Even though FNB UCT suffered a second successive Varsity Cup loss – leaving the defending champs winless after two rounds - coach Kevin Foote is adamant that his team can turn things around… starting against the TUT Vikings next week.
The Ikeys went down 15-29 to FNB UJ on Monday evening – having found themselves trailing by 2-29 at the half-time break.
“We will fix it,” said Foote of his team’s current seventh-place position on the Varsity Cup log.
“It’s not great seeing ourselves sitting in seventh place… and it’s something we (obviously) want to put right.
“I’m not a guy that likes to make excuses,” added Foote, “but we’ve lost a lot of experience from last year and the pleasing thing has been how the younger players are learning every week.
“The guys just never stopped trying, and we even ‘won’ the second half 13-0 against UJ, so there are at least good signs being shown out there. UCT have always been known as a smart rugby team… we now need to show that we’re still smart by learning from what’s happened so far this season.”
UJ’s win over UCT was the only home victory in Round Two of the Varsity Cup and Foote admitted: “There will be more shocks in the 2012 Varsity Cup – I just hope our shocks are over!
“I guess nobody would have expected NMMU to have won in Bloemfontein, but it goes to show that you cannot take anything for granted in the Varsity Cup – be it this season… or in years gone by.
“NMMU and TUT are teams that everyone was expecting would just roll over and play dead. These guys don’t want to get relegated… and we’ve got them – both away from home – over the next two weeks.
“It certainly doesn’t get any easier for us, but it makes it even more important that we open our account against TUT on Monday.”
TUT went down 0-40, at home, to FNB UP-Tuks this past week, but Foote did not feel that the match was a true reflection of the Vikings’ efforts on the day.
“TUT made a lot of play, they just couldn’t finish the chances they created,” he said. “We’ve always had tough games against them and they’ll be desperate for a win at home.”
The Ikeys have no fresh injury worries after their trip to Johannesburg and Foote is expecting to have loose forwards Graham Knoop and James Tatham back from their niggles that saw them miss the UJ clash.
Next Monday’s TUT-UCT game, at the TUT Stadium in Tshwane, will get underway at 7pm. (The match will not be televised.)
with thanks to varsitycup.co.za