• CUT taking 2021 Varsity Cup ‘bubble by bubble’

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

    CUT

    Last year – Played: 5, Won: 2, Drew: 1, Lost: 2

    Best Varsity Cup finish – 6th on log (2016)

    EXPLAINER: How the 2021 Varsity Cup will work

    Head coach Pieter Bergh on …

    Last year’s Covid-19-shortened campaign

    ‘Our first two matches were against Tuks and Maties, who are historically the best two teams in the tournament. We played well against Tuks and still had a chance to win the game in the last play, but we didn’t have a good day against Maties. We then drew against UCT in Bloemfontein, having been 23 points ahead at one stage, before beating Shimlas and UWC convincingly. We felt we had a lot of momentum going into our last three games and could have pushed for a semi-final spot. So, we will take a lot of confidence into this year’s campaign.’

    Expectations for 2021

    ‘CUT have never reached the Varsity Cup semi-finals – we’re usually fighting to stay in the tournament – but for me, it’s all about improving each season. In my first season as coach, in 2019, we won three Varsity Cup games for the first time, and we were on track to better that record in 2020. It would be great to reach the semi-finals this year, but as long as we keep improving, I will be happy. We will take the tournament bubble by bubble. I think there will be a lot of injuries this year. We probably have the smallest squad of all the Varsity Cup universities, so we will need to have a lot of luck when it comes to injuries.’

    Their squad

    ‘We have a lot of continuity this year and were able to keep around 90% of our best players. We’ve also brought in a couple of guys who may not be part of the starting lineup initially but will provide good squad depth, as well as a couple of youngsters from our Young Guns [U20] team who have good potential. [Flank] Luvuyo Ndevu will be our captain this year. I wanted someone who represents our university, and he also has the respect of the players and is well liked. He started at CUT with me two years ago and has grown so much. It’s the perfect time for him to take over the leadership of a squad that now has an average age of almost 23 and a half.’

    Luvuyo Ndevu will captain CUT in 2021
    Luvuyo Ndevu will captain CUT in 2021. Photo: Morgan Piek

    Photo: Van Zyl Naude/Varsity Cup