‘Those experts who are quick to predict a nightmarish 2016 Varsity Cup campaign for UP-Tuks 1 make little or no contribution to any meaningful debate on how to get UP’s finest back on track.’
This was the reaction of the Head Coach of UP-Tuks 1, Pote Human to harsh criticism after his charges suffered their second consecutive defeat at home on Monday. UP-Tuks lost 46–47 to defending champions, Shimlas, after surrendering a comfortable 43–15 lead at the start of the second half.
‘We understand the disappointment and anxiety among our supporters, but I ask that they not abandon us at a time when we need their allegiance most. I do not wish to enter into a debate with those self-appointed critics whose opinions culminate in a prediction that UP-Tuks will fall short of any notable success in 2016. They have a right to have their say, and so do I. And I say we will prove them wrong. Consigning us to the dunghill is premature. The management team and players are united in their belief that, although our current situation may be less than desirable, we still have every chance of making the play-offs. Our destiny is still firmly in our own hands and we are determined to turn the tide with an away win on Monday,’ added Human.
Will it be easy? ‘Of course not. They are, after all, the log leaders (10) and we are last (2). That makes them the overwhelming favourites and our challenge even more attractive. The bigger the task, the more lucrative the reward.
‘We can take a lot of positives from our performance against Shimlas as it was a major overall improvement on the best we could come up with in the opening match against NWU-Pukke,’ said Human.
‘Having said that, I also have to concede that the defeat by Shimlas hurt even more than the one by Pukke [UP-Tuks’ fifth consecutive Varsity Cup loss to the Potchefstroom-based team]. We underperformed in that match. We played to our true potential for most of match against Shimlas, enabling us to dictate play and build up a very handy lead. We shocked Shimlas to their core and had them against the ropes but instead of finishing them off we lost the plot in the last 20 minutes and allowed them to win. I can only praise their spirited comeback, but we lost one that we should have won. We dug our own grave and have to realise that we will only beat Maties if we learn from the inexplicable lapse in concentration that gave rise to Shimlas’ resurgence.’