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Posted : 02 February 2012

Madibaz are ready

 Category: Sport

Algoa Sun Reporter

THE NMMU Madibaz rugby team will be raring to make their mark on the Varsity Cup as they take on the top eight teams in the country.
Their first game is against Pukke at the NMMU stadium on Monday.
The Varsity Cup is bigger and better this year with 29 teams competing for four trophies and a total of 82 fixtures which started on Monday. The finals will be played on April 9.
The FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International and the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championships were joined by the successful Varsity Shield tournament last year and this year the Varsity Young Guns – a students-only under-20 tournament – is expected to add to the fun, excitement and development of the game.
But varsity rugby is more than just about what happens on the field, with a new points-scoring system already setting the tongues wagging, and plenty of match day entertainment in store for fans.
Thanks to a special dispensation from the International Rugby Board, the Varsity Cup rugby organisers have changed the points system for this year’s competitions – conversions will be worth three points and penalties and drop-goals will be worth just two points.
This means that four penalties or four drop-goals will equal to one converted try on the scoreboard, putting the emphasis back on tries to win matches, and, ultimately, trophies.
Varsity Cup managing director Duitser Bosman explained on “Our intention with this trial is to cement a culture of try- scoring in the various Varsity Cup rugby properties. After all, rugby is about entertainment … and tries are entertaining.
“At the same time, however, the importance of the kicker must always be respected and that is why we have increased the value of the conversion – giving teams something of a ‘bonus’ to aim towards.”
NMMU coach Brent Janse van Rensburg told his team is prepared and ready for the competition.
“We have come through all the friendly matches with a clean bill of health, although there are still five or six guys who were injured before the pre-season matches and are still shaking off niggles,” said Janse van Rensburg.
“We have done everything we can now to prepare for the competition and everyone has put their pound of flesh in at training to be as prepared as we could hope to be at this stage.
“Now it’s up to us to play to our potential and arrive on each Varsity Cup match day with the right mental approach to do ourselves justice on the pitch.” The 2012 Varsity rugby season got under way on Monday with the start of the Varsity Shield, before the Cup kicks-off the following week on February 6, along with the Young Guns competition. This will be followed by the Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championships on February 13.

NMMU Madibaz home games at the Xerox NMMU Stadium:
February 6 – NMMU v NWU-Pukke, 7pm
February 27 – NMMU v UCT, 5pm (TV)
March 5 – NMMU vs Maties, 7pm.

NMMU Madibaz away games:
February 13 – Shimlas v NMMU, 7pm
February 20 – UJ v NMMU, 5pm (TV)
March 12 – TUKS v NMMU, 7pm
March 19 – TUT v NMMU, 7pm.


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