Disappointed Foote gets behind Maties

FNB UCT head coach Kevin Foote was, as one would expect, bitterly disappointed with Monday’s 5-45 Varsity Cup loss to a rampant FNB Maties outfit – but he was quick to doff his cap in the direction of the Men in Maroon.

The Ikeys went down to Stellenbosch by six tries to one at a hostile Danie Craven Stadium, but Foote was in no mood for excuses when contacted by the official Varsity Cup website.

“It’s always disappointing to lose and especially disappointing to go down by a big margin like that,” said Foote.

“The Maties set-piece was awesome and they just never let us into the game. We made a few silly errors, especially early on, but credit must go to them – they were the better team by some distance and I’d love them to go all the way and win the Varsity Cup (again).

“It hasn’t been a great season, and it’s been very disappointed,” he added,” but it would be great if the Maties could keep the Varsity Cup in the Cape. I’ll certainly be backing them!”

Foote addressed his shell-shocked charges right after the game in the Danie Craven Stadium and he revealed the extent of his team-talk: “Afterwards I asked the players, “Who will be back for next year guys?”, and the nice thing is that everyone – except for guys like Wes Chetty and Graham Knoop who are too old – put their hands up’. they’re all determined to make up for what’s happened this year.

“The guys were even more disappointed than me, but I couldn’t have asked for more of an effort,” he added. “Don’t forget; this is a very, very young team, so hopefully we can use this season as a learning curve – as steep as it’s been – in the league season and in next year’s Varsity Cup.”

Before UCT can turn their attention to defending their WP Super League title – or the 2013 Varsity Cup tournament – Foote and his team have to negotiate a tough last-round encounter against a powerful UP-Tuks line-up at the Green Mile next Monday.

The Ikeys, who have won just one match this season, would need to beat Tuks to avoid a potential promotion/relegation match against the Varsity Shield runners-up – a match that will be played as a curtain-raiser to the 2012 Final.

Said Foote: “Anything can happen in a one-off match like that (promotion/relegation game), so we will certainly try to avoid playing in that game at all costs.

“But Shimlas and the Madibaz are just ahead of us on the log, so even if we beat Tuks – and they both win on Monday – we could still finish seventh,” he added.

“That said, it’s never been about other teams – it’s always been about us. If we cut out our silly errors and get on the front early on, then I’m confident we can end the season on a high.”

* Monday’s meeting with Tuks will be televised live on SuperSport One, with kick-off scheduled for 5pm.

By Howard Kahn

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