“We expect them to come at us with all they have because just like us, they are wounded after last week and will be looking for redemption. Obviously we won’t be giving anything especially in our own backyard. We also need to redeem ourselves and we owe it to the UWC community and coaches to give a good account of ourselves and that is what we intend to do,” says Valentyn.
Going into the game, it will be crucial for the home side to keep working on their strengths and all aspects that have been working well for them. That includes the set plays in lineouts and scrums that Valentyn feels they have been in control of. However, they should not forget the errors that have cost them important points in the past.
“Our set plays are really great. Our lineouts and scrums have been good and haven’t caused us much trouble. We do however need to take care of the ball in possession and try to minimise the amount of balls we lose in tackles or turnovers,” he concludes.
An expectant FNB UWC crowd should be in for a treat on Monday with both teams highly motivated to lift themselves up after last week’s losses. With the pace of Michaine Fick and Kurt-Lee Arendse on the wings, FNB UWC should find ways past the visitors’ defences. However, they will need to be tighter in defence if they are to walk away victorious against FNB Rhodes.
FNB UWC face FNB Rhodes on 20 February at UWC Sports Stadium at 18:30.
FNB UWC Starting XV: 1 Bradley Jumaats, 2 Ralph Jansen, 3 Justin Theys, 4 Brandon Valentyn, 5 Abraham Mostert, 6 Shaine Orderson, 7 Matthew Le Roux, 8 Adrian Paarwater, 9 Hershelle Jantjies, 10 Keagan Fortuin, 11 Andre Manuel, 12 Hendrik Carstens, 13 Rodrick Moses, 14 Jacquin Moses, 15 Daniel Bock.
Replacements: 16 Ismaeel Schroeder, 17 Nathan Cloete, 18, Curtley Thomas, 19 Alwyn Carstens, 20 Clayton Daniels, 21 Gordon Plaatjies, 22 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 23 Mzo Buthelezi
By Thulani Mkosi