• Maties anticipating ‘tightly contested’ title charge

    Maties head coach Drikus Hancke opens up on last year’s Varsity Cup campaign, changes to his squad and his expectations for the coming season.

    MATIES

    Last year – Played: 5, Won: 5

    Best Varsity Cup finish – Champions (2008, 2009, 2010, 2018, 2019)

    Head coach Drikus Hancke on …

    Last year’s Covid-19-shortened campaign

    ‘I was really proud of the players for winning all five matches last year. But we have a learning culture and there were a lot of lessons to take from those matches. Some of the guys who will play again this year would have gained some valuable experience and, of course, everyone is hungry to play rugby again. Like everyone, we feel something was taken away from us last year.’

    Expectations for 2021

    ‘I think this year’s Varsity Cup will be the most tightly contested in a while. There are a lot of good teams who will be well prepared. It will be weird not to have fans at the games, but we know they will be watching on TV. We are aiming to win the tournament but want to take it match by match and keep improving as the tournament progresses.’

    EXPLAINER: How the 2021 Varsity Cup and Shield will work

    Their squad

    ‘A lot of our Young Guns [U20 players] from last year have come through, but we also have a lot of senior guys from last year who will play again in 2021. Our captain for this year’s campaign, [centre] David Brits, is very experienced and he and the other senior players have helped the youngsters during pre-season.’

     

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    Photo: Kevin Sawyer/Varsity Sports