Tigers coaches keep the faith
FNB UCT coach Kevin Foote has kept faith with the same 23-man squad that did duty against the FNB NWU-Pukke earlier this week for Monday's all-Western Cape Varsity Cup derby clash at the Danie Craven Stadium.
The Ikeys will enter the Stellenbosch cauldron a disappointing side… but they will be hoping to emerge as heroes after a disappointing season as defending champions.
For that reason, Foote has not panicked after their 29-29 draw against the Pukke – a match UCT failed to close out after leading 29-13 in the final ten minutes – and he believes his players can raise themselves for their trip to Coetzenburg.
Fullback Dillyn Leyds is amongst the top try-scorers in the 2012 tournament, whilst centres Adrian Kritzinger and Tiger Bax would not look out of place in a provincial set-up.
Up front, captain Ntsolo Setlaba continues to grow in his role, whilst No.7 Zandy Macdonald was one of the players of the week in the Varsity Cup after his energetic showing against the Pukke.
"Look our results haven't been good this year, it doesn't take a genius to work it out, but I really don't think we're playing that badly – it's just a few things letting us down at the moment," said Foote.
"The guys are also trying out there – I can't fault their commitment – but I certainly won't have to motivate them much for a sold-out match at the Danie Craven Stadium… do I?"
When asked about Stellenbosch's form, after surrendering their Varsity Cup and WP Super League titles to UCT last year, Foote replied: "They're a quality, quality side. You just cannot argue with their unbeaten status.
"But it's not about Stellenbosch, or how well they play, it's about taking care of our own game and ensuring that we bring something to the Danie Craven Stadium on Monday evening."
Monday's match – the seventh Varsity Cup match between the former and current champions – will be televised live on SuperSport One. (Kick-off 7pm.)
The FNB UCT team: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Tiger Bax, 12 Adrian Kritzinger, 11 Mark Winter, 10 Nick Holton, 9 Liam Slatem, 8 Greg Mallett, 7 Zandy Macdonald, 6 Ntsolo Setlaba (captain), 5 Levi Odendaal, 4 Graham Knoop, 3 Francois van Wyk, 2 Dayne Jans, 1 Wes Chetty.
Replacements: 16 Matt Page, 17 Adriaan Botha, 18 Brad Bosman, 19 James Kilroe, 20 Nick Farrar, 21 Paul Cohen, 22 Nathan Nel, 23 Mini Bhengu.
Head coach: Kevin Foote
Date: Monday, March 12
Venue: Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch
Kick-off: 7pm (Live on SuperSport One)
Referee: Ben Crouse
Assistant referees: Marius Van der Westhuizen, Daniel Fortuin
TMO: Deon Van Blommestein, Shaun Veldsman
Previous UCT-Maties Varsity Cup results:
(Home team first)
UCT 38 Maties 34 (Played in George)
Maties 16 UCT 10 (Final)
UCT 10 Maties 12
Maties 23 UCT 17
Maties 17 UCT 14 (Final)
UCT 16 Maties 37
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