FNB UFH-Blues Head Coach Lumumba Currie is pleased with the performance of his changes so far in the 2018 FNB Varsity Shield Tournament. He released the statement below after their narrow 16-20 loss to neighbors, FNB WSU-All Blacks.
“Yes, it is a normal reaction for any team to be disappointed when you have lost a game and I guess the same applies to us well. We are highly disappointed and hurt at the same time with those results as we know that a lot was expected from the UFH Blues by our community. However, we know very well in sport we win some and we lose some matches. In the match, we dominated the scrums; we were good at ruck time, kick off time and played on the right areas of the field. Yes we conceded easy tries and lost quality balls at line out but those are minor things that can be ironed out.
Credit must go to both teams for quality rugby that was played on Monday night—it was really good and I am convinced this was the biggest crowd we have had for the entire Varsity Shield campaign.
Going forward, I am more than convinced that the results will go our way as we are ticking a number of boxes and gaining confidence at the same time. Yes, one is aware is that life is tough off the field and we have too many challenges which are detrimental to the progress of the team and affects players directly. Having said that, I am appealing to all the players to give their full commitment every time they wear the UFH Jersey as they represent the Institution.
Our “mantra”, is that we must double our efforts and play for 80 minutes”.
It was a clinical performance from Swallows against a formidable Gardens side who suffered heavily from the events of the last 6 days when this semi-final fixture was postponed a night before when they were already in East London.
They fronted up nicely in the first half managing to put swallows under pressure and came close to scoring, but poor handling and decision making in the final third cost them.
Swallows on the other hand had a clear strategy in the first half. They made sure they collect points at each visit to the gardens half and that gave them an upper hand in the early exchanges with a 14-3 lead at break.
Swallows points came from the three penalties to their impressive flyhalf Aphiwe Stemele and an unconverted try to right wing Buhle Mangezi. Gardens points came from the boot of their flyhalf Rubin De Vos.
As expected Gardens upper the tempo in the second half and narrowed swallows lead to four after a beautiful try by their fullback Kenny Bayman, and De Vos converted to make it 14-10 in Swallows favour.
This was to be the last time they we appeared in the game. Swallows scored two tries by their wingers Mangezi and Lithabile Mgwadleka, and then put on what I thought was the game changer, their bench, to wrap the game in style.
Tries to fullback Simphiwe Nandipha and outside centre Aphiwe Xakalashe followed to stretch Swallows lead to 34-10.
The strength of the Swallows bench was the difference in this match.
Swallows remains the only unbeaten side and will carry that tag into their maiden super 12 final next week when they take on another PE side in Harlequins.