Varsity Cup not won or lost in opening round, cautions Tuks coach

Posted on February 02, 2010

That is how Tuks’ head coach, Freddie Grobler reacted on Tuesday, 2 February after his team went down to Pukke the previous evening.

“We can take a lot of positives from the game and build on that for the rest of the season. What excites me most is the potential of our game plan. Every time we played quick and wide we had them (Pukke) in trouble,” said Freddie.

He praised Tuks’ fight back after being down 21-7 at the break.

“It was a special effort and I really thought we had them by the throat since we did almost all the playing in the second half. They started making mistakes under pressure, but we lost the plot in the last six and a half minutes when we allowed them to retake control and score 14 points,” added Freddie.

In hindsight, however, it was too many crucial turnovers and not clinical enough finishing that cost Tuks the game.

“We had ample opportunity to put the win to bed, but did not do so. We have to learn from this as we could have scored another six tries if we had kept our heads. In the end we paid a high prize for silly little mistakes,” remarked Freddie.

The many injuries and high penalty count against Tuks in especially the first half made continuity very difficult. Freddie preferred not to comment on the performance of Boland referee Francois Veldsman, but conceded that Tuks will have to have an unbiased look at the reasons for the 19 penalties awarded against them.

Freddie has already made peace with the possibility that injuries could keep Aaron Denenga (wing), Franco Booysen (inside centre), Ignick Windvogel, Wesleigh Marais (scrumhalves), Warwick Tecklenburg (flank) and Francois van Wyk (lock) on the sideline.

“We will only know for sure tomorrow (Wednesday, 3 February), but I have little hope for anyone of them to recover in time. This is a grave prospect, but we also had the good news today that the Blue Bulls will release enough of our provincial contracted players to fill the vacancies against UJ adequately ,” concluded Freddie.

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