FNB NMMU-Madibaz skipper Kevin Kaba is banking on his team’s “never-say-die” spirit to assist them when they face another testing encounter against Stellenbosch in the FNB Varsity Cup rugby competition on Monday.
Despite the setbacks, Kaba said he could not fault the team’s spirit.
“The guys’ commitment and an attitude of always playing to the final whistle have been big positives and something that can’t really be coached.”
Looking ahead to Monday’s clash against Maties, he said they knew the home side, who are second on the log, would be a handful.
“Maties can vary their play at different stages of the game and we need to be alert and ready for anything they may throw at us,” he said.
“But we also cannot afford to let them do all the playing, so we will focus on our strengths.”
Kaba, who was the Player That Rocks in their opening win over UCT, said he was enjoying the leadership role and was receiving plenty of support from his teammates.
“We have made it clear that every person in the set-up is a leader in their own right. There is good support on and off the field in terms of decision-making.”
Looking back on the season so far, Kaba said they had learnt some important lessons.
“It’s been tough going down in the previous two games, especially in the manner in which we did.
“But the team realise that these things are part of the game and we need to get ourselves back to the level we know we’re capable of playing at.”
He added they would place a strong focus on sticking to their roles, as well as aiming for better ball retention.
“We knew how tough the competition would be before we started, but we just have to stick to our plans and work from there.”
Madibaz squad: 15 Lindelwe Zungu, 14 Athi Mayinje, 13 Siphumelele Msutwana, 12 Andile Jho (vice-capt), 11 Ivan-John du Preez, 10 Thomas Kean, 9 Rouche Nel, 8 Kevin Kaba (capt), 7 Henry Brown, 6 SF Nieuwoudt, 5 Gerrit Huisamen, 4 Wynand Grassman, 3 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 2 JP Jamieson, 1 Xandre Vos. Replacements: Jedwyn Harty, Thembelihle Yase, Nicolas Roebeck, Janse Roux, Robert Izaks, Luvo Claassen, Jordan Koekemoer, Jixie Molapo.