The FNB Madibaz rugby team have set the pace in the FNB Varsity Shield competition after defeating Walter Sisulu University in East London on Thursday for their second bonus-point win.
After battling the wind and their tough opponents in the first half, the Nelson Mandela University side transformed a 12-3 halftime lead into a 32-3 victory.
They will be looking to make it three in a row when they play Rhodes at the Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Monday (6.30pm).
Madibaz skipper Riaan Esterhuizen said they had achieved their initial goals in the tournament after also collecting the full five points against Cape Peninsula University of Technology on Monday.
“We knew it would be a scrappy type of game and we prepared ourselves for that,” he said.
“We are just glad to come away with five points from the match.”
He added that they were focused on maintaining their standards after being relegated from the Varsity Cup last year.
“We have spoken about making sure we do not drop our standards at all,” said Esterhuizen.
“We want to play to get back into the Varsity Cup, even if it takes us two years to achieve that and some of us may be leaving this year.”
Madibaz produced the Player that Rocks in fullback Simon Bolze, who went over for two tries as the PE team took control in the second half.
“We knew it was going to be tough because Walter Sisulu are a quality side,” said Bolze. “But in the second half we opened it up and are proud of our efforts.”
Another Madibaz player, wing Josiah Twum-Boafo, took the Steers Kinging Moment award, also crossing for two tries. He said the result was reward for the efforts they had put in during the build-up to the competition.
“It was a very tough game and it’s good to get the win under the belt,” he said.
“Now we are looking forward to our next game [against Rhodes].”