Pi­rates wary of ‘hoodoo’team Wits

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

OR­LANDO Pi­rates as­sis­tant coach Te­bogo Moloi ex­pects plenty of prob­lems from “hoodoo” team Wits when the two sides meet in the Telkom Knock­out fi­nal in Dur­ban to­mor­row.

The Buc­ca­neers, play­ing in their fifth straight cup fi­nal, are strong favourites to claim a sec­ond ti­tle of the sea­son, hav­ing al­ready clinched the MTN8 tro­phy in Septem­ber.

How­ever, they face up to a bullish Wits side, buoyed by a 3- 1 vic­tory when the two re­cently met in an Pre­mier­ship clash in Nel­spruit in Oc­to­ber.

“Wits has al­ways been Pi­rates’ hoodoo team,” Moloi, a former Bucs mid­fielder, re­called. “In 1988 at the Rand Sta­dium, we played a semi-fi­nal and Zane Moosa mes­merised us.

“Then if you go back again to 1995 when we played Wits again, they won the tour­na­ment 1-0.”

The stu­dents have been im­pres­sive in at­tack this sea­son with Ryan Chap­man one of their key men.

Moloi con­ceded there would be no spe­cific plan for Chap­man or any other op­pos­ing play­ers, but pointed to his side’s de­fence as one of the keys to claim­ing a tro­phy they have never won.

“Prepa­ra­tion, team spirit and unity are very im­por­tant. This is a cup fi­nal and we have to pre­pare for an even bet­ter per­for­mance from them,” he said. “One lapse of con­cen­tra­tion can re­sult in a goal. We have a good de­fence and if you don’t con­cede then you have a good chance of win­ning.”

Both teams ar­rived in Dur­ban yes­ter­day with no fresh in­jury con­cerns ahead of the match, which will be played at a sold-out Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium. For Pi­rates, mid­fielder Dik­gang Ma­bal­ane ( knee) misses out, while Wits will be with­out sus­pended cap­tain Stan­ton Fred­er­icks.

Wits num­ber-two, Eric Tin­kler, was adamant their youth- ful squad would not be over­awed by the oc­ca­sion.

“Half of the squad were here when we won the Nedbank Cup and they re­mem­ber what a fan­tas­tic feel­ing it was to have won that cup,” he said.

“We went in as un­der­dogs against Amazulu in 2010 and won 3-0. We have a lot of be­lief in them and hope­fully the re­sult will be in our favour.”

Tin­kler said they were men­tally pre­pared for a back­lash af­ter what hap­pened at the Mbombela Sta­dium, when sev­eral key play­ers from Pi­rates were miss­ing through in­jury.

“This game will be no dif­fer­ent. It’s ob­vi­ously go­ing to be a lot harder be­cause the Pi­rates play­ers are go­ing to be ex­tra mo­ti­vated to try and turn the re­sult around,” Tin­kler said. – Sapa

WITS DAN­GER MAN: Ryan Chap­man

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.