FNB Ikey Tigers coach Kevin Musikanth has confirmed back row forward Michael Botha will lead his charges in their FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International title defence this season.
Musikanth said that having a player of Botha’s experience as captain will be vital as they try to live up to the expectations created from last year’s campaign.
“Mikey captained UCT when they won intervarsity [against Maties] and he has just been unlucky with the Varsity Cup, if it weren’t for certain injuries he probably would have captained the side previously.
“It is a new tournament now and as much as we are Varsity Cup winners from 2014, it is now 2015. It is a different type of pressure but at the same time your approach to the tourament should surely be the same.
“The teams are close, so your preparation counts and how you approach games and how you analyse yourselves and the opposition all add up,” he said.
Ikeys skipper Michael Botha said the focus tactically will be to strike a balance between the attacking style they are known for and the discipline required to close tough games out.
“UCT is known for running rugby, and not only do the fans enjoy seeing it but we enjoy playing it. When we get out there guys want to chuck the ball around and do awesome things like those backdoor passes and 50/50s.
“But in this day and age there is also the importance of wanting to win rather than just wanting to put on a good show and I think that is where we did well last year – that balance between the two,” he said
Botha added that they will try and use the pressure to their advantage and maintain the high standards they reached last year.
“Obviously there is going to be a target on our backs now but it gives the guys a bit of extra motivation. In the past we were sort of viewed as underdogs, now we are going into the competition as reigning champs.
“We want to keep our standards high, aim for exellence and win the trophy,” he said.
TICKETS FOR FNB UCT IKEYS VARSITY CUP GAMES
Tickets are R20 and available at the gate or online at Varsity Sports Ticketing – http://varsitysportssa.com/tickets
Next home fixtures: FNB UCT Ikeys vs FNB Maties Monday 9th, 7pm at UCT.
FNB UCT Ikeys vs FNB NMMU Monday 23rd, 6.30pm at UCT.