Shrugging off the loss of their first two matches, the University of Johannesburg continued their Varsity Cup rugby resurgence this week to qualify for the competition semifinals.
Their 28-23 win over Wits on Monday took them to third place on the log, securing their place in the top four with one league match, against Maties, remaining.
In reaching the semis for the fifth time since 2011, coach Werner Janse van Rensburg said their mood was one of “gratitude and enjoyment”.
“It was a tough start to the campaign and the pressure was on more than ever before in the build-up to the Wits game,” he said. “So for the guys to pull through was very satisfying.”
Despite their sluggish start to the competition, he said they had never lost their motivation to make the play-offs.
“But for us we had to break it down week by week and as our fortunes improved, so did our belief that we could do it grow stronger.
“We kept a positive attitude and a willingness to push ourselves which made the difference in tight matches.”
With the semifinals to be played on April 3, UJ now turn their attention to the final league game against Maties in Stellenbosch on Monday.
“The challenge is massive as Maties are at the peak of their powers, but we are going to give it our best shot,” said Janse van Rensburg.
“We want to keep our momentum and ultimately enjoy the opportunity to play at Danie Craven Stadium.”