FNB NMMU-Madibaz head coach David Maidza has chosen to make very few changes to his squad for the second round of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International on Monday night.
The Port Elizabeth team will take on last year’s Varsity Shield champions FNB CUT in the first home game of the season after going down 36-26 to FNB NWU-Pukke earlier this week.
“The boys stood up as a pack on Monday night and we want to reward the good performances,” said Maidza.
The back line of the starting 15 will remain the same with the exception of Andile Jho who will be replaced by left centre Devon Lailvaux at number 12.
Creswin Josephs will move to Lailvaux’s spot at outside centre, while Monday night’s try-scorer Tythan Adams holds onto the number 15 jersey.
Changes to the bench include Stephan Zaayman replacing Rudolph Odendaal as the utility forward in the number 18 position on account of an injury.
With Brian Skosana moving into the starting line-up at right wing, Eben Barnard will come on as a utility back.
In response to the team’s opening round loss, Maidza said they were constantly working on improving their strategies.
“We have intimately looked at our shortcomings in the first game and there is still a lot of work to be done.”
“We have been working on our attacks as well as our defence and are hoping that in the next game we put those strategies to work on the field.”
Maidza said he and the team chose to ignore the public outcry following the controversial refereeing decisions that seemed to favour the home team in Potchefstroom this week.
“We do not look at that at all. We know where we went wrong and we have got to fix our errors.
“I have spoken to the officials and they have given me a lot of good information and advice. It has been a constructive working relationship,” he said.
According to Maidza the team had a positive outlook and were working hard to put a good performance together ahead of Monday’s tussle.
He urged the PE public, especially NMMU students, to come out and support the Madibaz on their home turf.
“It means so much to the side and the whole sports bureau when the students and public are cheering them on in the stands on match day.”
Maidza encouraged the public to support the university by purchasing a Madibaz season ticket package, which includes tickets to all the home games, a Varsity Cup shirt or vest, and VIP treatment at the matches.
“We would like to start a trend at NMMU that we have crowds turning out to support and enjoy the spectacle of not only rugby but all sporting codes.”
FNB Madibaz: 15 Tythan Adams, 14 Brian Skosana, 13 Creswin Josephs, 12 Devon Lailvaux, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Ruan Allerston, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Wynand Grassman, 6 CJ Velleman (captain), 5 Tyler Paul, 4 Rob Louw, 3 Steven Robesson, 2 Dane van der Westerhuizen, 1 Arno Ebersohn. Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Brenden Olivier, 18 Stephan Zaayman, 19 Ivan-John Du Preez, 20 Ivan Ludick, 21 Steven Hansel, 22 Eben Barnard, 23 Marzuq Maarman
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