WSU All Blacks aim for final hurrah
Walter Sisulu University All Blacks captain Phumlani Blaauw is fired up for their Varsity Shield semifinal clash against the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town on Thursday, and believes his charges can continue their unbeaten away run this season.
The All Blacks had an up and down pool stage of the competition, winning three and losing three of their six games.
But in a weird twist they lost all of their home games, against the Nelson Mandela University Madibaz, CPUT and University of KwaZulu-Natal Impi, while winning their away matches against the Fort Hare Blues, Rhodes University and the Tshwane University of Technology Vikings.
They will thus take this away form into their vital match up against CPUT, with a place in the final at stake.
“We have played FNB CPUT at home, but now we have to go to them,” said Blaauw.
“We are excited to play them in Cape Town because our luck is with us playing away games, because we haven’t won any home games but won all our away games. So we would like to believe that’s going to be a game-changer.
“On a serious note, they like spinning the ball wide, so we are looking to play because having watched the highlights from their game against FNB UKZN, where the score was 69-40 means that they don’t really like to defend.”
The All Blacks have built a solid winning culture in the team over the past few campaigns, and know what it takes to win the big matches.
They have reached both previous Varsity Shield finals, where they lost to current Varsity Cup team, the University of the Western Cape, on both occasions and they will be hungry to make a third appearance in the competition showpiece.
“Training has been good, the attitude of the guys is good,” said coach Sipho Metula.
“Both teams have a similar style of play, but we want to make sure we are in a position to close the ball down and play it tight with the forwards, because we don’t want to play into CPUT’s hands with running rugby. So we want to keep it as tight as possible.
“We believe we have what it takes to win, our preparations have been on point and we are ready for the match.”
The team will also be motivated to succeed as the only team left in the competition from the Border region.
“As you know Border aren’t playing in this year’s SuperSport Challenge or the Currie Cup, so we want to go up there and showcase to the public that the Border region still has the players to play at that level,” said Metula.
The action kicks off at the CPUT Rugby Stadium in Cape Town at 4.45pm on Thursday afternoon and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1...