The FNB Madibaz rugby team want to rediscover their winning touch when they clash with old rivals Rhodes University in the Varsity Shield in Grahamstown on Friday.
The Nelson Mandela University side went down to Walter Sisulu 19-14 in Port Elizabeth last week and coach Jarryd Buys said they wanted to bounce back this week.
After ending on top of the log last year, he knows they are a team with a target on their backs.
“We have spoken about the other teams lifting their games against us, but only until you see it actually happening do you realise that it’s the best way to learn what we are facing,” he said of the Walter Sisulu result.
“In terms of the individuals and the team that will be a massive wake-up call and it’s another warning that you can’t take anything for granted.”
Buys said there was no need to panic, but he acknowledged that they had to rectify what went wrong on Friday.
“We can’t just coast along and think the wins are going to keep happening.
“But the attitudes are right and we had a good training session on Monday. It’s been a tough couple of days but the guys have to take it on the chin and it’s often in adversity that a person’s character is shown.”
He admitted they lacked the proper intensity against Walter Sisulu.
“Losing last year’s final [to Cape Peninsula University of Technology] was one thing because we actually played decent rugby and fell off in the last few minutes.
“But Friday’s result was tough to take. We were flat and very unhappy with how things went and the performance we put in.
“Now we have to get back up and move onto the next job – and that is our priority in Grahamstown on Friday.”