“It was a very disappointing display, especially because we had ample chances to score points, but could not make use of them,” Rudy Joubert, the coach, said.
“This now complicates matters considerably to ensure a home semi-final match and we will have to learn our lesson very quickly. Yet the pruning scissors will for the time being be left in the drawer,” says Joubert.
“One should only make changes if it will really improve matters and if one or two players played poorly. Prior to making such a decision, I do, however, need to work through the match and try to establish where the problem exactly lies.”
However, Joubert can be forced to at least make one change after Niëll Jacobs sustained concussion in the Mother City.
This promising young fly-half experienced one of his poorer matches and can be replaced by the experienced Cecil Dumond, whilst there is anxiety about the fitness of the never-die flank Savvas Nel.
Nel is still burdened with a thumb injury, but should recover in time to tackle the Shimlas in Potchefstroom on Monday.
He sustained this injury during the Pukke’s practice match against the Griffons and trotted onto the field against Ikeys with a heavily bandaged left hand.
“The thumb became even more painful as time went by, but I believe it is only dislocated and that I will be able to play,” he said. “The chaps were rather badly disappointed after the match, but there is nothing wrong with our team spirit and we are going to make sure that we do not make the same mistakes once again.”
Nel, with his smart game, already has several experts talking , among whom is the Western Province coach, Matthew Proudfoot, yet he takes little notice of it.
“It is nice to receive compliments, but it does not help much if the team does not win. For the meantime all my attention is on the Varsity Cup and to see to it that we win again.”
On Monday the Bloemfonteiners sent a clear warning to Joubert and the others with a walk-over victory of 54-5 over the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).
To top it all, Joubert will have to choose between Drew van Wyk and Joe Seerane as wing, now that Seerane has fully recovered from an injury.
According to him the team will grinding their teeth this week when preparing for Monday’s come hell or high water showdown.
“On Tuesday we will have a light practice to give the chaps a chance to recover from the fits and starts of Monday, but after then we will practice very hard again.
“It will be pleasant to play our own kind of match on our own field and to get our campaign back on track again.”