Ikeys focus on round two

Whilst extremely disappointed with Monday’s 10-38 opening-day Varsity Cup loss to a fired-up FNB Shimlas side, FNB UCT head coach Kevin Foote has drawn a line under things and is already looking ahead to Round Two.

 

The defending champions were not at their best as they went down by two tries to hour on their home ground.

“There’s no point harping on about things,” said Foote, who admitted his disappointment at the result.

“It wasn’t great and we were outplayed by Shimlas, but we’re looking ahead to next Monday against UJ.”

Foote has always been a pragmatic coach – even last year when his side did the Varsity Cup and WP Super League double, he refused to get carried away – and he will be taking that same attitude forward in 2012.

The Ikey Tigers boss pointed out: “Traditionally, we’ve been slow starters in the Varsity Cup.

“In 2008 and 2009 we lost our opening matches. In 2010 we drew and last year was our first opening-day win – ironically it came away to Shimlas!

“It’s never nice losing, especially at home, but we’ve drawn a line under the match – as I would’ve expected the guys to do had we won convincingly – and all our attention is focused on going to UJ and winning.

“Last season we took things on a week-by-week basis and it seemed to work for us, so there’s no point changing that mindset after one defeat.”

Looking ahead to the UJ match, Foote found some solace in the fact that his team had created enough opportunities against Shimlas.

“It’s about making those opportunities count,” stressed the former SA Sevens skipper, “and, of course, we need to cut out those silly and unforced errors that let us down too.”

Flanker Graham Knoop, scrumhalf Nick Farrar and winger Richard Stewart are all under injury clouds ahead of next week’s trip to Johannesburg, but Foote will be able to call upon versatile back Tiger Bax who could slot in back at centre, with the hard-running Damian de Allende moving to the wing.

Foote will announce his line-up later in the week, but is well aware of the dangers posed by Hugo van As’s charges who, themselves, suffered an opening-day defeat on Monday (losing 8-23 to FNB Tuks).

By Howard Kahn

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